Sonny Bill Williams has missed out on the Golden Boot award, coming third in the voting to North Queensland’s Jonathan Thurston, who became just the third player to win the award twice, and South Sydney’s Sam Burgess.
However, he was named alongside Greg Bird in the second row of the World XIII by Rugby League World, a UK Magazine that “hosts” the awards.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck joins SBW on the World XIII as the only Roosters on the squad, with both players building on awards they have won in the past five months: RTS on his Dally M Winger of the Year medal, and SBW on his RLIF International player of the Year award and the Jack Gibson Medal, in addition to his taking home the 26 Rounder Commemorative Balloon as Roosters Player of the Year.
Oh, and they won a premiership.
According to an article that appeared on SBS.com.au, the awards focused on international contributions over NRL or Super League exploits:
“We asked the panel to consider performances in international matches first and foremost and, given his outstanding World Cup campaign, Jonathan Thurston has emerged as a deserving winner,” Rugby League World editor Gareth Walker said.
“It was typical of the way he orchestrated his Australian side superbly in the match that mattered most, though it should be noted that he was excellent for the entire competition.
“Ever since breaking onto the international scene almost eight years ago, Thurston has been at the very forefront of the sport at its highest level. During that time, he has also collected a host of individual honours domestically …”
Cameron Smith finished behind SBW in the voting, with Danny Brough of Scotland and Huddersfield finishing fifth of the five nominees
World XIII Courtesy of SBS.com.au (all players Australian unless denoted):
Billy Slater, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (New Zealand), Greg Inglis, Jamie Lyon, Brett Morris, Jonathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Sam Burgess (England), Cameron Smith, James Graham (England), Sonny Bill Williams (NZ), Greg Bird, Paul Gallen.