The RFL has announced that the award recognising the man of the match in the 1895 Cup Final will be named in honour of Ray French MBE.

French came out on top in a poll conducted by the RFL to bestow a name from Rugby League’s history on the individual honour, which will be awarded for the first time this year.

It means that the man of the match between Sheffield and Widnes will receive the Ray French Award, with fans selecting the most deserving player by voting using the Our League app.

French received more than 60% of the vote to top the poll ahead of Johnny Whiteley and Wille Horne.

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RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said: “Naming this award after Ray French provides us with the opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution he has made to the game, at all levels.

“He is respected as a former player, and loved throughout Rugby League and well beyond for providing the commentary to so many great Wembley moments.

“That stature has been confirmed by the Our League members in this poll, and I’m sure the announcement of this award will be warmly welcomed by the Rugby League family.

“It will be a pleasure as always to welcome Ray at Wembley, and to see him presenting the player of the match in the first 1895 Cup Final – with an award named in his honour.”