Brad Fittler

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

“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.”

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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.”


  1. Here’s the thing. The award is based on each players individual 2 or 3 performances. It can be justified that he deserved it based on that. He did score 3 tries against the Kiwis at Anfield. But point is, there should simply be an award for the best player. The Dally M doesnt serve that purpose, because the voting system makes no sense. It massively favours a good player in a poor club. Thats how Brooks won HB of the year (good a season as he had) despite not being the best HB this year. If there was an RLIF award for the best player, with opinion-based voting rather than a game-by-game point system, I doubt there’d be this level of controversy.

    • Your an absolute joke roosta, what you said is exactly why Brooks won the HB of the year , a player who played and displayed great performance in a team not performing, isn’t that better than a halfback in a winning team? Brooks played great for most of the year even though his team was playing poorly, get with it idiot.

      • Alright penso stick it back in your pants. Potentially, yes a player playing well in a bad team could win the award for the best on the planet. But not nessasarily, and the Dally M massively provides players that fit that category with an advantage. By your logic, Nathan Brown is the best front rower in the game. I mean he played great all season for Parra didn’t he? Parra were about as poor as it gets this year. But I seriously doubt there are many people that consider Brown the best prop in the game.

        Same applies for Brooks, he isn’t as good a Halfback as Cronk, Reynolds, I’d say even Pearce (though I’m probably illusioned by personal bias). Even guys like Townsend, Johnston and Cherry Evans are at least on par with Brooks. Therein lies the fundamental problem with the Dally M system

        • Completely incorrect.

          Dally M points are awarded on the performance in a single game. The best player in that game gets the most points- END OF STORY.

          Comparing Brooks overall perceived ability versus others completely misses the point of the judging criteria & ultimately the Award itself.

  2. It’s a weird award. I think it was 2014 when Shaun Johnson won it? Nothing against the Kiwis but that one was a bit left field. There have been some very dodgy award winners in the NRL over the years – Dally M, SOO, and Churchill medal come to mind.

  3. I reckon Rugby League Week had the best and fairest method in finding out who was the best player every year, with every player getting points based on their weekly performance with a rating scale of between 1-10, rather than a 3-2-1 based system on the opinion of a judge for the top three players only. Many players get eights every week. Sometimes five or six players get ranked with an 8 but in the 3-2-1 scale only one player from those six players who scored an 8 battle it out for the one point on the sole judges discretion. The other 3 players who ranked an eight miss out on a point.

    So if a player is consistent every week scoring 7-7.5 and every now and then gets an 8 or 8.5 and sometimes 9 he could become the player of the year. But in the 3-2-1 scale for top three players he would be lucky o get ranked mid field as most times in his really consistent season scoring 7-7.5s in the 3-2-1 scale almost certainly every week he misses out on at least the 1 point as four or five other players are vying for that last point who also scored a 7-7.5💪😎👍

  4. Whilst I agree that the award is a bit of a joke for only taking a handful of games into consideration, Fittler’s reasoning is more of a joke. So Makinson doesn’t deserve the award because Fittler has never seen him play? If Fittler didn’t watch the England games, then his opinion on the subject means very little doesn’t it?

    • Has any body in Australia ever heard of him❓❔❓❔❓ I’ve been following League for many decades and its the first I’ve even read about him. If you look into his profile he is going on 28 plays wing and never represented England until this year playing three tests so far this year. He won a premiership with St Helens in 2014 on the wing.

      Fittler and Alexander are spot on. Does this finisher have more influence over a spine player to determine a games result. The answer is NO. He scored three tries in a test match and becomes the match winner of the world and given the Golden Boot. I’m with the Australian experts here with Fittler and Alexander who where both spine players and happen to know how to win test, Origin matches and grand finals by orchestrating the victories through sheer knowledge and brilliance in ability.

      After the Dodgiest result in Rugby League History to award the Golden Boot to a no name flanker. Then I for one will be for ever never interested in this shabby award again, in fact I have given it ” The Golden Boot”🥇en👢👢👢👢👢👢👢

  5. Maybe they need to change the name of the award to prevent confusion about what the award is actually for? golden boot indicates that it is the best player in the game, not the player who performed best on the international stage.
    relevancy people, relevancy.

  6. The Dally M’s are a joke. Inconsistency between judges is the biggest flaw, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and when you have a raft of different judges supposedly judging the sale sample it’s flawed before it even begins-but we’re all used to that…

    The Golden Boot has always been different and with the RLPA award they are the 2 awards that hold the most significance. The Dally M now is just a spectacle for tv and WAGS to compete with the Brownlow.

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