Johnathan Thurston : NRL Rugby League

Johnathan Thurston has become only the third man to win Rugby League World’s coveted Golden Boot on two occasions.

The champion Kangaroos, Queensland and North Queensland Toyota Cowboys five-eighth edged out England forward Sam Burgess to follow up his success in 2011.

Thurston caught the attention of the 13-man voting panel with his man-of-the-match performance in the World Cup final win over New Zealand, completing an outstanding series for the 30-year-old.

It was one of four man-of-the-match awards he received during the tournament.

Thurston also took the Cowboys to the NRL finals for a record third straight season and helped continued Queensland’s stunning run of eight successive State of Origin series wins in 2013.

“We asked the panel to consider performances in international matches first and foremost, and given his outstanding World Cup campaign, Jonathan Thurston has emerged as a deserving winner,” Rugby League World editor Gareth Walker said.

“Ever since breaking onto the international scene almost eight years ago, Thurston has been at the very forefront of the sport at its highest level.

“During that time he has also collected a host of individually honours domestically, and is at the very centre of Queensland’s stunning run of wins.

“When Rugby League World contacted Thurston to tell him of his award, he spoke about being privileged to play alongside a host of players who will be remembered as greats of our sport.

“It is clear that after joining Andrew Johns and Darren Lockyer in an exclusive club of people to win the Golden Boot twice, Jonathan Thurston will also be among those.”

Thurston is one of nine Australian players in the World XIII selected by Rugby League World, alongside two Englishman and two New Zealanders.

However no player from Super League made the team, with England’s Burgess and James Graham both plying their trade in the NRL.

GOLDEN BOOT VOTING 2013
1 Johnathan Thurston – 41 points
2 Sam Burgess – 34 points
3 Sonny Bill Williams – 23 points
4 Cameron Smith – 13 points
5 Danny Brough – 5 points
6 Cooper Cronk – 1 point

WORLD XIII 2013
1 Billy Slater (Australia)
2 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (New Zealand)
3 Greg Inglis (Australia)
4 Jamie Lyon (Australia)
5 Brett Morris (Australia)
6 Johnathan Thurston (Australia)
7 Cooper Cronk (Australia)
8 Sam Burgess (England)
9 Cameron Smith (Australia)
10 James Graham (England)
11 Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand)
12 Greg Bird (Australia)
13 Paul Gallen (Australia)