Samu Kerevi has claimed back-to-back Pilecki Medals after being voted by his teammates as the St.George Queensland Reds best player in 2019.
For a second-straight year, Kerevi won the top award which is named after the late legendary Queensland prop Stan Pilecki – the state’s first centurion.
Kerevi, who captained the Reds in 2019, polled 301 total votes across 15 games, edging out Liam Wright (228 votes) and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (200 votes) in third.
The 25-year-old was not only Queensland’s most damaging ball-runner, but arguably Super Rugby’s too after finishing the regular season as the competition’s leading player with most carries (220) and defenders beaten (71), as well as finishing equal 4th in clean line breaks (26) and the 8th best for most metres carried (861).
The award was presented at the Reds’ end of season dinner, held at Blackbird Bar and Grill in Brisbane, where the team recognised a number of achievements – including 11 debutants, Scott Higginbotham’s 100th Queensland cap and the contributions of all departing players.
Along with the Pilecki Medal, the Reds presented two other awards, with Jock Campbell named Rookie of the Year and Teti Tela recognised as best displaying the Spirit of the Reds.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “It’s important as an organisation to cap off our season with a team dinner with all QRU staff, players and their partners.
“A big well done to Samu Kerevi. It’s deserved recognition for him after another stand-out year for Queensland. To be voted as the best player and acknowledged by your teammates is the greatest honour a player can have. He took on the captaincy this year and thrived in the role. He has grown as a man both on-and-off the field. His presence and communication with players and staff has been something to admire.
“We were really impressed with Jock Campbell this year. At 24, it was good to see a man from club Rugby and NRC with Queensland Country come into our program. He was rewarded for his hard work when he made his Queensland debut against the Bulls in Pretoria. Jock played the remaining nine games for us and grew in confidence each match. As a group, we congratulate Jock on this achievement.
“Teti Tela has gone about his business and put the hard work in all year. He sat on the bench and prepared with the team on game-day but unfortunately didn’t play any minutes this season. He carried himself well during those challenging times. He put the team first and pushed others around him to be their best. The Spirit of the Reds acknowledges someone who displays these characteristics in our team and Teti did that this season,” said Thorn.
2019 Award Winners
Pilecki Medal – Samu Kerevi
Rookie of the Year – Jock Campbell
Spirit of the Reds – Teti Tela
2019 Pilecki Medal Top 10
1st – Samu Kerevi (301 votes)
2nd – Liam Wright (228 votes)
3rd – Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (200 votes)
4th – Scott Higginbotham (198 votes)
5th – Alex Mafi (133 votes)
6th – Chris Feauai-Sautia (126 votes)
7th – Izack Rodda (113 votes)
8th – Taniela Tupou (95 votes)
8th – Jock Campbell (95 votes)
10th – Bryce Hegarty (89 votes)
Pilecki Medal History
2019 – Samu Kerevi (301 votes)
2018 – Samu Kerevi (191 votes)
2017 – George Smith (278 votes)
2016 – Liam Gill (282 votes)
2015 – Liam Gill (420 votes)
2014 – James Slipper (239 votes)
2013 – Jake Schatz (269 votes)
2012 – James Slipper (272 votes)
2011 – Will Genia (263 votes)
2010 – Will Genia (209 votes)
2009 – Digby Ioane (253 votes)
2008 – David Croft (195 votes)
2007 – David Croft (188 votes)
2006 – Rodney Blake (186 votes)
2005 – Nathan Sharpe
2004 – Chris Latham
2003 – Julian Huxley
2002 – Chris Latham
2001 – Toutai Kefu
2000 – Chris Latham
1999 – Chris Latham
1998 – Daniel Herbert
1997 – John Eales
1996 – Jason Little
1995 – Jason Little
1994 – Matthew Pini
1993 – Rod McCall
1992 – Peter Slattery