A Scot, a Kiwi and an Australian have been shortlisted for Rugby League’s most prestigious individual award, the 2013 International Player of the Year.
Scotland half-back Danny Brough, Australia full-back Greg Inglis and New Zealand second row Sonny Bill Williams are all in contention for the coveted title which will be awarded at the Rugby League International Federation dinner in Manchester next week.
Brough, the 2013 Super League Man of Steel, has enjoyed the most successful year of his career, having guided unfancied Scotland to the quarter-finals of Rugby League World Cup 2013 after being the pivotal figure behind his club Huddersfield Giants securing the Super League Leaders’ Shield, the first time they topped the league at the end of the regular season since 1932.
Inglis was the stand-out performer for South Sydney in 2013, a year which saw the Rabbitohs finish second in the NRL before going within a whisker of a Grand Final appearance. He also starred for Queensland in their State of Origin series win and has been a key part of the Kangaroos’ quest to win RLWC2013.
Williams made a spectacular return to Rugby League with Sydney Roosters in 2013 following five years in rugby union and boxing. He was the Roosters’ star player as they won both the NRL Minor Premiership and Grand Final, and has been a massive figure for the Kiwis during their world title defence during RLWC2013.
The RLIF dinner will also feature a number of other awards, including Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Referee of the Year and Spirit of Rugby League Award.
The shortlist for Coach of the Year features the coaches of NRL and Super League Grand Final winners Sydney Roosters and Wigan Warriors, Trent Robinson and Shaun Wane, who are joined by Michael Maguire, who led South Sydney to their most successful season in several generations in 2013.
The Rabbitohs and Roosters also have players shortlisted for Rookie of the Year, an award open to players aged under 21 at the start of the voting period (October 2012) who have made their international debuts during the year. South Sydney and England forward George Burgess and Boyd Cordner, the Roosters and Australia second row, are joined by Canberra Raiders and Samoa full-back Anthony Milford.
The match officials shortlisted for International Referee of the Year are Ben Cummins (Australia), Shayne Hayne (Australia) and Richard Silverwood (England).
Full details of the winners from the 2013 RLIF International Player of the Year awards will be announced following the gala dinner at the Lowry Hotel, Manchester, on Wednesday November 27.
The RLIF International Player of the Year award shortlists are as follows:
Player of the Year
Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants and Scotland)
Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs and Australia)
Sonny Bill Williams (Sydney Roosters and New Zealand)
Rookie of the Year
George Burgess (South Sydney and England)
Boyd Cordner (Sydney Roosters and Australia)
Anthony Milford (Canberra Raiders and Samoa)
Coach of the Year
Michael Maguire (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Trent Robinson (Sydney Roosters)
Shaun Wane (Wigan Warriors)
Referee of the Year
Ben Cummins (Australia)
Shayne Hayne (Australia)
Richard Silverwood (England)