CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 03: Cameron Smith of Australia passes during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between Australian Kangaroos and France at Canberra Stadium on November 3, 2017 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

The most prestigious individual accolade in International Rugby League is set to be awarded at the Gala Finals luncheon on Wednesday, November 29 in Brisbane when the Rugby League International Federation will present the iconic RLIF Golden Boot.

The Golden Boot recognises outstanding performance in, and contribution to international Rugby League, and is nominated by a panel comprising international coaches and the media.

Six players from the Australian team, three England players and one each from Fiji, Lebanon, New Zealand and Tonga were nominated by the panel which has been whittled down to a four-man shortlist based on those receiving the most nominations.

The shortlist is as follows:

Cameron Smith (Australia)

Jason Taumalolo (Tonga)

Jermaine McGillvary (England)

Suliasi Vunivalu (Fiji)

The nominating panel comprised Kangaroos Coach Mal Meninga, Scotland Coach Steve McCormack together with journalists Steve Mascord and Martyn Sadler.

Cameron Smith, 34 has led the undefeated Australian team with distinction winning his 50th cap for the Kangaroos during 2017. Smith who this season led Melbourne Storm to the Premiership has been an ever present during Australia’s World Cup campaign converting 24 goals and surpassed Clive Churchill’s record for most consecutive Tests with his 36th Australian match in a row in the group game in Canberra.

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North Queensland star Jason Taumalolo has been the talisman for Tonga’s remarkable World Cup campaign. Taumalolo, 24, has led the Mate Ma’a from the front with impressive performances in their wins over Scotland, Samoa, New Zealand and Lebanon and became the first forward in NRL history to run for over 5,000 metres in a season during 2017.

Winger Jermaine McGillvary, 29, has had an outstanding World Cup campaign scoring 7 tries for England on their way to the World Cup Final. The Huddersfield Giants star is appearing in his first World Cup and is England’s leading metre maker.

Fiji’s Suliasi Vunivalu is the tournament’s second top try scorer crossing the whitewash 9 times as Fiji have scorched a path to the semi-finals. Vunivalu, 21 made his international debut against Tonga in 2017 and the Melbourne Storm winger has been the stand out player in the Bati’s campaign.

The RLIF Chief Executive David Collier commented:

“The RLIF is grateful for the panel in providing these nominations for the shortlist which represents all four nations competing in the World Cup Semi-Finals. It is an outstanding list which will produce a worthy winner of the Golden Boot when it is awarded at the Finals lunch.”



  1. The winner must be Taumalolo. He was the FIRST forward in NRL HISTORY to run for over 5,000 metres in a season during 2017. Just amazing!!!

    • But I thought it was predetermined that Cam Smith is meant to get all the records and accolades? He even ran out ahead if Cronk for Cronk’s last home game and gets to decide whether or not to have a self-imposed media ban. He is also the only player in the history if the game to referee the games he plays. He is just THAT important.

      • I agree completely!

        He is like the Oracle of the NRL. The omnipresent and all knowing 😂😂😂

        Cam Smith to win is a no brainer!

        He will even have Tasmania named after him. So I’ve heard! 🤣

  2. the conspiratists have determined that Cam Smith will be the golden boot – captain Storm to premiership, Captained Qld to SOO glory and Kangaroos to RLWC glory whilst all the while refereeing each game, being CEO of the NRL and RLPA and receiving free kitchens and boats.

  3. billy boooiyeee! you were conspicuous by your absence in the Fifita try/no try debate. Finally breaking your silence I see and taking a swing in the process. Someone had to take the alternate side of the argument or it would have been a quiet weekend on ZT. Happy to oblige in this instance though someone else can do the work next time around.

    Swing away billy I don’t mind and I won’t cry like some when they are backed into a corner and have no argument to fight their way out, I better finish up now, someone is counting my words and I don’t want to hurt their feelings again. So humour is off the menu too now billy or are you a re Cam Smith fan like MW47? Sorry to all those I have offended for expressing the counter argument at times but it just makes things more interesting I find.

    Think outside the box gang, don’t just be lemmings and play follow the leader.

    • haha mate – i was just having a light hearted dig. I saw all the commentary and thought i would have a fish and see what i got – think i got two big marlins this time round 🙂
      i didnt get involved in that argument/discussion as i hadnt seen anything apart from limited media, so couldnt make an informed comment.
      However, i am of the view that there are no conspiracies just poor execution of decision-making which may be sub-conciously impacted by other considerations.

