McShane crowned Man of Steel for 2020

Posted: Monday 23rd November 2020 - 6:31 PM

McShane has been a standout performer for the Tigers this year, featuring in every match of the campaign, and was both instrumental to his side’s flying start to the 2020 season as well as shining brightly with his individual displays during a tough run for the club following the restart of the season.

McShane’s performances have now seen him pick up the prestigious Man of Steel Award, becoming the fifth Tiger to secure the highest individual honour in the Super League era and the third in Daryl Powell’s tenure at the club, following in the footsteps of Adrian Vowles (1999), Rangi Chase (2011), Daryl Clark (2014) and Luke Gale (2017).

After being named the 2020 Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel, an overwhelmed McShane paid tribute to his teammates for their role this season and said his determination to win would continue to push him to new heights after picking up the biggest honour of his career so far.

He told “It hasn’t really sunk in yet and seems surreal, I am honoured that legends of our game think I’m worthy of this award.

“If it wasn’t for my teammates I wouldn’t have been near, at the end of the day I go out and play rugby for them, I want to do my best for them and for those guys wanting me to do well it means a lot.

“There have been some tough periods throughout the year with results not going our way, but the lads have been turning up and trying their hardest and they have helped me win this award.”

He added: “I just hate losing, I want to be the best at everything I do and if that’s playing rugby, or lifting weights or even playing cards, I want to win and I’m driven to be better and I think that is something that really ignited in me when I joined Castleford.

“I didn’t know where I might end up before joining Cas, if I was going to go part-time or what, but joining the club gave me a hunger to want to be the best that I can be and make the most of it. Going forward I need to make the most of it and make sure I am doing everything I can to achieve what I want to achieve.”

Since arriving at the Tigers during the 2015 season, McShane has gone on to become a key player in Powell’s squad, becoming an ever-present for the side in 2016 and playing an instrumental role in the Tigers winning the League Leaders’ Shield in 2017.

Over the past three seasons, the Cas star remained highly consistent and was justly rewarded with a call up to Shaun Wane’s England Performance Squad earlier this year following a superb start to the 2020 campaign that saw him become the runaway leader on the Man of Steel leader board before the suspension of the season in March.

McShane also paid tribute to Powell for the influence he has had on his improvement at the Tigers, with his head coach one of the first people he called after hearing the news.

“Daryl has played a massive part in where I’m at as a player, five years ago he got me back to enjoying my rugby again, so out of respect he deserved to be one of the first people I would let know about the news.

“From when I first joined, he gave me plenty of confidence in my ability, told me he sees things in me, and said I’ve always got more room to develop and become a better player. Even after my best seasons he still said to me that he sees 10 or 20% more improvement and he’s always pushed me to strive for international honours. He’s just been an honest coach and friend.”

Powell was incredibly proud of McShane being crowed the Man of Steel for 2020 and commented on the news: “Paul has had an incredible season and has been fantastic for us for a number of years, so this is a massive pat on the back for how he has grown as a player since joining Castleford. It’s the ultimate accolade so this is fantastic for him.

“One thing we said as a group was that we wanted to support Macca in winning this, I think it is a collective effort as well as it being an amazing achievement for him as an individual player.

“He has matured off the field since he’s been at the club and his leadership continues to grow all the time. As a player, he is one of the best nines in the game bar none and his all-round game is fantastic. He’s a champion player and we’re glad to have him.”

In being crowned as the 2020 Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel, McShane beat fellow contenders Aidan Sezer (Huddersfield Giants), Liam Farrell and Bevan French (both Wigan Warriors) and Saints’ Lachlan Coote to the highest individual accolade in the game.

Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel Chairman Ellery Hanley MBE said: “The award deservedly goes to Paul McShane because he performs in every game he plays in.

“He is ‘Mr Dependable’ and everyone holds him in the highest regard. As a player, he consistently displays bravery, skill and athleticism. This is a man who wears his badge of honour in every action he delivers on the rugby league field.

“The phrase ‘actions speak louder than words’ fits Paul McShane perfectly. You only have to be in his company for three minutes to discover what a gentleman and first-class human being he is. We are so lucky to have him in our game.”

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