Western Force flyhalf Andrew Deegan is the first nominee for the 2018 NRC Rising Star award.
Deegan was outstanding in the Force’s 47-29 win over Brisbane City in round one, delivering the last pass for two tries and consistently challenging the City defence with smart play.
The 23-year-old’s form was all the more eye-catching given he outshone former Wallabies no.10 Quade Cooper, who was at his colourful best for Brisbane City.
NRC expert Brett McKay rated Deegan as “excellent”, Jim Tucker of The Courier-Mail said Deegan “looked capable” and RUGBY.com.au’s Sam Phillips described the Force No. 10's performance as a “masterclass which flashed brilliant passing, classy game management and stout defence - outpointing Cooper in the process.”
The former Aussie schoolboy star used the opening round of the NRC to continue his strong form this year, in which Deegan has already led the Force in World Series Rugby and been called up to play against the Wallabies in their trial at Leichhardt Oval.
Deegan was the leading point scorer in Sydney club rugby for Randwick in 2016, and was part of the NSW Country Eagles side who finished runners-up in the same year.
He was a member of the Waratahs squad in 2016-17 and also spent time with Connacht in Ireland.
Though he already carries a strong CV, Deegan qualifies for the NRC Rising Star award given he is yet to make a Super Rugby debut.
The NRC Rising Star award winner will be selected by a judging panel at the end of the 2018 NRC season. After each round, nominees will continue to join Deegan on the list of candidates for the gong.
NRC RISING STAR NOMINEES
Round One: Andrew Deegan (Western Force)
Round Two: TBA
Round Three: TBA
Round Four: TBA
Round Five: TBA
Round Six: TBA
Round Seven: TBA