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Backlash to sudden decision to replace Harry Sunderland Trophy at Super League Grand Final

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Adam Fogerty, a former St Helens and Warrington player, has expressed his dissatisfaction with the Rugby Football League’s (RFL) decision to replace the Harry Sunderland Trophy with the Rob Burrow Award for the Super League Grand Final’s man of the match.

Fogerty highlights the historical significance of the Harry Sunderland Trophy, which has been awarded since 1965 and is named after the former rugby league player and coach. He notes that his father, Terry Fogerty, was the inaugural recipient of the award in 1965 after Halifax defeated Wigan in the Championship Final.

Fogerty suggests that the RFL’s decision to rename the award as the Rob Burrow Award without proper consultation or acknowledgment of the trophy’s history is disrespectful. He proposes that a more appropriate approach would have been to gradually transition to the new award, with a ceremony involving past winners and a formal retirement of the Harry Sunderland Trophy.

While acknowledging Rob Burrow’s admirable efforts in raising awareness and funds for motor neuron disease (MND), Fogerty emphasizes that his criticism is directed at the decision-making process rather than Burrow himself. He believes that the RFL should rectify the situation by giving proper recognition to the Harry Sunderland Trophy and its past winners.

In conclusion, Fogerty urges the RFL to reconsider their decision and demonstrate respect for the game’s history and the players who have contributed to the trophy’s legacy over the years.

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