Ex-Wigan Warriors ace John Bateman on shortlist for Golden Boot

John Bateman has had a successful season for club and country
John Bateman has had a successful season for club and country

Former Wigan forward John Bateman is Great Britain's only representative on the shortlist for the 2019 Golden Boot, awarded by International Rugby League to the player of the year.

The Canberra second rower has two more matches to impress the judges and emulate the achievement of St Helens winger Tommy Makinson, who was the 2018 winner.

Bateman, who left Wigan a year ago, was named the NRL's best second-rower this season.

Other nominees include Tui Lolohea (Salford), who helped Tonga pull off shock wins over the Lions and Australia, and Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama (St Helens), who were on opposing teams in the 2019 Super League Grand Final.

The rest of the shortlist comprises Tonga's Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Tonga), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves of New Zealand, Australians Damian Cook and Payne Haas, and Fiji's Viliame Kikau and Brandon Wakeman.