Wigan Warriors star Harry Smith included in final shortlist for Golden Boot award

Wigan Warriors and England half-back Harry Smith has been included in the final shortlist for the men’s International Rugby League Golden Boot award.
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Smith, 23, helped guide Shaun Wane’s side to a 3-0 whitewash over Tonga during the historic first-ever series between the two international giants.

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The youngster could become only the sixth English player to receive the Golden Boot award, and the first since Tommy Makinson was crowned the best international player in 2018.

Harry Smith has been shortlisted for the IRL Golden Boot awardHarry Smith has been shortlisted for the IRL Golden Boot award
Harry Smith has been shortlisted for the IRL Golden Boot award
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Legend Andy Farrell was the last Wigan player to receive the award back in 2004.

Smith is up against Kiwis captain James Fisher-Harris, lock Joseph Tapine and Kangaroos prop Payne Haas, who are all in line to become the first running forward to win the IRL Golden Boot in 20 years – the last also being ex-Great Britain captain Farrell.

The men’s 2023 IRL Golden Boot shortlist of Fisher-Harris, Haas, Smith and Tapine was chosen by a panel comprising of Golden Cap recipients Adam Blair, James Graham, Darren Lockyer, Adrian Morley and Ruben Wiki, who have each played more than 50 internationals.

Meanwhile, London Roosters player and Wheels of Steel winner Lewis King is up for the wheelchair honour. England avenged their defeat to rivals France in Leeds with a 34-14 victory in Marseille last weekend.

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The winners of the 2023 IRL Golden Boot awards will be announced in early December.

IRL chair Troy Grant congratulated all the nominees, commenting: “The IRL Golden Boot is one of the game’s most prestigious awards and any of the nominated players would be a worthy winner.

“In recent weeks we have seen all three of last year’s World Cup winners – the Kangaroos, Jillaroos and England Wheelchair team – beaten, and this shows how closely contested the international game is.

“That is reflected in the nominations for the 2023 Golden Boot and there is no clear-cut candidate for any of the awards.

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“On behalf of the IRL, I would like to thank the panels of former greats of our game, and those who have made a significant contribution to the development of Wheelchair Rugby League, for their involvement in helping to choose the 2023 international player of the year.”