Kiwi star Manu wins RL's Golden Boot

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 Kiwi star Manu wins RL's Golden Boot
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New Zealand duo Joey Manu and Racene McGregor capped stellar Rugby League World Cup campaigns by winning the men's and women's Golden Boot awards.


Manu, whose side crashed out of the semi-finals last weekend with a narrow 18-16 loss to Australia, has been a standout performer for the Kiwis despite playing out of position at fullback.

A panel comprising Ruben Wiki (NZ), James Graham (England) and Cameron Smith (Australia) had the casting vote on the award which ensured the Sydney Roosters centre took out the international game's top prize.

Manu was selected ahead of Samoa's Jarome Luai, Kangaroos winger Josh Addo-Carr and England duo Victor Radley and George Williams, who formed the five-man shortlist. 

The 26-year-old played in all five of New Zealand's World Cup games as well as the mid-season Test win over Tonga and clocked up more than 300 metres from the backfield.

Manu replaces fellow Kiwi Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who was the last recipient of the award in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was also named in the team of the men's tournament, which was dominated by Samoa with five inclusions.

Fellow finalists Australia had four players selected including Addo-Carr, who has 12 tries at the tournament.

Manu becomes the sixth Kiwi men's player to take out the gong, which only takes into account international performances and is awarded by the International Rugby League.

McGregor, who will play in this weekend's final against Australia, joined Manu in being crowned the world's best.

The Sydney Roosters playmaker became the first non-Australian recipient of the women's award since its inception in 2018.

England's Sebastien Bechara claimed the wheelchair version of the award.

MEN'S TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT: Joseph Manu (New Zealand), Brian To'o (Samoa), Tim Lafai (Samoa), Stephen Crichton (Samoa), Josh Addo-Carr (Australia), Jarome Luai (Samoa), George Williams (England), Tom Burgess (England), Edwin Ipape (Papua New Guinea), Junior Paulo (Samoa), Cameron Murray (Australia), Liam Martin (Australia), Victor Radley (England). Interchange: Harry Grant (Australia), Sunia Turuva (Fiji), Keaon Koloamatangi (Tonga), James Fisher-Harris (New Zealand).

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