Sonny Bill Williams named International Player of the Year

Sonny Bill Williams has been named the Rugby League International Federation Player of the Year for 2013, beating off competition from Greg Inglis and Danny Brough.

Williams, 28, is the first Kiwi to win the award, which has been won by Australian players since its inception in 2008, and it caps a remarkable first year back in the code.

He returned to rugby league with Sydney Roosters at the turn of the year after a five-year absence in rugby union and professional boxing.

The back-rower, along with Huddersfield and Scotland stand-off Brough and South Sydney and Australia full-back Inglis, was selected in the 2013 International Team of the Year, a side selected on performances at club and representative level between October 2012 and November 2013.

The Team of the Year also features England and South Sydney front rower Sam Burgess, the 2013 Prop of the Year who is joined by a third Rabbitoh in Issac Luke, the Hooker of the Year.

The Burgess family had double cause for celebration with George Burgess being named International Rookie of the Year, an award open to players aged 21 or under who made their Test debut during the voting period.

NRL champions Sydney Roosters have a second representative in the team, in the shape of Kiwi winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, while Trent Robinson was named Coach of the Year.

The winners of the 2013 RLIF International Player of the Year awards are:

International Player of the Year: Sonny Bill Williams (Sydney Roosters and New Zealand)

International Coach of the Year: Trent Robinson (Sydney Roosters and Australia)

International Rookie of the Year: George Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs and England)

International Referee of the Year: Ben Cummins (Australia)

Spirit of Rugby League Award: Maurice Oldroyd



Full-back: Greg Inglis (South Sydney and Australia)

Winger: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters and New Zealand)

Centre: Jamie Lyon (Manly)

Stand-off: Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants and Scotland)

Scrum-half: Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly and Australia)

Prop: Sam Burgess (South Sydney and England)

Hooker: Issac Luke (South Sydney and New Zealand)

Second row: Sonny Bill Williams (Sydney Roosters and New Zealand)

Loose forward: Corey Parker (Brisbane Broncos and Australia)

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