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Man of Steel: Jack Welsby, Bevan French and Tom Johnstone unveiled as nominees for 2023 award

Super League's joint-leading try-scorer Tom Johnstone is among the nominees for this year's Man of Steel award, along with reigning Young Player of the Year Jack Welsby and former nominee Bevan French

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Wigan Warriors' Bevan French, St Helens' Jack Welsby and Catalans Dragons' Tom Johnstone have been shortlisted for the Rugby League Man of Steel for their performances in the 2023 season

Jack Welsby, Bevan French and Tom Johnstone are the three nominees for this year's Steve Prescott MBE Betfred Super League Man of Steel award.

Johnstone's prolific season, which saw him finish as the competition's joint-leading try-scorer in the regular campaign with 27, has seen the Catalans Dragons winger nominated.

St Helens full-back Welsby, who won Super League's Young Player of the Year prize in 2021 and 2022, was nominated for the Man of Steel award last year as well.

Wigan Warriors half-back French is a former nominee too and has impressed for the League Leaders' Shield winners following his switch from the wing to the halves during the 2023 campaign.

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Super League top try scorer Johnstone says the change of culture from moving from Wakefield Trinity to Catalans Dragons has helped improve his game and admits the sunnier weather helps his recovery

The winner of this year's Man of Steel will be announced on Tuesday October 10 at rugby league's end-of-season-awards night at Emirates Old Trafford.

Johnstone could become the first winger to win the prestigious award since Wigan's Pat Richards in 2010 after topping the try-scoring chart alongside the Warriors' Abbas Miski.

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Welsby scores his second try for St Helens in the game against Leeds

French leads the league for the number of assists, while Welsby has been integral to Saints' strong run of form after a relatively sluggish start to their domestic campaign.

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French ran in unopposed as Wigan scored a terrific team try to draw level with Warrington

All three players are set to be involved in play-off semi-final action this weekend prior to the winner being announced ahead of the Grand Final on October 14.

Johnstone not satisfied despite 'incredible year'

Reacting to being shortlisted for the award live on Sky Sports News, a humble Johnstone admitted he could not explain why he had been picked.

"Wow - that's incredible", said Johnstone, on being told the news.

"I probably can't tell you why I think I'm on the shortlist.

"It's been an incredible year, I've loved every minute of being here and playing with this team, surrounded by players which make me look good - maybe that's the reason."

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Johnstone makes it a hat-trick of tries as Catalans Dragons dominate their Magic Weekend encounter against Wigan

Johnstone has had an injury-plagued career, but put his performances this season down to him maintaining fitness throughout the year as he and the Dragons seek Grand Final glory at Old Trafford.

"I don't want to sound like I've had a lot of troubles but the off-seasons - I usually recover from injuries and try and come back for the next year," added the 28-year-old.

"But to actually string a full season of games together feels amazing.

"I've tried working hard with a lot of good people behind the scenes, and for it to come together is something I've been working for for the past four or five years.

"We've said all along that we've come to win it - I came to Catalans to win competitions, so anything other than winning the Grand Final is not good enough."

Both of the semi-finals are live on Sky Sports. Coverage for Catalans' clash with St Helens starts at 7.30pm on Friday October 6 on Sky Sports Mix, with coverage for Wigan's match against Hull KR beginning at 12.15pm on Saturday October 7 on Sky Sports Arena.

You can also stream both matches, along with the Grand Final, Women's Super League Grand Final and Wheelchair Super League Grand Final, on NOW.

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