The winner of this year’s Golden Boot award, presented annually to the world’s greatest Rugby League player, will be revealed on 3rd December by ‘Rugby League World’ magazine.
A shortlist of six players will be announced on Monday 8th November in the run up to the Four Nations final which takes place at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday 13th November.
The winner will be decided after the Four Nations final by an international panel of experts, including journalists, broadcasters, former coaches and players.
“Given that the Golden Boot is presented to the player adjudged to be the greatest in the world, it is only right that we wait until after the conclusion of the Four Nations tournament which represents the highest level of international competition in the sport this season, before asking our expert panel to make their final decision,” explained Rugby League World magazine editor John Drake.
“A lot can change over the course of such a massively important tournament, and it allows us all to see how the world’s best players perform against each other at this level. Although we will take into account domestic performances, and consider the merits of those players not eligible to play in the Four Nations when we draw up our Golden Boot shortlist, ultimately we have to acknowledge that standout performances in this tournament, at this level, will weigh heavily when our panel of experts makes its final decision on who should receive this year’s Golden Boot award.”
Last year’s shortlist included three Australians – Greg Inglis, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith, two Englishmen – Gareth Ellis and Kevin Sinfield – and one New Zealander – Fuifui Moimoi. Inglis was the winner after a series of sensational performances in the green and gold. On collecting the Golden Boot he said, “It is extremely humbling to win this award, especially when considering the names who have won the Golden Boot in the past.”
Australians have dominated the award since it was inaugurated in 1985 by Open Rugby magazine, the forerunner to today’s Rugby League World. Wally Lewis was the first to receive the accolade and, since then, the award has been won thirteen times by Australians. New Zealand and Great Britain have provided two winners each. Stacey Jones was the last New Zealander to win it in 2002, while Great Britain’s Andrew Farrell was the last non-Australian winner in 2004.
Only two players have ever won the award twice, Andrew Johns (1999 and 2001) and Darren Lockyer (2003 and 2006). Having been selected in this year’s Australian Four Nations squad, Lockyer could be on course to create a remarkable piece of history by becoming the first player to achieve a Golden Boot hat-trick.
This year’s Golden Boot timetable:
8th November: the names of the players shortlisted for the Golden Boot are revealed.
15th November: the judging panel will be begin voting.
3rd December: the name of this year’s Golden Boot winner is named in Rugby League World magazine, and will be released to the media, along with details of the judges’ votes.
Full list of Golden Boot winners:
1985 Wally Lewis (Australia)
1986 Brett Kenny (Australia)
1987 Garry Jack (Australia)
1988 Hugh McGahan (New Zealand) & Peter Sterling (Australia)
1989 Ellery Hanley (Great Britain)
1990 Mal Meninga (Australia)
1991-1998 No award given
1999 Andrew Johns (Australia)
2000 Brad Fittler (Australia)
2001 Andrew Johns (Australia)
2002 Stacey Jones (New Zealand)
2003 Darren Lockyer (Australia)
2004 Andrew Farrell (Great Britain)
2005 Anthony Minichiello (Australia)
2006 Darren Lockyer (Australia)
2007 Cameron Smith (Australia)
2008 Billy Slater (Australia)
2009 Greg Inglis (Australia)