15 May 2014

The Beast is favourite son

12:21 pm on 15 May 2014

The Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei has been voted by fans as the NRL's women in league round's "Favourite Son".

He is respected as "The Beast" on the field, but it was Vatuvei's golden smile and compassion off the field have won him the hearts of fans.

Vatuvei was honoured for his "efforts and attitude that inspire women to be part of the Rugby League family at all levels".

The award was presented to Vatuvei at the launch of the Women in League Round before more than 230 guests at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art.

The NRL Chief Executive, Dave Smith, also announced that there will be a women's Test between Australia and New Zealand, as the curtain-raiser to the Australia versus Samoa Test at the Four Nations Tournament in Wollongong in November.

Vatuvei's wife, Jen, was at the announcement which inked his named alongside a prestigious list of previous Favourite Son award winners: Hazem El Masri (2009), Nathan Hindmarsh (2010), today's MC Petero Civoniceva (2011), Luke Burt (2012) and Anthony Minichiello (2013).

Vatuvei will play his 180th NRL game this weekend in a career spanning 11 years, with 125 career tries he has been the Warriors' top or equal top tryscorer for the past eight seasons.

He has also played 24 Tests for New Zealand and two All Stars matches.