Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Jessica Sergis win 2019 Golden Boot

James Gordon

New Zealand full-back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has won the 2019 Golden Boot, with Australia’s Jessica Sergis claiming the women’s award.

The Golden Boot is awarded to the players who have produced the best performances in international rugby league in the calendar year, and is judged by a panel drawn from the media.

Tuivasa-Sheck, 26, plays his club rugby for New Zealand Warriors and was a stand-out in the Kiwis’ wins over Great Britain. They also beat Tonga back in June, as well as losing to Australia in the Oceania Cup last month.

IRL chief executive, Nigel Wood, said: “It is really important that International Rugby League recognises the players who put in consistently excellent performances representing their country at the highest level.

“Jessica has had a fantastic 2019 season, she is an exciting player with exceptional skills and great tenacity.

“Roger is one of the most exciting runners that we have seen in rugby league and to win the Golden Boot in such a stellar year is a great testimony to the quality of his performances.

“I would like to congratulate both the winners and also commend the players who ran them close for these awards.

“It all confirms the excitement and the quality that is produced by international rugby league and builds the anticipation for 2020 and then into Rugby League World Cup 2021.”

The 2019 international season has included the MEA Championship in Lagos, the mid-year international programme, qualification games for RLWC2021, the Great Britain Rugby League Lions tour and the inaugural Oceania Cup.

In the women’s section of the programme, the pool of games under consideration has tripled on previous year’s programmes.

Sergis, 22, plays for St George-Illawarra Dragons in the Women’s NRL and is one of 19 players on elite contracts.

England’s Emily Rudge was added to the Golden Boot short-list following her efforts in the series against Papua New Guinea, along with Orchids captain Elsie Albert.