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Dally M won’t go virtual

Rugby League’s night of nights, the Dally M Awards has avoided a COVID-19 forced move in to the virtual world and will proceed as a live television special with players in attendance.

The Australian Rugby League Commission has approved the Dally M Awards to continue as a special television event on Fox League on Monday, October 19.

Award winners will attend, which is a significant result for the NRL given the AFL’s prestigious Brownlow medal will be held as a virtual event this year.

The game’s COVID-19 biosecurity protocols will apply to the broadcast to ensure the health and safety of all players and officials.

Clubs impacted by border restrictions will have a live cross facilitated during the broadcast.

And for the first time, the Dally M Team of the Year will be a full 13-man team covering all positions on the field.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said naming a full team as Dally M Team of the Year was an exciting innovation.

“It will give our fans the chance to see on paper what the very best NRL team would look like,” he said.

“We’ve never seen this before. There will be plenty of discussion and debate among our fans on comparing their selections which is a positive. Origin and Test matches all have selection restrictions, this team will be the best possible in each and every position from 1 to 13.”

The countdown is ON! 🤤#NRLRoostersRaiders pic.twitter.com/e8xoSteu0S

Abdo said that it was important to keep the tradition of the special awards night for players, even in a disrupted and challenging year.

“This year’s Dally Ms will be unique and a special celebration for players who have had exceptional seasons in an exceptionally challenging season,” Abdo said.

“The innovative plans Fox Sports have developed to present this year’s awards will add another dimension for fans.

“The awards show will be a fitting tribute to the individuals that made the 2020 season compelling entertainment for all of us.”

Abdo said this year’s winners will be among the most deserving in the game.

“This year has been the toughest year in the game’s history to be a player,” he said.

“Our players have been disciplined within their respective biosecurity bubbles and have had to fly long distances on game day before playing.”

The Dally M Awards will be held at 7.30pm on Monday 19 October on Fox League. NRL 360 will host a special Dally M edition prior to the broadcast, which will also include the announcement of some categories.

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