England and St Helens star Tommy Makinson will be a contender for the winning the 27th Rugby League Golden Boot, following Sunday’s Test match in Liverpool, when he scored a hat-trick of tries and was made man of the match after previously having made the ten-player long list.
On Sunday the long list was reduced to four players, with Makinson and Kiwi captain Dallin Watene Zelezniak making the cut, alongside England forward Elliott Whitehead and Australian fullback James Tedesco.
Only four English players have picked up the prestigious Golden Boot since it was inaugurated at the end of 1984.
There have also been four New Zealanders, although Hugh McGahan shared the award with Australia’s Peter Sterling in 1987.
The remaining winners have been Australian.
Should Makinson be successful, he would be the first winger to win the award.
The Rugby League International Federation now owns the Golden Boot, after they purchased it from League Publications Ltd, the publishers of this newspaper and Rugby League World magazine, two years ago.
The RLIF have changed the main criteria for the awarding of the Boot. It is now awarded to the player judged to be the best in international matches.
Previously, it was given to the player deemed to be the best in the world for that calendar year, with all domestic and representative matches taken into account.
One winner, Brett Kenny in 1985, won the Boot without playing a single international.
The other members of the long list were Kiwi Shaun Johnson, Tonga’s Jason Taumalolo and Sio Siua Taukeiaho and the Australians Valentine Holmes and Boyd Cordner.
Only Johnson is a previous winner, having won it in 2014.
For the first time, there will be a women’s Golden Boot. The candidates are the winner of the inaugural Woman of Steel award in the UK, Georgia Roche, the New Zealander Honey Hireme and Australians Isabelle Kelly, Ali Brigginshaw and Brittany Breayley.
The panel comprises journalists from both hemispheres – Martyn Sadler, Brad Walter, Dave Woods, Steve Mascord and Joanna Lester.
The Golden Boots will be awarded at Elland Road on Wednesday evening during the Hall of Fame dinner.
Previous winners of the Golden Boot: 1984 Wally Lewis, 1985 Brett Kenny, 1986 Garry Jack, 1987 Hugh McGahan & Peter Sterling (shared), 1988 Ellery Hanley, 1989 Mal Meninga, 1990 Garry Schofield, 1991-98 not awarded, 1999 Andrew Johns, 2000 Brad Fittler, 2001 Andrew Johns, 2002 Stacey Jones, 2003 Darren Lockyer, 2004 Andrew Farrell, 2005 Anthony Minichiello, 2006 Darren Lockyer, 2007 Cameron Smith, 2008 Billy Slater, 2009 Greg Inglis, 2010 Benji Marshall, 2011 Johnathan Thurston, 2012 Kevin Sinfield, 2013 Johnathan Thurston, 2014 Shaun Johnson, 2015 Johnathan Thurston, 2016 Cooper Cronk, 2017 Cameron Smith.