Sam Burgess missed out on the Golden Boot honour as the planet’s best player yet again – although he gained some consolation after being named in the ‘World 13’ alongside Leeds Rhinos’ Ryan Hall
Dewsbury-born Burgess – who joined Bath Rugby Union Club after inspiring South Sydney Rabbitohs to the NRL title – and Hall, have both been selected in Rugby League World magazine’s global dream team, along with fellow Englishman James Graham, of Canterbury Bulldogs.
Burgess was runner-up in the Golden Boot voting for a second successive year, coming behind New Zealand half-back Shaun Johnson this time around.
The Golden Boot’s panel of 13 judges included former winner Garry Schofield, ex-Great Britain coach Brian Noble and past Kiwi internationals Robbie Hunter-Paul and Daryl Halligan, as well as representatives from Australia and France.
Each judge was asked to hand five points to their leading contender – from a six-man shortlist – with three going to their second choice and one to their third.
Johnson finished with 44 points, Burgess 23, Graham 18, Greg Inglis 17, Johnathan Thurston 13 points and Jesse Bromwich two.
The World 13 (by playing position): 1 Greg Inglis, 2 Ryan Hall, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Dean Whare, 5 Manu Vatuvei, 6 Johnathan Thurston, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 James Graham, 9 Cameron Smith, 10 Jesse Bromwich, 11 Kevin Proctor, 12 Simon Mannering, 13 Sam Burgess.
The draw for the first round of the 2015 Tetley’s Challenge Cup will take place at Wembley Stadium on Thursday, January 8 (from 12.45pm).