Premiership winning captain named RLIF International Player of the Year

Cameron Smith

Just when his year could not get any better, after winning the NRL Premiership, the Origin series with QLD, and the one-off test against New Zealand, all as captain – Cameron Smith has been named the RLIF International Player of the Year.

The award is the highest individual honour one can receive in the NRL, with Smith also winning Hooker of the Year, and was one of seven Australians to be named in the International Team of the Year – with his Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy named Coach of the Year.

Australian referee Ben Cummins also received an award, winning the Col Peace Medal as the best-performed referee in the NRL – resulting in his being named the RLIF International Referee of the Year.

Mr Scott Carter, the Rugby League International Federation Chairman, praised the standards that international rugby league have set, as well as the strength of the Kangaroos side.

“As we look forward to the Rugby League World Cup in the northern hemisphere in 2013, you can’t help but be excited at the talent that will be on display,” Mr Carter said.

“The strength of the Australian side at the moment has certainly been reflected in the International Team of the Year and while the Kangaroos will start the World Cup as warm favourites, the competition that exists in international Rugby League will ensure the tournament will be as fascinating as it was in 2008, when New Zealand were crowned the World Champions.”

The RLIF International Player of the Year award winners are:

International Player of the Year – Cameron Smith (Aus)

International Coach of the Year – Craig Bellamy (Aus)

International Rookie of the Year – Shaun Johnson (NZ)

INTERNATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR

Fullback: Ben Barba (Aus)

Winger: Ryan Hall (Eng)

Centre: Jamie Lyon (Aus)

Five-Eighth: Johnathan Thurston (Aus)

Halfback: Cooper Cronk (Aus)

Lock: Paul Gallen (Aus)

Second Row: Nate Myles (Aus)

Prop: James Graham (Eng)

Hooker: Cameron Smith (Aus)

Competing Nations’ Players of the Year:

Canada: Tony Felix

Cook Islands: Tinirau Arona

Czech Republic: David Lahr

Fiji: Sisa Waqa

France: Vincent Duport

Germany: Mawuli Amefia

Ireland: Liam Finn

Italy: Fabrizio Ciaurro

Jamaica: Fabion Turner

Japan: Noriyuki Tainaka

Malta: Clifford Debattista

Morocco: Souhail Ait Alla

Lebanon: Danny Barakat

Papua New Guinea: Dion Aye

Russia: Sergey Konstantinov

Samoa: Tony Puletua

Scotland: John Duffy

Serbia: Stefan Nedeljkovic

South Africa: Stevie Meyer

Sweden: Tobias Rorstam

Tonga: Brent Kite

USA: Michael Garvey

Wales: Rhodri Lloydd

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