World Cup honour roll: New Zealand double up on Golden Boot winners

New Zealand might have missed out on the men’s World Cup final but Kiwi superstar Joseph Manu has earned a fair consolation prize after he was named the men’s Golden Boot winner for international player of the year.

It was a banner evening for New Zealand, with halfback Raecene McGregor taking home the women’s award while England’s Sebastien Bechara claimed the wheelchair award.

It was a fitting reward for Manu, who was superb in each of the Kiwis’ matches through the tournament as well as their mid-season Test victory over Tonga.

“It’s definitely special. I’m truly honoured. Coming over here I didn’t really think about it, I was more focused on winning the World Cup but that didn’t happen for us,” Manu said.

“Just playing the game is what I love to do, ever since a young age I’ve been playing rugby league and that’s what I enjoy doing – playing with my best mates every weekend.

“That’s what paid off the most, playing for my nation, my country, representing my family. I’m proud to be from New Zealand. They always stick with me.”

The star of New Zealand’s run to the semifinals, where they were narrowly beaten by the Kangaroos, Manu outpointed Australia’s Josh Addo-Carr, Samoa’s Jarome Luai and England pair George Williams and Victor Radley to win the prestigious award.

The quintet were all named to the men’s team of the tournament alongside Papua New Guinea’s Edwin Ipape and Samoa’s Stephen Crichton, Brian To’o, Junior Paulo and Tim Lafai. Addo-Carr was joined in the side by teammates Liam Martin, Cameron Murray and Harry Grant.

McGregor still up for the Cup

Raecene McGregor has played conductor for the Kiwi Ferns in their run to the final.(Getty Images: Mike Egerton/PA Images)

McGregor’s World Cup dream is still alive with the Kiwi Ferns to take on Australia in Sunday morning’s (AEDT) final.

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