Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield has shrugged off a storm of controversy after he was named the world’s greatest player.
Sinfield is only the fourth Englishman to win the Golden Boot award, presented by Rugby League World magazine, but his victory has caused fury in Australia.
Critics have pointed to the fact the magazine did not name Sinfield in their international team of the year and he was not included in the Super League Dream Team or nominated for the Man of Steel prize.
The Australian reaction was summed up by Phil Rothfield, executive sports editor at the Aussie Daily and Sunday Telegraph, who demanded “an investigation” into the Golden Boot voting, claiming it has “lost all credibility”.
But the Leeds man said he is “not bothered” by the bitter reaction Down Under.
“I don’t pick the award,” Sinfield told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “I just try to do my job and to get recognised for it is fantastic.
“Like everything, people have an opinion. When do you ever have a 100 per cent winner? There are always differences of opinion and I’m not going to please everybody.
“I am surprised to win it and I feel very fortunate, because there are some great players out there.”
Sinfield led Rhinos to the World Club Challenge and Super League titles in 2012 and was named England captain for the autumn internationals against Wales and France.
The controversy stokes the fires ahead of this year’s World Cup, as well as next month’s World Club Challenge showdown between Rhinos and Australian champions Melbourne Storm, who had two players – Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk – on the Golden Boot shortlist.