Papalii dedicates third Meninga Medal to teammates

Canberra prop Josh Papalii has cemented his legacy as one of the modern greats of the club after winning his third Meninga Medal in four years to help spearhead the Raiders' charge into the preliminary final.

The 27-year-old has managed to take his game to new heights in 2019, recording new career highs in post-contact and total run metres on his way to becoming the leader of the Raiders pack.

Papalii has become the first Raider with his name on the Meninga Medal three times and trails only Laurie Daley who won the club's Player of the Year award five times.

Fittingly for his selfless attitude, Papalii said he wished he could split the medal into pieces so each of his teammates could also be acknowledged.

"I'm honoured and privileged to receive this medal again, it's been a long season but such a blessed one," Papalii said.

"It's just a shame that one person gets recognised for a good season

"I truly believe there are 30 blokes out there, we sacrifice a lot hours and days to this (club) and to try and capture a premiership.

Canberra Raiders pack leader Josh Papalii.
Canberra Raiders pack leader Josh Papalii. ©Keegan Carroll/NRL Photos

"It's a shame only one person gets recognised for that, but in saying that, I'll take this award on behalf of everybody else."

Papalii's focus was quick to move on to the job at hand for the Raiders, who will host the winner of the South Sydney and Manly game next Friday night.

The clash is set to be arguably the biggest home game in Raiders history, with temporary seating being added to GIO Stadium to cater for the likely demand.

Papalii said that dream of lifting the Provan-Summons Trophy in the 30th anniversary of the club's first title is now all that drives him.

"Every day I wake up it's that premiership (I think about), it's very important to this club and to me personally," he said.

"We've got a lot of mentors and guests who come in every day, Sticky (Raiders coach Ricky Stuart) won three himself and he just wants to share that experience with us.

"I knew how important it was when we went down to Melbourne and just got them at the end.

"I've still got goosebumps from that game and it's one I'll remember for a long time but now I'm just looking forward to next Friday night."

As incredible as Papalii has been this season he said he hoped he can take his game to new heights in 2020, with the support of his wife and family critical to his continued success.

"The support off the field has probably been the key for myself, nothing has changed on the field but the support of my wife, this time last year I wasn't married but now I am," he said.

"She's been a massive rock in my life and kept me out of a lot of trouble and in saying that she's done a lot for me off the field so if there was somebody I had to thank first it was my wife."