England’s Tommy Makinson joins world elite by winning Golden Boot

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England’s Tommy Makinson joins world elite by winning Golden Boot

England wing Tommy Makinson has beaten out Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to be crowned the 2018 Golden Boot victor.

Australians, given the dominance of the Kangaroos at worldwide level, have generally won the award, with Makinson only the ninth non-Australian to win the Golden Boot in its 34-year history.

At the presentation dinner on Thursday morning (AEDT), Makinson beat England teammate Elliott Whitehead, Australian fullback James Tedesco and Kiwi skipper Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to the accolade.

The St Helens flyer is just the fifth England player to receive the award since 1984 and first since former captain Kevin Sinfield in 2012.

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The 27-year-old has had a fine season for club and country, including England's series victory against New Zealand.

"It is like I said after the game, where have you been hiding him?"

England head coach Wayne Bennett selected Makinson to plug the gap created by injury to record tryscorer Ryan Hall and admits he has been taken aback by his impact.

"It's something I'd like to experience - whether that'll be in a couple of years or not, who knows".

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Kelly scored twice for the Jillaroos as they won last year's women's World Cup in Australia, while also being recognised for her performance against New Zealand earlier this year.

Castleford and England loose forward Georgia Roche was among the nominees for the inaugural women's award but this went to Australia's Isabelle Kelly.

Gregory was a multiple Challenge Cup victor with Widnes and Wigan, Turner was captain of the all-conquering Wakefield team of the 1960s and Whiteley led his home-town club Hull to two Wembley finals, as well as enjoying Ashes-winning success as a player and coach.

"All three had stellar careers and quite rightly deserve their place in Rugby League's pantheon alongside the existing 25 members of the Hall of Fame".

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