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Slater scoops player award

Image: Billy Slater: Won RLIF player of the year award for the second time.

Australia full-back Billy Slater has been announced as the Rugby League International Federation's player of the year.

Australia full back lands big prize at RLIF awards dinner

Australia full-back Billy Slater has been crowned player of the year at the Rugby League International Federation's annual dinner at the Tower of London on Thursday night, where the southern hemisphere enjoyed a clean sweep of the top awards. England coach Steve McNamara and his entire 24-strong Four Nations squad were at the event to witness a procession of Antipodeans scoop the honours. Slater took the top prize for the second time following a memorable 12 months in which he helped Queensland to State of Origin success and won the NRL Dally M medal after playing a pivotal role in Melbourne Storm's minor premiership success. The 28-year-old, who also collected the award in 2008, beat off stiff competition from club-mate Cameron Smith and New Zealand's talismanic captain Benji Marshall, and was also named full-back of the year. After marking his international debut with a try against New Zealand in May, Brisbane winger Jharal Yow Yeh was named international rookie of the year ahead of Gold Coast Titans' Jamal Idris and Melbourne's Matt Duffie. Manly Sea Eagles' NRL Grand Final-winning boss Des Hasler won the international coach-of-the-year award ahead of Craig Bellamy (Melbourne) and Leeds' Brian McDermott, who led his side to victory in the 2011 Super League Grand Final. The awards, chosen by a 20-strong selection panel from both hemispheres, were based on the 12 months leading up to the 2011 Grand Finals and, therefore, include performances in the 2010 Four Nations Series but not the current tournament. Australia's success continued with Four Nations squad members Slater, Smith, Akuile Uate, Daly Cherry-Evans, Matt Scott, Sam Thaiday and Paul Gallen scooping seven of the nine positional awards. Not one Super League player was deemed the best in their position, although former St Helens favourite Jamie Lyon, the 2005 Man of Steel, was named as centre of the year for his displays with Manly. There was one home winner when David Oxley, the former RFL chief executive, was presented with the RLIF spirit of rugby league award, while George Carmont (Wigan), Tim Bergin (Sheffield), Dale Ferguson (Huddersfield) and Lloyd White (Crusaders) were minor award winners. Full list of award winners: Player of the Year: Billy Slater (Melbourne)
Rookie: Jharal Yow Yeh (Brisbane)
Coach: Des Hasler (Manly)
Referee: Tony Archer (Australia)
Team of the year: Full-back: Billy Slater (Melbourne)
Winger: Akuile Uate (Newcastle)
Centre: Jamie Lyon (Manly)
Stand-off: Benji Marshall (West Tigers)
Scrum-half: Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly)
Prop: Matt Scott (North Queensland)
Hooker: Cameron Smith (Melbourne)
Second Row: Sam Thaiday (Brisbane)
Loose Forward: Paul Gallen (Cronulla) Nations' players of the year: Canada: Matt Wyles
Cook Islands: Tinirau Arona
Czech Republic: Jan Buben
Fiji: Wes Naiqama
France: Remi Casty
Germany: Thomas Isaak
Ireland: Tim Bergin
Italy: Matteo Rossi
Jamaica: Tyronie Rowe
Japan: Keisuke Kinoshita
Malta: Clifford Debattista
Norway: Sonny Mellor
Lebanon: Walid Yassine
Russia: Eduard Ososkov
Samoa: George Carmont
Scotland: Dale Ferguson
Serbia: Dalibor Vukanovic
South Africa: Deon Kraemer
Sweden: Alexander Rappestad
Tonga: Feleti Mateo
Ukraine: Vladimir Mashkin
USA: Apple Pope
Wales: Lloyd White.

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