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Kiwi Ferns half-back Raecene McGregor marked a first for New Zealand by winning the Women’s Golden Boot.
New Zealand have picked up a double triumph at the international rugby league awards with Kiwi Joey Manu and Kiwi Fern Raecene McGregor claiming the Golden Boots for 2022.
Manu is only the sixth Kiwi to win the men’s award since its inception in 1984, while McGregor is the first New Zealander to win the women’s Golden Boot introduced in 2018.
Both received their gongs in Manchester on Wednesday (NZT) in the final week of the World Cup.
The New Zealanders will face the Jillaroos in the final of the Rugby World Cup after their victory against England.
Manu ran a world record 401m with the ball in New Zealand’s mid-season test against Tonga and ran over 300m in each of his five World Cup appearances.
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Kiwis head coach Michael Maguire said: “Joey has definitely stood out this year. He set the bar high in a great mid-year test match against Tonga and continued on the form throughout the World Cup.
“Joey has a great career in the Kiwi jersey ahead of him. If he continues as he is, I’m sure he will get a few more Golden Boots, as well as becoming one of the greats of the Kiwis.
McGregor’s award caps a stunning year for the Kiwi Ferns half-back, who was uncontracted for the postponed 2021 NRLW season until winning Māori All Stars Player of the Match.
After helping Sydney Roosters in the NRLW Premiership, she was awarded the Dally M Medal as the best player of the 2022 NRLW season.
She will be crucial to New Zealand’s chances in this weekend’s World Cup final against Australia.
“Rae is a special player, she is one of those rare players; it’s been a fantastic year for her,” Kiwi Ferns head coach Ricky Henry said.
“She grew up in this space not only as a leader but as a playmaker, she is quality and the best at her position.
“Having her in our campaign has given us a lot of confidence not only with her ability to handle the game, but also with the way she makes the players around her look good.
“Receiving the Golden Boot is a huge achievement considering how many top players have been in the game for a long time.”