Rugby League: Lowes collects season's leading player awards

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The Independent Online
James Lowes, the Bradford hooker, was last night hailed as the outstanding player of the season, winning both the Stones Man of Steel award and being voted Super League Player of the Year by his fellow-professionals.

Lowes beat off challenges from his team-mate Graeme Bradley, and Wigan's Great Britain captain, Andy Farrell, in both categories. His dual selection is a tribute to his role in the Bulls winning Super League - in which he played every game. Bradford gained further honours when Matthew Elliott was named as Coach of the Year.

Other winners were the First Division Player of the Year, Tevita Vaikona, who plays for Hull against Huddersfield in the Divisional Premiership final on Sunday, his Second Division counterpart, Richard Pachniuk, of Rochdale, and the Referee of the Year, Russell Smith.

Vaikona's team-mate, Graeme Hallas, has been cleared to play in the final after escaping a ban for his sending-off in the semi-final against Whitehaven.

St Helens have signed a second player from relegated Oldham, adding Paul Davidson to their squad for next season alongside Brett Goldspink. The fee may have to be set by a tribunal.

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