Rugby League legends have slammed the integrity of the Golden Boot award, after little known Englishman Tommy Makinson was named the best player in the world.
Makinson made his Test debut in June and scored a hat-rick against New Zealand on Sunday to help England win the series.
The 27-year-old defeated Australian and NSW Blues fullback James Tedesco, New Zealand captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and England forward Elliott Whitehead for the award handed to the best international player in the game.
NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler labelled the decision “ridiculous”, while former Australian Test star Greg Alexander said the decision “shatters the integrity of the award”.
“I can’t believe the best player in the world is a person I’ve never seen play,” Fittler told NRL.com.
“I watched the highlights of the England game yesterday and just saw him score a couple of tries.
“That’s all I’ve ever seen of him and he’s the best player in the world? I find it ridiculous.”
Alexander queried the criteria for the award.
“People who don’t know what the criteria is, they just look at this and say ‘the Golden Boot has always gone to the player who has had the most outstanding season in total,” Alexander told Fox Sports.
“People who don’t know the criteria will think he’s been judged the best rugby league player this year out of Super League, NRL, State of Origin, Test match footy. They just think the Golden Boot winner goes to the best player of the season in total so this bloke must be the best player of 2018.”
Both Fittler and Alexander agreed James Tedesco should have been awarded the award for a stellar season that saw him win the State of Origin, premiership with the Sydney Roosters and make his national debut for Australia.
“James Tedesco was the best NSW player in another series that went down to the wire,” Alexander said.
“Game 1 in Origin was one of the best individual performances in Origin history.
“He was fullback for the Roosters who won the comp, he had an outstanding club season, fullback for Australia and won man of the match against Tonga.
“Dallin had a terrific season, as did Elliot Whitehead, but James Tedesco was a standout.”