      • Two tired marlins billy. Been fighting the good fight all weekend before we “threw” the hook. Would have been flat otherwise as nothing much else was happening. 😉

        Interested in which side of the fence you are on though:

        The Fifita “try”:

        1. Should have gone to the bunker (YES/NO)?
        2. Was a try or a loose carry?

        Re conspiracies, the NRL does not have the brains or the capacity to orqanise such a thing successfully and if it were possible someone would have talked. Interesting no one on the other side of the argument mentioned that. Bahahahahahaha

        Still there ARE patterns to the inconsistency so it is not random. When I mentioned that mighty just wanted to call me names in Geek! (Apophenia). Still don’t know what that means but it was so random I was beginning to see a pattern. Bahahahahahahahahaha

      • re: fifita try, as i said i have seen very little of the vision apart from media grabs, so am unable to make a call as to whether it was loose carry, a strip or a try.
        Should it have gone to the bunker? Absolutely – wherever there is doubt, whenever a referee or touchie is unsighted (touchies are always unsighted imho), or whenever the result of a game is on the line, then it should be referred to the bunker. I dont have an issue with any (potential) try scoring opportunity being reviewed by the bunker. Most reviews take 30 secs or less to review and id rather the right decision than a wrong one.
        Too many times you see the ref ruling try or no try then see it on replay and ask why/how did they arrive at that decision (as example only, storm v eels semi-final, try to storm awarded as try despite conjecture).
        I dont really care if all tries or no tries are sent to bunker….as long as the competence is in the chair and a process is followed to get the right result.

      • Omg , billy you can’t be a Parra fan that just makes to much sense! You sly ole seagull ,😂 your secrets safe with me 😂

        • “You sly ole seagull”. Steady on MW, no need for such a scathing personal attack, he was just stating his opinion.

  4. Iv watched the replay so many times an still 50/50.In saying that my first instinct was no try.In saying that 2 things are obvious.Firstly it should of gone upstairs without a doubt.Secondly Fafita needs to go learn some ball security. In all i dont think the reffing has been at all bad in the WC.As some have eluded to maybe all trys go to the bunker and I think one reff would be way to go

    • i’m not convinced that one ref is the way to go – across the whole tournament the ruck was a mess, play the balls were slow, players laid all over the tackled player for too long, defence was offside far more than with two refs – all in the all the game was too slow for my liking and too many got away with “murder” in the ruck.
      All because one referee couldnt police either appropriately.

      • Billy 1 ref or 2 the ruck is a mess , there’s no consistency in enforcing rules whether it’s correct play the ball, markers or the wrestle , the game is focused on entertainment because it’s emphasis is speed resulting in the garbage we see every game ,

      • No, no, no, no, no billy… NO REFS! Anything goes!! The good old days are back again. #BringBackTheBiff. Let’s go the whole hog and make it a TRUE Gladiatorial sport and just to make it interesting for added motivation the winner takes the combined match payments of BOTH teams and the losers go home with nothing. Hahahahaha I would pay to see THAT! 😉

    • “Fafita needs to go learn some ball security.”

      Spot on. Too many players run with the ball unsecured and never lock it away. Though risky Fifta also had time to transfer the ball to his left hand and fend with his right. These skills appear to have been lost. The only threat to Fifta at that point was on his right and he was asleep to it.

      Through all my criticisms of this I have not given credit to Elliot Whitehead. What an amazing heads up play. It is because of THAT one play ultimately that England are in the Final (even though Bennett no doubt will take the credit anyway).

      Regardless, the NRL need to look clarifying the rules over the off-season. Particularly at the stripping rule, both one on one and two man and also at what constitutes a loose carry. The two man tackle rule was introduced stop two players combining to dispossess a player of the ball. This does NOT include if one of these two players is tackling around the legs or hanging on to a jersey or has their “pinky” touching the man with the ball for goodness sake! it’s a mess, clean it up Greenberg!

      • Its so frustrating watching games week in week out and see players time an time again losing the ball from loose carries and recieving a penalty.I understand the NRL wants the game faster and more offloads but if its ruin the fabric of the game and to be honest its not a better spectacle.To often we see forwards thinking about the offload before hitting the line.To many forwards seem to think they should be halves.I can think of numerous forwards from yesteryear that would kill it today.Cant say the same about many forwards today killing it in yeteryear

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