Jarryd Hayne wins The Frownlow Medal in 2021.

Former NRL player Jarryd Hayne has won The Frownlow Medal in 2021 after being sent to prison for sexually assaulting a woman on NRL Grand Final night in 2018. Hayne saw off the challenge of more than 70 professional footballers to win this year’s medal and is the sixth NRL player to receive the honour.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while AFL player Elijah Taylor was the 2020 recipient.

The former NSW and Australia star was found guilty of raping the woman at her home on the NSW Central Coast, and apparently asked a taxi driver to wait for him while he committed the crime. He was eventually sentenced this year after a lengthy legal process.

Unfortunately for Hayne, he was not able to attend the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, and he had to accept a replica of the award in the TV room at Cooma Correctional Centre. The replica was made by a fellow inmate out of Play-doh and had to be returned to guards immediately. He will receive the real medal once he is released.

Hayne saw off the challenges of two other NRL players who were accused of the same crime. Rookie Tristan Sailor is yet to have his day in court, and fellow Dragons player Jack de Belin was eventually found not guilty of an incident which occurred in Wollongong. De Belin was also nominated this year for breaching COVID-19 rules to attend Paul Vaughan‘s infamous house party, which earned nominations for 10 other players and created the Matt Dufty Fun Run.

Herstory is made

Nita Maynard became the first woman to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal since the award’s inception in 2015. The NRLW player got into a scuffle with bouncers at Northies after a few too many drinks, and paved the way for Millie Boyle and Deni Varnhagen. Boyle was caught in a toilet tryst with fellow rugby league player and multiple nominee Adam Elliott, while Varnhagen was delisted by the Adelaide Crows AFL club for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.

Frownlow favourites

Jordan de Goey of Collingwood returned for more Frownlow fun, this time earning three nominations in the same year. He edged out 2016 medallist Corey Norman with two nominations, one of which was for a street fight outside Northies alongside his buddy James Segeyaro. Josh Dugan also earned two nominations, and said goodbye to the NRL after doing very little for the Cronulla Sharks all season.

An ugly trend

Yet again footballers were nominated for alleged violence against women. NRL players Tui Kamikamica, Jamil Hopoate and Anthony Milford were all accused of alleged incidents of violence against women, and are set to face court in 2022.

The bizarre

Footballers always provide so much off-field entertainment, and 2021 was no different. NRL player Lachlan Lewis was nominated for stealing club-owned speakers from his COVID-19 hub and trying to sell them online, while Roosters enforcer Victor Radley was fined for tackling someone – no joke. Tom Starling of the Raiders, meanwhile, earned his second nomination in two years, for exactly the same offence, at exactly the same bar, at exactly the same time of year.

Three clubs were nominated this year. Collingwood FC AFL club for services to racism, and NRL clubs Canterbury Bulldogs for COVID-19 breaches, as well as the Penrith Panthers, who destroyed the Summons – Provan trophy while celebrating their Grand Final victory.

NRL players clearly dominated again in 2021. Not one A-League footballer was nominated, only four Super Rugby players were eligible, and the only other significant incident involving an AFL player was Taylor Walker‘s racism and his cringeworthy apology video.

Footballers then partied the night away after the award announcement, while poor Jarryd was sent back to his cell.

Image: Dan Pelad

Can Jarryd Hayne return to glory?

Former NRL player and current prisoner Jarryd Hayne could claim the greatest prize in Australian sport this year. Hayne is the favourite to win The Frownlow Medal, ahead of 61 professional footballers who have earned nominations for all manner of off-field scandals.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

Hayne is possibly the most talented player to have never won a grand final. He came close with Parramatta one year, and almost single-handedly won a State of Origin series for NSW on one occasion. He now languishes in prison after being found guilty of sexual assault.

Can anyone beat Hayne?

Former NRL player Mananse Fainu poses a strong threat. He is still awaiting the outcome of his legal proceedings after he was accused of stabbing someone outside a Mormon church dance back in 2019. Another Dragons player, Tristan Sailor, was also accused of rape but has not been found guilty as COVID-19 slows down court proceedings in Australia.

