Rising Suns: Connor Budarick, Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell during a Gold Coast media shoot at Evandale Park in March. Picture: Getty Images

THERE will be no glitzy function this year, but the NAB AFL Rising Star remains one of the most coveted awards in football.

The winner of the honour will take home the Ron Evans Medal and be announced during the AFL's mega awards night on Thursday.

Fremantle's Caleb Serong is considered the favourite to claim the Rising Star and follow previous winners Sam Walsh, Jaidyn Stephenson and Andrew McGrath in recent years, while Gold Coast's Noah Anderson, St Kilda's Max King and Hawthorn's Will Day are viewed as the other main contenders.

Here AFL.com.au looks at each round's nomination for the 2020 Rising Star.

Round one: Sam Sturt (Fremantle)
It feels like an eternity ago, but Sturt was excellent on debut against Essendon in round one. He booted three goals from 10 disposals in a promising display before injury curtailed his form upon the season's resumption in June.

Round two: Matt Rowell (Gold Coast)
In what may be remembered as the breakout game of a superstar, Rowell dominated as Gold Coast beat West Coast in round two. The No.1 pick gathered 26 disposals and booted two goals in a dominant display that saw him given 10 votes in the coaches' association award.

Round three: Connor Budarick (Gold Coast)
The speedy Suns defender continued the club's exciting set of form by following Rowell's nomination with his own. Budarick, who joined the Suns as an Academy pick, had 16 disposals and even floated forward to kick a goal against Adelaide in an impressive display.

Round four: Tom Green (Greater Western Sydney)
Green was vital when the round four clash against Collingwood was up for grabs, with several important moments in the Giants' tight win. The Academy product had 18 disposals and kicked a goal as well as collect seven clearances.

Round five: Curtis Taylor (North Melbourne)
Taylor was a bright spark for the Roos early in the season, including his two-goal game against the Western Bulldogs. Taylor's aerial exploits and smarts around the forward line stood out as one of North's exciting young talents.

Round six: Izak Rankine (Gold Coast)
Well, it was worth the wait. Having been forced to spend his first year and a half in the AFL on the sidelines through injury, Rankine burst out of the blocks with a scintillating and remarkable debut. He kicked three brilliant goals against the Demons and nearly won his side the game.


Round seven: Noah Anderson (Gold Coast)
In the Suns' win over Sydney it was Anderson who was a standout, gathering 15 disposals and a goal in another consistent showing through the midfield. A hard-running, reliable wingman who enjoyed a stellar start to his career in 2020.


Round eight: Caleb Serong (Fremantle)
Serong's classy goal on his non-preferred left foot was the icing on a terrific performance for the tough midfielder against the Cats in round eight. In only his fifth game of his career, Serong gathered 22 disposals (10 contested) and stood out for his clean hands under pressure.


Round nine: Mitch Georgiades (Port Adelaide)
A high-flying night at the Gabba saw Georgiades' promise rewarded with a Rising Star nomination. The Power's exciting leaping forward kicked 3.2 in a dominant display against the Demons as Port continued its charge at the top of the ladder.


Round 10: Luke Jackson (Melbourne)
Jackson gave a good glimpse of his talents this season, including his two-goal game against Adelaide in the Demons' win. Stationed mainly in attack he was athletic and nimble and he also pushed into the ruck to have 14 hitouts.


Round 11: Kysaiah Pickett (Melbourne)
The Demons made it back-to-back nominations with their first-round picks from last year's NAB AFL Draft when Pickett put in a dazzling display against the Roos. He finished with a goal from three shots and 12 disposals.


Round 12: Max King (St Kilda)
King got off to a flyer against the Bombers in St Kilda's big win and finished with three goals. Again the athletic and strong-marking key forward highlighted why he is one of the most talented talls in the competition and he played a big role in the Saints' return to the finals.


Round 13: Brandon Starcevich (Brisbane)
An understated player but one who has slotted in seamlessly to Brisbane's backline. Starcevich is into his third year at the Lions and played only five games before this season, however the steady half-back missed only one outing this year.


Round 14: Jake Riccardi (Greater Western Sydney)
After missing out on a nomination following a good debut game, Riccardi backed it up with an ever better performance in game No.2, booting four goals against Fremantle in the Giants' win. Riccardi's marking ability and smarts around goal were a handy addition to the Giants' forward mix late in the year.


Round 15: Justin McInerney (Sydney)
The pacy Swans wingman had an eye-catching end to the season, including in his side's win over Melbourne. McInerney booted two goals from 14 disposals as he ended his second season with the club in strong touch.


Round 16: Will Day (Hawthorn)
This was a nomination that had been coming for some time. Day settled into the Hawks' line-up brilliantly this season, with the club's top pick from last year's NAB AFL Draft highlighting his smarts and game-reading ability. His best game of the year came against St Kilda when he picked up 21 disposals.


Round 17: Isaac Quaynor (Collingwood)
Quaynor's consistency across the season before and after his nasty shin injury was rewarded with the round 17 nominations. The Collingwood defender is assured, classy and makes the right decisions when streaming off half-back.


Round 18: Lachie Sholl (Adelaide)
After his best-afield display against Carlton in round 17, when he kicked two goals from 24 disposals, Sholl waited a week before earning his nomination in the final round of the season. The deft-kicking and hard-working midfielder looks a player of the future for the Crows.