Shaun Johnson wins Golden Boot

New Zealand Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson has become the fourth Kiwi winner of the prestigious Golden Boot award.

He follows in the footsteps of Hugh McGahan, Stacey Jones and Benji Marshall.

“Being a rugby league fan growing up, I always knew about the Golden Boot award,” said Johnson.

“I was pretty aware of the players who’d won it before because they were players that I grew up watching like Stacey Jones and Andrew Johns.

“Then there were the current players that I admire like Thurston. To receive it is pretty unreal to be honest.

“I felt I finished the year really well and was able to take that into the Four Nations and was really happy with how I played for the Kiwis.”

The panel who voted on the award is made up of 13 judges, who hail from Australia, England, France and New Zealand.

Former Golden Boot winner Garry Schofield, ex-Great Britain coach Brian Noble and past Kiwi internationals Robbie Hunter-Paul and Daryl Halligan were members of the panel.

Johnson beat Sam Burgess into second place, with James Graham coming third and Greg Inglis fourth. Jonathan Thurston was fifth and Kiwi prop Jesse Bromwich cam sixth.

The award, which is given out by Rugby League World magazine, focuses primarily on international performances.

“As is always the case with the Rugby League World Golden Boot, we asked the judges to consider the performances on the international stage first and foremost, and it’s undeniable that Shaun Johnson had the biggest impact at that level in 2014,” Rugby League World editor Gareth Walker said.

“Throughout the entire tournament he provided a devastating mix of organising the New Zealand side and producing moments of individual brilliance himself.”

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