World Golden Boot 2014: Sam Burgess could become third Englishman to win rugby league award after being nominated

Burgess is joined by England team-mate James Graham, New Zealand's Shaun Johnson and Jesse Bromwich and Australians Greg Inglis and Jonathan Thurston

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The Independent Online

Rugby union convert Sam Burgess is one of six men nominated for rugby league's World Golden Boot award.

Burgess last month wrapped up his league career with an NRL win with South Sydney, with the Dewsbury-born 25-year-old now learning the 15-a-side ropes with Bath.

The award, in association with Rugby League World magazine, is given to the player deemed to have been the best in the world during the year and Burgess' defection has not stopped him being put forward to win it, with he and James Graham hoping to become the second Englishman to win it in the last decade.

Former England captain Kevin Sinfield won it in 2012, with Andy Farrell - another who headed to union - the last before him in 2004.

Burgess was lauded for his bravery after the NRL final, having fractured his cheekbone a minute into the game but playing on to the end and winning the man of the match award in his final appearance.

The pair are joined on the list by New Zealand's Four Nations-winning duo Shaun Johnson and Jesse Bromwich and Australians Greg Inglis and Jonathan Thurston.

"These are the six players who we feel have had the biggest impact on the sport during 2014," Rugby League World editor Gareth Walker said.

"Sam Burgess, of course, was unavailable for the Four Nations due to his move to rugby union. But his contribution to South Sydney's NRL title win was considerable, not least in the Grand Final, when his man of the match display with a fractured cheekbone and eye socket was one of the most iconic rugby league performances of the modern era."

PA

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