Farrell voted
best player in the world

Great Britain captain Andy Farrell became only the second British winner of the coveted Golden Boot.

Farrell, who will lead Britain out against Australia in Saturday's final at Elland Road, was named player of the year at last night's Gillette International Rugby League Awards dinner in Leeds.

The 29-year-old Farrell received the Golden Boot, which is presented annually by Rugby League World magazine, from the only previous British winner, Ellery Hanley, who lavished praise on the Wigan forward.

"I think Andy Farrell is phenomenal," said Hanley, the former Wigan legend who won the Golden Boot in 1989 and both captained and coached Great Britain.

"He had a great season, leading by example for his club and also for his country. If you want any player to lead from the front, it's got to be Andy Farrell. He's deserved all his accolades tonight."

Farrell, who also added the forward-of-the-year award to his prestigious 2004 Super League Man of Steel title, played down his individual achievements.

"It's always nice to win awards but there is no way you can take them all for yourself," said Farrell, who pipped Australia's veteran prop Shane Webcke to both awards.

"Rugby league is a team sport and winning team trophies is the main thing. I'd swap all my awards for a win at the weekend."

Farrell has not missed a Great Britain match since making a tryscoring debut against New Zealand in 1993 and will win his 34th cap on Saturday to climb to fifth place in the British all-time list.

He will also captain his country for a record-extending 29th time.

Great Britain's achievement in topping the Tri-Nations group after winning three consecutive Tests for the first time for a decade was further recognised when Brian Noble was named international coach of the year.

Australia gained some consolation when skipper Darren Lockyer, the 2003 Golden Boot winner, was named international back of the year ahead of team-mate Anthony Minichiello and Britain winger Brian Carney.

New Zealand's teenage sensation Sonny Bill Williams capped a remarkable debut season by being named international newcomer of the Year, while Britain's Russell Smith was chosen as international referee of the year.

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