Rugby League International Federation

Date: 23/10/14

Sam Burgess has taken out the 2014 Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) Player of the year award at a function in Brisbane today.

The heroics displayed by Burgess in the NRL Grand Final for South Sydney where he played with a Fractured eye socket and check bone really set him apart from other players in 2014. Burgess is going to be a big loss for rugby league as he goes off to the other code to play for Bath and potentially England.

Other RLIF nations who were outside the big three also received their own “Player of the year” awards.

What would be great at some time in the future if those players who win an award from a developing nation are also rewarded with an opportunity to train or even play with a semi or professional team in either England or Australia.

The skills learned from such an exercise could be passed onto countryman when the player returns back home. Who knows, one of the players might even have the talent to play in the NRL or Super League. Just imagine the story if a player from say a nation like Ukraine won the award and made it all the way to the NRL on the back of an opportunity. Now that’s the sort of thing that would make the RLIF Player of the year awards really worthwhile.

RLIF – Player of the year awards by nation:

Cook Islands: Dominique Peyroux
Fiji: Semi Radradra
France: Rémi Casty
Ireland: Liam Finn
Jamaica: Nathan Campbell
Lebanon: Chris Saab
Papua New Guinea: Israel Eliab
Russia: Kirill Kosharin
Samoa: David Fa’alogo
Scotland: Matty Russell
Serbia: Stefan Nedeljkovic
South Africa: Ruaan du Preez
Tonga: Jason Taumalolo
Ukraine: Oleksandr Skorbach
Wales: Rhys Evans
USA: Joseph Paulo
Canada: Steve Piatek

RLIF – Player of the year (winner by Year):

2008 Billy Slater (Australia)
2009 Jarryd Hayne (Australia)
2010 Todd Carney (Australia)
2011 Billy Slater (Australia)
2012 Cameron Smith (Australia)
2013 Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand)
2014 Sam Burgess (England)