Harris Andrews during the round 13 match between Hawthorn and Brisbane at the MCG, June 10, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

BRISBANE co-captain Harris Andrews has claimed his first Merrett-Murray Medal in a thrilling best and fairest count on Wednesday night.

Andrews (62 votes) pipped fellow co-captain and dual Brownlow medalist Lachie Neale (61) with vice-captain Hugh McCluggage (59) finishing third.

The two-time All-Australian had a wonderful season, combining stout defence from full-back with terrific intercept marking to anchor the Lions' backline.

Andrews took the second most intercept marks in the AFL (90) this season, had more spoils (250) than any other player and was 10th in contested marking (41).


It is the first time anyone not named Neale or Dayne Zorko has won the award since 2015, when four players – including Zorko – shared the award.

In a tight count at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Neale was narrowly denied a fourth club champion gong after taking home 'Charlie' just over a week ago.

The champion midfielder averaged 27 disposals a game and was the most prolific clearance, and centre clearance, player in the League.

Lachie Neale during the 2023 Grand Final between Collingwood and Brisbane at the MCG, September 30, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

After a slow start to his season, McCluggage roared home to finish on the podium for the fifth straight year, also being named the club's best finals player alongside Keidean Coleman.

Off-season recruit Josh Dunkley capped a terrific first season, finishing fourth and winning the players' player award.

Will Ashcroft was named the rookie of the year.

Merrett-Murray Medal Top 10

1. Harris Andrews – 62
2. Lachie Neale – 61
3. Hugh McCluggage – 59
4. Josh Dunkley – 56
=5. Cam Rayner – 53
=5. Brandon Starcevich – 53
=7. Charlie Cameron – 52
=7. Joe Daniher – 52
9. Oscar McInerney – 50
10. Darcy Wilmot – 49

How they vote: The senior coach and his assistant coaches allocate up to four votes each for an individual performance, meaning the maximum a player can receive for one match is 24 votes.