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Rugby League World Cup: Seb Bechara among Golden Boot winners | England stars make teams of tournament

Seb Bechara became the second England player to earn the wheelchair Golden Boot award, with other nominees including team-mate and previous winner Jack Brown; New Zealand duo Joseph Manu and Raecene McGregor won the men's and women's awards respectively

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England's Seb Bechara describes his emotions after winning the wheelchair Golden Boot for Best International Player and admits he's thinking about Friday's Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup final 'every minute of the day'.

England wheelchair star Seb Bechara has been named winner of the Golden Boot for his efforts in helping the team reach the final of the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup.

Bechara becomes the second England player to win the award in the wheelchair category, following team-mate Jack Brown who claimed the inaugural accolade for the best international wheelchair rugby league player in 2019 and was among this year's nominees too.

Catalans Dragons player Bechara has produced numerous starring displays to help the hosts into Friday's final, where they face reigning champions France at Manchester Central.

"It means a lot," Bechara told Sky Sports. "There has been so much hard work in the shadows for such a long time.

"People say I'm not a massive try-scorer, I'm the one who does a lot of hard work nobody really sees, so it's really special to have that recognition and know the hard work pays off."

New Zealand completed a Golden Boot double with Joseph Manu and Raecene McGregor winning the prestigious rugby league international player-of-the-year awards.

Manu, who plays centre for Sydney Roosters, has been a revelation at full-back for the Kiwis both in the mid-season Test against Tonga and their run to the World Cup semi-finals.

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Tara-Jane Stanley crossed the whitewash three times as England took control in the second-half.
Image: Tara-Jane Stanley is among the England players in the Women's World Cup team of the tournament

He beat Samoa stand-off Jarome Luai, Australia winger Josh Addo-Carr and England pair Victor Radley and George Williams to the big prize at a ceremony in Manchester.

Manu's compatriot McGregor becomes the first New Zealander to win the women's award, having played a starring role in the Kiwi Ferns reaching the women's final where they face Australia.

The half-back beat off competition from fellow New Zealand player Amber-Paris Hall, England's Courtney Winfield-Hill, Papua New Guinea captain Elsie Albert and Australia's Tarryn Aiken for the prize.

The men's award was introduced in 1984, with the women's and wheelchair prizes following in 2018 and 2019 respectively. They were brought back this year following a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.

England stars earn team-of-the-tournament places

Victor Radley
Image: Victor Radley was among the England men named in the team of the World Cup

The consolation for both Williams and Radley is an appearance in the men's team of the tournament at scrum-half and loose-forward respectively. Prop Tom Burgess was named in the front-row as well.

The team was dominated by players from World Cup finalists Samoa, with Salford Red Devils' Tim Lafai included along with Brian To'o, Stephen Crichton, Luai and Joseph Paulo. Leigh Leopards' Papua New Guinean hooker Edwin Ipape was included too.

Meanwhile, England quartet Tara-Jane Stanley, Vicky Molyneux and Vicky Whitfield are all in the starting 13 of the women's team, with Golden Boot nominee Winfield-Hill on the interchange bench.

Bechara, Brown and Joe Coyd are the three England players named in the wheelchair team of the tournament, with Wales captain Stuart Williams included as well.

Tara-Jane Stanley crossed the whitewash three times as England took control in the second-half.
Image: Tara-Jane Stanley is among the England players in the Women's World Cup team of the tournament

Rugby League World Cup 2021 teams of the tournament

Men: Joseph Manu (New Zealand); Brian To'o (Samoa), Tim Lafai (Samoa), Stephen Crichton (Samoa), Josh Addo-Carr (Australia); Jarome Luai (Samoa), George Williams (England); Tom Burgess (England), Edwin Ipape (Papua New Guinea), Joseph Paulo (Samoa), Cameron Murray (Australia), Liam Martin (Australia), Victor Radley (England).

Interchange: Harry Grant (Australia), Sunia Turuva (Fiji), Keaon Koloamatangi (Tonga), James Fisher-Harris (New Zealand).

Women: Apii Nicholls (New Zealand); Tara-Jane Stanley (England), Mele Hufanga (New Zealand), Isabelle Kelly (Australia), Evania Pelite (Australia); Tarryn Aiken (Australia), Raecene McGregor (New Zealand); Elise Albert (Papua New Guinea), Lauren Brown (Australia), Vicky Whitfield (England), Vicky Molyneux (England), Amber Hall (New Zealand), Megan Pakulis (Canada).

Interchange: Franciny Amaral (Brazil), Courtney Winfield-Hill (England), Emma Tonegato (Australia), Annetta Nu'uausala (New Zealand).

Wheelchair: Lionel Alazard (France), Seb Bechara (England), Jeremy Bourson (France), Jack Brown (England), Nicolas Clausells (France), Joe Coyd (England), Theo Gonzalez (Spain), Mackenzie Johnson (USA), Bayley McKenna (Australia), Stuart Williams (Wales).

Sky Sports is the home of all three Super League Grand Finals in 2023. The Men's Grand Final, the Women's Grand Final and the Wheelchair Grand Final will all be live on Sky Sports next season. The new Super League season starts on Thursday February 16.

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