Ex-Leeds Rhinos stand-off Tui Lolohea could be named world's best player

Former Leeds Rhinos player Tui Lolohea is a leading contender for international rugby league's Golden Boot award.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 12:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th November 2019, 12:12 pm
Tui Lolohea in action for Leeds Rhinos against Wakefield Trinity. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The men's and women's awards will go to the players judged by a media panel to have put in the best performances in full international matches in 2019.

The winners will be announced once the final scheduled games for the year are complete, but Lolohea is among the top contenders following his displays for Tonga in the Oceania Cup - including last weekend's win over Australia - and the recent victory against Great Britain Lions.

Lolohea began last season with Rhinos, but was offloaded to Salford Red Devils in June as part of a deal which saw Robert Lui join Leeds.

His Tonga teammate Sio Siua Taukeiaho is also in contention, along with New Zealand's Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Australian duo Damian Cook and Payne Haas.

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Canberra Raiders' former Bradford Bulls and Wigan Warriors forward John Bateman is the only Great Britain representative on the current list, though the Lions have two games remaining this year.

Fiji players Viliame Kikau, Kevin Naiqama and Brandon Wakeman have all received enough votes to put them in the frame.

In the race for the women’s award the stand-out performances so far have been from the Australian Jillaroos pair of Jess Sergis and Ali Brigginshaw.

England and the Papua New Guinea Orchids players could force their way into the reckoning during the two-match Test series which begins this weekend.