Following the England vs New Zealand game on Sunday a number of the worlds press gathered behind closed doors to discuss the final four nominees for this year’s Golden Boot award from the 10 names that were released last week.
From that original list that included the likes of Kiwi Shaun Johnson, Tongan International and former Dally M winner Jason Taumalolo Man of Steel runner Up John Bateman and current Australian skipper Boyd Corner the panel narrowed the list down to the following four players.
James Tedesco – Australia. After starring for Italy in last years world cup, Tedesco moved to this years NRL Champions Sydney Roosters during the off season and has grown into a world class full back, staring in New South Wales State of Origin series triumph over Queensland, while picking up Full back of the year at the Dally M awards and Man of the match in Australia’s recent win over Tonga after making his debut the week before in their defeat against the Kiwi’s.
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak– New Zealand – A surprise pick as the Kiwi captain the 23 year old has had an excellent season with his club side Penrith Panthers. He has played in all four of the New Zealand test games this season scoring a try in each of the three games against England. Normally on the wing for his country he has slotted in for the injured Dally M winner Rodger Tuivasa-Sheck with his strong running and eye for a gap causing problems every time he returns the ball.
Elliot Whitehead – England – The former Bradford Bull and Catalan Dragons player has become on of the starts of the NRL in recent years since signing for Canberra Raiders. A no nonsense back rower that can play in the halves as an excellent work rate and his line running is one of the best in the world, seeing him pick up tries in three of his four International appearances this year.
Tommy Makinson (pictured)– St Helens – Those who watch super league, especially St Helens fans have known about what Tommy Makinson can do for some time, often being over looked due to England’s wealth of quality wingers. After finally making his England debut against the Kiwi’s in Denver scoring a magnificent try from his own half in the process, he has grown into that England shirt, playing an important role in last weeks first test before becoming one of the most obvious man of the match in an international for some time with his performance against the Kiwi’s at the weekend. A player with the strength and determination of a forward with the speed and agility of a back.
Also, being awarded on the night will be the first ever Womens Golden boot with Castleford Teenager and the first ever winner of the Women of Steel award Georgia Roche making the final short list that includes Ali Brigginshaw, Brittany Breayley and Isabelle Kelly from the World Champions Australia and Kiwi Ferns captain Honey Hireme.
The winners will be announced at the award dinner set up by the Rugby League International federation at Elland Road Leeds on Wednesday 7th November.