NRL 2020: Shaun Johnson wins prestigious Cronulla Sharks award

NZ international Shaun Johnson has won the inaugural Porter-Gallen Medal as the Cronulla Sharks' Player of the Year.

Johnson received the medal at the Sharks' awards night on Friday, while the 30-year-old also won the Members' Player of the Year and Tackle of the Year.

The awards capped off a challenging year for Johnson, who came under fire at the start of the season before finishing the year with the most try assists in the NRL with 23. 

But his season came to an abrupt end during the penultimate round when he ruptured his Achilles, and the injury will see him miss at least two months into the 2021 campaign. 

"This is the first Player of the Year award in my career, so I'm really proud," said Johnson. 

"I'm very lucky to have come to a club that is very accepting and make me feel a part of the family. 

"John Morris and his coaching staff have made me believe again and feel really confident in my capabilities and what I'm able to do and to back that up, the whole playing group, I've never been happier in my career to turn up every day and to try and get better."  

Johnson was presented with his medal by club great Paul Gallen, beating out teammates  Sione Katoa, Siosifa Talakai and Toby Rudolf for wth award.

The five-eighth burst into career-best form after former Australian international Cooper Cronk said Johnson had been "firing blanks"  since arriving at the Sharks. 

In June, Cronk said Johnson had to be more consistent and improve on his decision-making and he did just that en route to winning the Porter-Gallen Medal. 

While the year has had its challenges, Johnson and his wife Kayla welcomed the couple's first child - Millah Malvina Johnson - in August.