Taukeiaho and Lolohea lead shortlist for Golden Boot award after Tonga’s win over Australia

Off-contract Sydney Roosters prop Sio Siua Taukeiaho is among the nominees for the Golden Boot, awarded to rugby league’s best international player for 2019.

International Rugby League (IRL) will award the Golden Boot, in the men’s and women’s games, to the players adjudged to have been the best performed in full international matches during 2019.

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Tonga have two players at the top of the current list with Roosters prop Taukeiaho and Tui Lolohea recognised for their performances in the Oceania Cup, which includes the historic victory over Australia, and the Great Britain Lions games.

Taumalolo's historic speech

Taumalolo’s historic speech

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New Zealand also have two contenders in fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and front- rower Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, both of whom have excelled throughout the year. Kangaroos hooker Damien Cook has caught the eye of the judges while teenage prop Payne Haas has received a nomination after his maiden international campaign.

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Jubilant FT scenes for Tonga

Jubilant FT scenes for Tonga

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John Bateman is Great Britain’s sole representative while Fiji have three players in Viliame Kikau, Kevin Naiqama and Brandon Wakeman. The list of nominees will be completed once the final Test matches of 2019 are played, before the winners are announced.

In the race for the women’s award, Australian Jillaroos pair Jess Sergis and Ali Brigginshaw have been nominated.

Aussie's frantic final set

Aussie’s frantic final set

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NOMINATED PLAYERS SO FAR:

Men John Bateman (Great Britain) Damien Cook (Australia) Payne Haas (Australia) Viliame Kikau (Fiji) Tui Lolohea (Tonga) Kevin Naiqama (Fiji) Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Tonga) Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (New Zealand) Jared Waerea-HargreavesNew Zealand) Brandon Wakeham (Fiji)

Women Ali Brigginshaw (Australia) Jessica Sergis (Australia)

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