Competition for Golden Boot hots up with addition of England and New Zealand stars

ENGLAND trio John Bateman, Elliott Whitehead and Tommy Makinson have been added to the long-list for the 2018 Rugby League International Federation Golden Boot.

England's John Bateman tries to break through the New Zealand line at The KCOM Stadium. Picture: Dave Howarth/PA

The prestigious honour – awarded to the player who has produced the most outstanding performance in international games throughout the year – has been extended following the weekend’s games.

Wigan Warriors’ Bateman, back in his favoured second-row role, was outstanding during the 18-16 first Test win over New Zealand at Hull, as was Whitehead, his former Bradford Bulls team-mate who he joins at Canberra Raiders in 2019.

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St Helens winger Makinson, on his first Test start after a try-scoring debut against the Kiwis in June, also impressed. New Zealand stand-off Shaun Johnson – who won the Golden Boot in 2014 – and captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak have also been put under consideration following their own exploits in the tie.

RECOGNITION: New Zealand's Shaun Johnson tackles Jake Connor at the KCOM Stadium in vain on Saturday. Picture: Chris Mangnall/

They join a list that already includes Tonga’s Jason Taumololo and Sio Siua Taukeiaho as well as Australia’s Valentine Holmes, James Tedesco and Boyd Cordner.

A panel, drawn from rugby league media in both hemispheres, will meet again on Sunday to select the final shortlists ahead of the awards dinner at Elland Road, Leeds, next Wednesday.

Furthermore, Castleford Tigers’ Georgia Roche – the inaugural Woman of Steel winner – celebrates her England debut plus a nomination for the prestigious BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year by adding a nomination to be the first-ever Women’s Golden Boot.

Elsewhere, Championship club Featherstone Rovers have beaten off stiff competition to sign Australian second-row Brett Delaney from Leeds Rhinos on a two-year deal.

Huddersfield Giants have completed a deal for Canterbury Bulldogs half-back Matt Frawley, 23, on the same length of contract with Danny Brough expected to move on to Wakefield Trinity.

Huddersfield prop Nathan Mason, 25, has joined newly-promoted London Broncos until the end of 2020 after spending last season on loan at Leigh Centurions.

Former Wakefield winger Judah Mazive, 20, has extended his stay at York City Knights into 2019 having scored 16 tries in just 18 games during his debut season with the League 1 title winners.