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Marshall vying for second Golden Boot

Published: 7:02AM Wednesday November 02, 2011 Source: ONE Sport

Benji Marshall is in line for the top title while four of his Four Nations Kiwi team-mates are also short-listed for positional accolades at the Rugby League International Federation International Player of the Year Awards dinner at the historic Tower of London tomorrow.

Kiwi captain Marshall (Wests Tigers), the 2010 Golden Boot winner, is vying with Melbourne's Australian internationals Billy Slater and Cameron Smith for the International Player of the Year award.

Manly's Kieran Foran is finalist for Standoff of the Year along with Marshall while Jason Nightingale is in the running for the Winger of the Year, Wests Tigers-bound Adam Blair (Melbourne) for Prop of the Year and Thomas Leuluai (Wigan) and Issac Luke (South Sydney) for Hooker of the Year.

Melbourne's Kiwi winger Matt Duffie, ruled out of the Four Nations after making his debut in this year's Anzac Test, is one of the three finalists for International Rookie of the Year.

Beaten NRL grand finalists the Warriors have two finalists - James Maloney (standoff) and Feleti Mateo (second rower) - but the club's 2011 Player of the Year Simon Mannering is a surprising omission. He hasn't missed a game this year, playing all 28 NRL games plus the Anzac Test against the Kangaroos and the two internationals against Australia last month.

The two winning coaches of the Super League and NRL grand finals Brian McDermott (Leeds Rhinos) and Des Hasler (Manly Sea Eagles) are shortlisted for Coach of the Year alongside Craig Bellamy (Melbourne Storm).

Apart from Duffie the shortlist for International Rookie of the Year includes Australians Jharal Yow Yeh and Jamal Idris. Rookies are deemed to be players who were under 21 at the start of the voting period - October 4, 2010 to October 8, 2011 - and who made their full international debut in that time. No Super League players met the criteria for 2011 Rookie of the Year.

The massive depth of talent on both sides of the world is illustrated in the shortlists for International Team of the Year, which features nine positions.

The RLIF International Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Team of the Year awards are determined by a secret ballot of a 20-strong selection panel, 10 from each hemisphere comprising former players and coaches, journalists and broadcasters.

England and Australia are represented in the shortlist for Referee of the Year, which features current Gillette Four Nations referees Phil Bentham (England) plus Australians Matt Cecchin and Tony Archer.

The RLIF will also announce the 22 winners of the Nations' Players of the Year and make a special presentation, the 2011 Spirit of Rugby League Award, to an individual who is deemed to have made a significant contribution to the game in their lifetime.

The shortlists for the 2011 RLIF International Player of the Year awards in full are as follows:

Rookie of the Year: Matt Duffie (Melbourne Storm and New Zealand), Jamal Idris (Canterbury Bulldogs and Australia), Jharal Yow Yeh (Brisbane Broncos and Australia).
Referee of the Year: Tony Archer (Australia), Phil Bentham (England), Matt Cecchin (Australia).
Coach of the Year: Craig Bellamy (Melbourne Storm), Des Hasler (Manly Sea Eagles), Brian McDermott (Leeds Rhinos).
Fullback of the Year: Matt Bowen (North Queensland Cowboys), Brett Hodgson (Warrington Wolves), Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm), Brett Stewart (Manly Sea Eagles), Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors).
Winger of the Year: Nathan Merritt (South Sydney), Joel Monaghan (Warrington Wolves), Jason Nightingale (St George Illawarra), Akuila Uate (Newcastle Knights), Jharal Yow Yeh (Brisbane Broncos).
Centre of the Year: George Carmont (Wigan Warriors), Matt Cooper (St George Illawarra), Justin Hodges (Brisbane Broncos), Jamie Lyon (Manly Sea Eagles), Willie Tonga (North Queensland Cowboys).
Standoff of the Year: Rangi Chase (Castleford Tigers), Kieran Foran (Manly Sea Eagles), Darren Lockyer (Brisbane Broncos), James Maloney (Vodafone Warriors), Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers).
Scrumhalf of the Year: Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly Sea Eagles), Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm), Scott Dureau (Catalan Dragons), Jonny Lomax (St Helens), Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys).
Prop of the Year: Adam Blair (Melbourne Storm), Petero Civoniceva (Penrith Panthers), Keith Galloway (Wests Tigers), James Graham (St Helens), Matt Scott (North Queensland).
Hooker of the Year: Thomas Leuluai (Wigan Warriors), Issac Luke (South Sydney), Michael Monaghan (Warrington Wolves), James Roby (St Helens), Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm).
Second row of the Year: Feleti Mateo (Vodafone Warriors), Steve Menzies (Catalan Dragons), Tariq Sims (North Queensland Cowboys), Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos), Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves).
Loose forward of the Year: Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sharks), Luke Lewis (Penrith Panthers), Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan Warriors), Glenn Stewart (Manly Sea Eagles), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos).
Player of the Year: Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers), Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm), Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm).