Graham on shortlist for prestigious award
England captain James Graham has been shortlisted, along with three Australians and two New Zealanders, for this year’s Rugby League World Golden Boot award, presented annually to the world’s greatest player.
The nominees are Paul Gallen (Australia), Graham, Shaun Kenny-Dowall (New Zealand), Benji Marshall (New Zealand), Billy Slater (Australia) and Sam Thaiday (Australia).
The winner will be chosen by a vote carried out after Saturday’s Gillette Four Nations final by an international panel of experts and revealed on December 3.
Slater is the only previous winner on this year’s shortlist, having earned the award in 2008, but there is still an opportunity for one more player to force their way into consideration.
Rugby League World editor John Drake explained: “The six players named on our shortlist have all earned their places with some exceptional performances at both domestic and representative level throughout the year but the biggest international game of the season is still to take place.
“For the first time there will be a wildcard element to the shortlist which will allow us to add one further name after the Four Nations final if we see an outstanding individual performance that merits it when Australia face New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.”
That could open the door for Australia’s Darren Lockyer to become the first player in history to make it a Golden Boot hat-trick, having previously won the accolade in 2003 and 2006.