Joey Manu has taken out the 2022 IRL Golden Boot award, with his efforts for New Zealand across the year seeing the Roosters star triumph over a host of rivals.
The 26-year-old, who has continued to prove himself as one of the sport’s best players regardless of what position he plays, was integral in the Kiwis’ run to the semi-final stage of the Rugby League World Cup.
Manu ran for over 300 metres in all five of his appearances in the RLWC, while running for a record-breaking 401 metres in the mid-season Test match against Tonga.
The freakish outside back becomes the eighth Kiwi to receive the award, joining the likes of Benji Marshall, Stacey Jones and Shaun Johnson.
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New Zealand star Raecene McGregor won the Women’s Golden Boot, while Sebastien Bechara took out the Wheelchair Golden Boot.
“The IRL Golden Boot is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in rugby league, and recognises performances at international level,” IRL chairman Troy Grant said.
“In the past it has been won by some of the greatest players to have played the game, such as Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga, Ellery Hanley, Andy Farrell, Peter Sterling, Andrew Johns, Benji Marshall, Stacey Jones, Darren Lockyer, Johnathon Thurston and Cameron Smith.
“Now Joey, Raecene and Sebastien join them after each producing a series of outstanding performances for their nations, from the mid-season internationals to the World Cup.
“On behalf of the IRL, I would like to congratulate Joey, Raecene and Sebastien, as well as the players who were selected on the short lists for the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Golden Boot awards.
“In each case, the stand-out performances of the winner in the mid-season Test gave them an edge over other contenders coming into the World Cup, which may have helped to decide the awards.
“I would also like to thank all who helped participate in the judging process, including giants of the international game, Cameron Smith, Honey Hireme-Smiler, James Graham, Karen Murphy and Ruben Wiki.”
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Manu held off the likes of Jarome Luai, Josh Addo-Carr and Victor Radey for the award after the shortlist was announced prior to the event in Manchester.