Johnathan Thurston has become only the third man to win Rugby League World’s coveted Gold Boot on two occasions.
The Australia and North Queensland Cowboys stand-off edged out England forward Sam Burgess to follow up his success in 2011.
Thurston caught the attention of the 13-man voting panel with his man-of-the-match performance in the World Cup final win over New Zealand, completing an outstanding series for the 30-year-old.
Thurston also took his club side the Cowboys to the NRL play-offs and helped continued Queensland’s stunning run of eight successive State of Origin series wins in 2013.
“We asked the panel to consider performances in international matches first and foremost, and given his outstanding World Cup campaign, Jonathan Thurston has emerged as a deserving winner,” Rugby League World editor Gareth Walker says.
“It was typical of him the way he orchestrated his Australian side superbly in the match that mattered most, though it should be noted that he was excellent for the entire competition.
“Ever since breaking onto the international scene almost eight years ago, Thurston has been at the very forefront of the sport at its highest level. During that time he has also collected a host of individually honours domestically, and is at the very centre of Queensland’s stunning run of wins.
“When Rugby League World contacted Thurston to tell him of his award, he spoke about being privileged to play alongside a host of players who will be remembered as greats of our sport.
“It is clear that after joining Andrew Johns and Darren Lockyer in an exclusive club of people to win the Golden Boot twice, Jonathan Thurston will also be among those.”
Thurston is one of nine Australian players in the World XIII selected by Rugby League World, alongside two Englishman and two New Zealanders.
However no player from Super League made the team, with England’s Burgess and James Graham both plying their trade in the NRL.
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GOLDEN BOOT VOTING 2013
1 Johnathan Thurston – 41 points
2 Sam Burgess – 34 points
3 Sonny Bill Williams – 23 points
4 Cameron Smith – 13 points
5 Danny Brough – 5 points
6 Cooper Cronk – 1 point
HOW IT WORKS
Each of the 13 judges were asked to vote for three players, giving their main contender five points, their second three points and their third one.
WORLD XIII 2013
1 Billy Slater (Australia)
2 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (New Zealand)
3 Greg Inglis (Australia)
4 Jamie Lyon (Australia)
5 Brett Morris (Australia)
6 Johnathan Thurston (Australia)
7 Cooper Cronk (Australia)
8 Sam Burgess (England)
9 Cameron Smith (Australia)
10 James Graham (England)
11 Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand)
12 Greg Bird (Australia)
13 Paul Gallen (Australia)
HOW IT WORKS
As with the Golden Boot, the 13 judges were asked to select a top three in each position, with their first choice earning five points, their second three, and their third one.
GOLDEN BOOT PANEL 2013
League Express NRL correspondent and former Sydney Telegraph reporter
French Rugby League commentator for Bein Sport
Editor of Rugby League Week magazine in Australa
The Independent’s Rugby League writer and Rugby League World columnist
Former New Zealand international winger turned television pundit
Ex-New Zealand playmaker now a BBC pundit and Rugby League World columnist
Rugby League World’s NRL correspondent and leading Australian journalist
Ex-Great Britain boss now Salford coach and pundit with the BBC and Premier Sports
Editor of League Express and Chairman of League Publications
Former Golden Boot winner and Great Britain stand-off turned media pundit
Australian commentator who worked for Premier during the World Cup
Sydney Morning Herald Rugby League writer
BBC and Premier Sports commentator
PAST GOLDEN BOOT WINNERS
1984: Wally Lewis
1985: Brett Kenny
1986: Garry Jack
1987: Hugh McGahan & Peter Sterling
1988: Ellery Hanley
1989: Mal Meninga
1990: Garry Schofield
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