Other challengers

Hayne saw off the challenge of another accused rapist, fellow NRL player Jack de Belin. The Dragons and NSW player was found not guilty of sexual assault after a long court case, but is still in contention after attending Paul Vaughan‘s infamous BBQ. This unsanctioned house party led to nominations for another 11 Dragons players, and created the Matt Dufty Fun Run around the streets of Shellharbour.

Corey Norman won the medal in 2016 and was also at the BBQ. He thought he could outsmart the cops by fleeing on foot, but he left behind his phone and car – with personalised number plates. It was his second nomination of 2021, after getting into a brawl outside Northies.

Gender equity

2021 marked a milestone for The Frownlow Medal. Nita Maynard became the first woman to be nominated after getting drunk and taking on a bouncer at Northies. Fellow NRLW player Millie Boyle followed her lead and earned a nomination after being caught in a toilet tryst with misguided NRL player Adam Elliott.

The Breachers

Breaching COVID-19 protocols earned nominations for many footballers this year, even though that particular scandal failed to win the Frownlow for any nominees in 2020. Footballers never learn. Many players breached some form of protocols, including perennial nominees James Roberts, and fellow NRL player Josh Dugan, who was caught by police more than 3 hours from home, twice, on the same day.

Jai Arrow and Api Koroisau were both punished for smuggling women into their restricted hotels rooms during the State of Origin series. Koroisau is married, and Arrow is sponsored by a food delivery company which guarantees fast and efficient delivery.

NRL dominance

NRL players look determined to win back what they believe is their birthright, after Taylor claimed it for the AFL in 2020. They comprise 47 of the 61 nominees. They also supplied two of the most bizarre nominations. Victor Radley was punished by the NRL for tackling someone, while Lachlan Lewis was caught trying to sell a speaker on EBay, after stealing it from a room in the Bulldogs’ hub.

AFL defence

The AFL defence looks flimsy. Jordan De Goey earned three nominations in one year, for essentially being Jordan De Goey, while Taylor Walker made a racist comment and a pathetic attempt to apologise for his racist outburst. Nine more AFL players were nominated for relatively minor offences, and so far they look unlikely to reclaim the medal.

Super Rugby

Super Rugby has offered four candidates. Suliasi Vunivalu earned his nomination before even playing a game in his new code, while three Rebels Marika Koroibete, Isi Naisarani and Pone Fa’amausili had a few quiet drinks in their team hotel and broke curfew while playing for the Wallabies. Apparently Rebels are not allowed to rebel.

A- League Absence

The A-League has never won The Fronwlow Medal and has failed to supply any candidates in 2021. Why?

Hayne might be accepting The Frownlow Medal from his prison cell later this year, but it is only September, and four months is a very long time in football.

Image: NuNa

Jarryd Hayne given a gift in prison.

Former NRL player Jarryd Hayne‘s prison buddies have welcomed him with a Wife Beater tattoo on behalf of The Frownlow Medal. Hayne earned the tattoo after being found guilty of raping a woman in 2018 and being sentenced to five years behind bars.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

The inmates of Parklea Correctional Centre in Sydney set upon Hayne as soon as he arrived in the yard, pelted apples at him and holding him down while ‘Big Darryl’ draw the tattoo. The former rugby league star apparently struggled and protested until he saw what exactly was being inked onto his skin. Hayne then broke out in a broad smile when he realised he had been given the most sought after marking in Australian sport. The special tattoo also cheered him up after he was denied his request for Foxtel TV, and food and laundry services.

Hayne was recently found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in her home on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final. After a long and drawn-out court case, he was eventually sentenced to five years and nine months in prison.

Hayne is the hot favourite to win The Frownlow Medal in 2021, but he cannot claim victory yet. A year is a long time in rugby league, and fellow NRL players Jack de Belin and Tristan Sailor are still in court, also charged with alleged sexual assault.

Image: NuNa

Jarryd Hayne could be out of prison later this year.

Judges of The Frownlow Medal are working furiously to secure the release of Jarryd Hayne from prison in time for the award’s night of Australia’s most prestigious sporting prize. The former NRL star was recently sentenced to five years and three months in prison after being found guilty of sexual assault and is a strong favourite to win the medal in 2021.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.

The Frownlow awards night is the most popular annual sporting celebration in the country, and all nominees are invited to a night of no-holds-barred fun and drunken debauchery that rivals any Mad Monday party. As the current favourite for this year’s award, Hayne would be given front row seats and first pick of the booze, drugs and other treats offered to footballers.

