Hayne crowned International Player of the Year
Jarryd Hayne tonight collected the most prestigious individual award in Rugby League when he was named International Player of the Year for 2009.
The Parramatta Eels and Australia full-back was presented with his medal at the star-studded Rugby League International Federation Player of the Year gala dinner in Leeds by former Great Britain captain Ellery Hanley.
Hayne, 21, beat Kangaroos team-mates Greg Inglis and last year’s winner Billy Slater to become the second recipient of the award, which recognises individual excellence during the period between and including last year’s Rugby League World Cup and this season’s NRL and engage Super League Grand Finals.
Hayne was an outstanding figure in the Fiji team that reached the 2009 World Cup Final and in 2009 proved himself as the most influential player in the NRL. His form earned him a call up by New South Wales, for whom he was the most consistent performer in State of Origin.
He collected six successive man of the match awards with Parramatta between rounds 19 and 24 and was an inspirational presence for the Eels as they swept into the NRL Grand Final.
During the NRL season, Hayne ran for 4,429 metres, over 1,000 metres more than his closest challenger, and he also broke more tackles and made more line breaks than any other player.
The award is the second major award of 2009 for Hayne, who was also the Dally M player of the year in the NRL.
Hayne has played on the left wing for Australia during the Gillette Four Nations, the same position as England’s Ryan Hall who was tonight named RLIF Rookie of the Year following his outstanding exploits for Super League champions Leeds Rhinos.
Hall, 21, topped the try-scoring charts with 28 in the regular Super League season and was the only player to score more than 20. His scoring prowess has been matched by strong defence, which he showed when making a try-saving tackle on Ade Gardner of St Helens in this year’s Super League Grand Final.
The award for RLIF Coach of the Year was won by Craig Bellamy of Melbourne Storm, who reached the NRL Grand Final for the fourth season in succession under his guidance. Bellamy beat off stiff competition from his assistant, Stephen Kearney, the New Zealand Test coach, and Kevin Moore of Sydney Bulldogs to take his award.
Hall and Hayne were also named in the RLIF Team of the Year, which features two other England players in Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield, who was named Loose Forward of the Year, and Wests Tigers forward Gareth Ellis, the Second Row of the Year.
The RLIF made a special award to Ken Arthurson, the former Australian Rugby League Chairman and ex-Manly coach and secretary. The RLIF Spirit of RL Award is given to a person deemed to have made a significant contribution to the game in their lifetime.
The full list of awards presented at the RLIF International Player of the Year dinner at Alea Casino, Leeds, tonight is:
Player of the Year
Winner: Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta and Australia)
Shortlisted: Greg Inglis (Melbourne and Australia), Billy Slater (Melbourne and Australia).
Rookie of the Year
Winner: Ryan Hall (Leeds and England)
Shortlisted: Michael Jennings (Penrith and Australia), Richie Myler (Salford and England).
Referee of the Year
Winner: Shayne Hayne (Australia).
Shortlisted: Steve Ganson (England), Ashley Klein (Australia).
Team of the Year
Full-back: Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta and Australia).
Winger: Ryan Hall (Leeds and England).
Centre: Greg Inglis (Melbourne and Australia).
Stand-off: Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers and New Zealand).
Scrum-half: Jonathan Thurston (North Queensland and Australia).
Prop: Fuifui Moimoi (Parramatta and New Zealand).
Hooker: Cameron Smith (Melbourne and Australia).
Second row: Gareth Ellis (Wests Tigers and England).
Loose forward: Kevin Sinfield (Leeds and England).
Coach of the Year
Winner: Craig Bellamy (Melbourne and NSW).
Shortlisted: Stephen Kearney (New Zealand), Kevin Moore (Sydney Bulldogs)
Nations’ Player of the Year
RLIF Spirit of Rugby League Award
Recipient: Ken Arthurson.