Champion Toyota Cowboys and Australian five-eighth Johnathan Thurston is in line to win his second Golden Boot as rugby leagues best player of the year after making the short list of finalists released overnight.


The winner of the award in 2011, Thurston is one of six finalists after producing an outstanding Rugby League World Cup, which included four man-of-the-match awards, on top of another State of Origin series victory for Queensland and an NRL finals appearance for North Queensland.


The others short-listed by international journalists are Australian captain Cameron Smith and Dally M Medallist Cooper Cronk, Rugby League International Federation player of the year Sonny Bill Williams, England's Sam Burgess and Scotland's Danny Brough, who won the Super League player of the year award.


We feel that the short list accurately reflects the players that have made the biggest impact in 2013, primarily on the international scene, which is what the Golden Boot judges are asked to consider first and foremost," Rugby League World editor Gareth Walker said.


Each of those six players had outstanding World Cup campaigns and were vital in their side's respective performances during the tournament.


Further than that, each made a significant impact at domestic level during 2013, which will also be considered by the panel of judges."


Judges, chosen from international media representatives, are asked to vote for the Golden Boot and positional awards on a five-points, three-points, one-point basis.