Frownlow organisers are thus negotiating with authorities to secure Hayne a prison furlough, and believe he could improve his chances of release by agreeing to lead inmates’ skills and drills sessions, or appear in a movie alongside Adam Sandler.

If Frownlow judges cannot use their considerable influence to secure Hayne’s release, the former NSW and Australian representative would be forced to watch the awards presentation via livestream from behind bars, and would not be the first Frownlow nominee to do so.

Image: NuNa

Manu Vatuvei and his second drug bust.

Former NRL player Manu Vatuvei has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame after being accused of his second drug-related scandal. Vatuvei was accused of importing illicit drugs into New Zealand just three years after he scored his first Frownlow nomination for a separate drug controversy.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.

The New Zealand international could face life in prison after recently revealing that in 2019 he was charged with possessing methamphetamine for supply and importing the Class A drug. Vatuvei finally confessed to being the subject of the charges when he posted a message on social media.

“In 2019 I was charged with importation, possession and supply of methamphetamine. All of these charges are accusations and I will be fighting my innocence for these charges. I know there’ll be a lot of questions … but I’ve been advised from my legal team that’s all I can talk about.”

The bullocking winger is no stranger to drug controversies. In 2016 he was nominated for The Frownlow Medal after being stood down by the Warriors for his poor attitude and for mixing prescription drugs with energy drinks on a night out.

The cult hero now joins a select group of footballers who have been nominated for The Frwonwlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame. The question is, will he join an even more select group of footballers serving time behind bars?

Image: NuNa

Justin Murphy nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Former AFL player Justin Murphy has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame after prolonged physical abuse of his ex-girlfriend saw him serve two jail sentences and revealed a deep drug addiction.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL player Ben Barba is the most recent recipient.

The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.

Murphy was first sentenced to prison for six months in 2017, after it was discovered that he had abused his then girlfriend both physically and financially. In one of the more severe incidents, Murphy held the woman down and attacked her with a blowtorch. Her injuries were so severe that she was forced to have a finger amputated. He then returned to the woman’s house a year later, got naked and ignited the same blow torhc, threatening to burn his ex and her house.

The former Geelong, Carlton, Essendon and Richmond player also managed to withdraw money from her bank account without her permission, and she was forced to move house on numerous occasions so that Murphy would not find her, even after he was released from his first stint behind bars. He then served another 59-day sentence for what was described as a sustained campaign of terror against his ex-partner.

Murphy was also required to complete community service and drug rehabilitation programs, as his legal team claimed the violence was connected to a strong addiction to ice and GHB.

Image: NuNa

Aussie Aussie Aussie…Curtis Scott demands a Kangaroos jersey after Australia Day arrest.

NRL player Curtis Scott is so desperate to play for the Australian national team he got himself arrested and thrown in the lock up on Australia Day weekend.

Scott reportedly resisted arrest and allegedly kicked and punched a police officer in the face before being tasered and sent to the clink, where he spent the night. His antics also earned him a nomination for The Frownlow Medal.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL player Ben Barba is the most recent recipient.

Scott was granted conditional bail and will appear in court in February, and is adamant that he has increased his chances of playing for his country.

“Mate, how Aussie can you get? Resisting arrest, beating up a pig, getting chucked in jail – and doin’ it on Australia Day weekend – that’s as Aussie as anything. I reckon they should just give me the jersey right now,” he said.

“Plus, I did it right outside NRL headquarters in Moore Park so they saw me real clear – and, I just signed a contract with the Raiders in Canberra, which is the capital – even more Australian.”

Scott was clearly inspired by the actions of another NRL player, Joe Ofahengaue, who had himself arrested for an alcohol-related incident on the same patriotic weekend, and is believed to be switching allegiance from Tonga to Australia as a result.

Scott hasn’t even played a game for his new club but has already dragged it into an off-field controversy and forced a meeting with the NRL Integrity Unit. He has also ensured another big year for The Frownlow Medal, whose nominees for 2020 already include Ofahengaue, Josh Reynolds, Maika Sivo, Manase Fainu, Jarryd Hayne and Jack DeBelin.

Is anyone from AFL, Super Rugby or A-League going to challenge the NRL domination of the award this year?

Image: NuNa