Orford up for rugby league gong - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Orford up for rugby league gong

16/11/2008 03:31:34 PM Comments (0)

A player not deemed worthy of a Rugby League World Cup nod is vying for top honours at the inaugural Rugby League International Federation awards at Brisbane on Monday night.

Manly halfback Matt Orford won the Dally M Medal on the way to steering the Sea Eagles to an incredible 40-0 NRL grand final win over Melbourne - yet still missed Australian selection for the Cup tournament.

But Orford will still get a chance to add to his 2008 honours when he vies for the RLIF Player of the Year award at Suncorp Stadium.

He will line up against fellow Australians Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Greg Inglis - all part of the Melbourne team which went on to earn World Cup honours.

The rest of the field will be made up of English Super League (SL) stars James Graham, Leon Pryce (both of St Helens), Jamie Peacock (Leeds) and Rob Burrow (Leeds).

Judging by Orford's nomination, the awards won't be including form shown at the World Cup - and just as well for the English.

England completed a woeful Cup tournament when they were bounced out 32-22 by New Zealand in Saturday night's semi-final at Brisbane.

It was their third loss in four games.

While reigning Super League Man of Steel Graham and England captain Peacock were impressive and diminutive half Burrow showed sparks of brilliance during the Cup, Saints playmaker Pryce was one of the tournament flops.

RLIF organisers said they decided to mark the game's centenary - which coincides with the 2008 World Cup - by introducing the awards that will recognise achievements between October 2007 and October 2008.

The Player of the Year will be one of several RLIF awards to be presented.

They include team, coach and referee of the year.

It will also feature International Rookie of the Year for Test debutants under 21 and a Spirit of Rugby League gong awarded to those who have made a "significant contribution to the game in their lifetime".

The RLIF awards precede the traditional player of the year award, the Golden Boot.

The Golden Boot Award will be presented at the Rugby League Players' Association annual awards in Sydney on November 29.

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