Rugby League International Federation awards
Carney takes top honour
Sydney Roosters stand-off Todd Carney completed a stunning transformation from the scrap heap to the pinnacle of the game by being named international player of the year at the Rugby League International Federation awards night at Eden Park.
Carney's proposed move to Huddersfield for 2009 fell through when he was refused an entry permit but he enjoyed a memorable return to the NRL this season, in which he won the Dally M Medal as player of the year, and he is poised to make his Test debut against New Zealand on Saturday.
Carney, who was also named international stand-off of the year, becomes the third Australian in the three-year history of the awards to win the top honour, following Billy Slater in 2008 and Jarryd Hayne 12 months ago.
St George Illawarra's Wayne Bennett was named international coach of the year after securing his seventh NRL Premiership while the referees' award was shared between England's Richard Silverwood and Australian Tony Archer.
Ron McGregor, a former New Zealand international who as an administrator became a pioneer for the professional game, was posthumously honoured for his lifetime of service with the Spirit of Rugby League Award.
Australians dominated the awards, but Wigan's Sam Tomkins completed a fairytale season when he was named international rookie of the year.
The 21-year-old, who has won the title of Super League young player of the year for the last two seasons, succeeds another England international, Leeds winger Ryan Hall, as the most promising young player in world rugby league.
Tomkins had been nominated along with Morley and Richards for the top award but that went to the 24-year-old Carney, who spent the 2009 season rebuilding his life and his career playing district football for the North Queensland town of Atherton.
Warrington captain Adrian Morley, who pulled out of England's Four Nations campaign on the eve of the tournament with an arm injury, was named prop of the year and Wigan's Australian points machine Pat Richards, the 2010 Man of Steel, won the winger of the year award.
Former Leeds and Wakefield second rower Gareth Ellis, who has completed a second successful season in the NRL with Wests Tigers, maintained his ever-present record by being included in the team of the year for the third successive season.