RLIF International Player of the Year
Australian full-back Billy Slater capped a year of achievement by collecting the International Player of the Year and Full-back of the Year awards at the RLIF International Player of the Year awards dinner at the Tower of London tonight (Wednesday).
The Melbourne Storm player scooped the coveted International Player of the Year award following a memorable 12-month period which saw him steer Queensland to State of Origin success, establish himself as one of Australia’s all-time greats and collect the NRL’s Dally M medal after playing a pivotal role in guiding his side to a minor premiership title.
The 28-year-old, who collected the award for the second time in four years, having been crowned 2008 Player of the Year, beat off stiff competition from club and country team-mate Cameron Smith and New Zealand’s talismanic Benji Marshall, who received the Hooker of the Year and Stand-off of the Year awards, respectively.
After marking his international debut with a try against New Zealand in May, Brisbane Broncos winger Jharal Yow Yeh was awarded with the International Rookie of the Year award. Yow Yeh, who scored 14 tries for Brisbane in 2011, received the award ahead of Canterbury Bulldogs’s Jamal Idris and Melbourne’s Matt Duffie.
Having lost out to Melbourne’s Craig Bellamy in the NRL Coach of the Year awards, Manly Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler took home the International Coach of the Year award after guiding his side to Grand Final success. Hasler received his award ahead of Bellamy and Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott, who led his side to victory in the 2011 Engage Super League Grand Final.
Australia’s Four Nations quintet of Akuile Uate, Daly Cherry-Evans, Matt Scott, Sam Thaiday and Paul Gallen were also winners on the night, taking home personal accolades as the best winger, scrumhalf, prop, second row and loose forward during the past twelve months.
Manly centre Jamie Lyon was the other individual winner with the former St Helens player named as Centre of the Year.
There were also awards for the Nations’ International Player of the Year award, which recognises the achievements of a single player from all of the RLIF’s affiliate nations with players such as George Carmont and Wes Naiqama receiving the awards for their respective country.
David Oxley CBE, the former RFL Chief Executive, was presented with the RLIF Spirit of Rugby League award in recognition of the significant contribution he has made to the game in his lifetime.
Full list of award winners:
Player of the Year: Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm)
Spirit of Rugby League Award: David Oxley CBE.
Rookie of the Year: Jharal Yow Yeh (Brisbane Broncos)
Coach of the Year: Des Hasler (Manly Sea Eagles)
Referee of the Year: Tony Archer (Australia)
Team of the year
Full-back: Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm)
Winger: Akuile Uate (Newcastle Knights)
Centre: Jamie Lyon (Manley Sea Eagles)
Stand-off: Benji Marshall (West Tigers)
Scrumhalf: Daly Cherry-Evans (Manley Sea Eagles)
Prop: Matt Scott (North Queensland Cowboys)
Hooker: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
Second Row: Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos)
Loose Forward: Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sharks)
Nations’ Players of the Year
Canada: Matt Wyles
Cook Islands: Tinirau Arona
Czech Republic: Jan Buben
Fiji: Wes Naiqama
France: Rémi Casty
Germany: Thomas Isaak
Ireland: Tim Bergin
Italy: Matteo Rossi
Jamaica: Tyronie Rowe
Japan: Keisuke Kinoshita
Malta: Clifford Debattista
Norway: Sonny Mellor
Lebanon: Walid Yassine
Russia: Eduard Ososkov
Samoa: George Carmont
Scotland: Dale Ferguson
Serbia: Dalibor Vukanovic
South Africa: Deon Kraemer
Sweden: Alexander Rappestad
Tonga: Feleti Mateo
Ukraine: Vladimir Mashkin
USA: Apple Pope
Wales: Lloyd White