Thurston wins second Golden Boot
Australian half-back Johnathan Thurston has become only the third player to win Rugby League World's Gold Boot twice.
The North Queensland Cowboys and Queensland stand-off, who was man of the match in the Kangaroos' World Cup final win over New Zealand at Old Trafford in November, edged out England forward Sam Burgess to follow up his success in 2011.
The 30-year-old Thurston also caught the attention of the 13-man voting panel after guiding his club to the NRL play-offs and helping Queensland to an eighth successive State of Origin Series triumph.
Dual-code New Zealand international Sonny Bill Williams, who won the Rugby League International Federation's player of the year award, came third in the voting, with Australian captain Cameron Smith fourth and Huddersfield's Scotland captain and 2013 Man of Steel Danny Brough fifth.
"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 said.
"It was typical of 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 individual honours domestically and is at the very centre of Queensland's stunning run of wins."
Thurston joins fellow countrymen Andrew Johns and Darren Lockyer in an exclusive club of players to win the Golden Boot twice and 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.
2013 WORLD XIII: B Slater (Australia), R Tuivasa-Sheck (New Zealand), G Inglis (Australia), J Lyon (Australia), B Morris (Australia); J Thurston (Australia), C Cronk (Australia); S Burgess (England), C Smith (Australia), J Graham (England), S B Williams (New Zealand), G Bird (Australia), P Gallen (Australia).
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