Johnathan Thurston has beaten off competition from the world’s best to scoop this year’s Golden Boot award.
North Queensland, Queensland and Australia star Thurston edged out Melbourne’s Cameron Smith to collect the award for the second time in his career.
The Golden Boot is awarded Rugby League World magazine and is juged by an expert by a panel of ex-players, coaches and journalists from across the world.
Rugby League World editor John Drake said: “It was one of the closest races for the Golden Boot in years, which emphasises just how much fantastic talent there is in our game at the highest level. It gets harder and harder to separate the best players when it comes to individual awards in what is very much a team game.
“Johnathan’s stand out performances for Australia in the Four Nations thrilled the crowds in England and Wales just as he has thrilled the crowds back home with his club, North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL and for Queensland in State of Origin.
“The Golden Boot award recognises a whole year of performances at domestic and international level. Johnathan’s match-winning performance in the biggest game of the season, the Four Nations final against England proved he is a worthy recipient. The very best players produce their very best performances on the biggest stages.
“We’re delighted to add Johnathan Thurston‘s name to the Golden Boot roll of honour, which includes so many international rugby league legends.”