The Board of International Rugby League (IRL) has decided not to award the Golden Boot for 2021. The decision was taken after consultation with the Women and Girls Advisory Group and the Wheelchair Advisory Group.
The Golden Boot is awarded annually to the player, adjudged by an independent panel, who has excelled in senior international matches. There is a Golden Boot awarded to each of the best men’s, women’s and wheelchair players.
The primary reason for deciding not to award in 2021 is that the Golden Boot is the most prestigious individual award available to international players and, due to the prevailing circumstances around travel and COVID-19 restrictions, a significant number of members have been unable to play international fixtures.
Commenting on the decision, IRL Chair Troy Grant is keen to highlight the efforts of those nations who have been able to play in 2021. “It is typical of the resilience of people in rugby league that, despite the most onerous of conditions, some countries have managed to play international fixtures. I thank them and praise them for their truly remarkable efforts.
“The Golden Boot is the most prestigious individual award available to international players and to exclude such a large proportion of the membership seems unfair. However, it is important that the players who did manage to play in 2020 and 2021, are recognised formally and have their opportunity to be considered, therefore the best solution appears to be to carry forward their performances into 2022.”