Rugby league: Kiwi duo James Fisher-Harris, Georgia Hale named as 2023 Golden Boot winners

Kiwi pair James Fisher-Harris and Georgia Hale have completed a New Zealand double, chosen as the winners of the men's and women's rugby league Golden Boot.

The awards come in recognition of the achievements of international rugby league, with both NZ Kiwis and the Kiwi Ferns earning respective history-making wins over their Australian counterparts

Fisher-Harris, 27, continues the run of Kiwis winning the men's award, and becomes the first front rower to claim the prize.

The prop joins Joey Manu (2022) and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (2019) as the most recent winners of the award, with no prize in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 halting the international game.

Fisher-Harris held off competition from Kiwis teammate Joseph Tapine, as well as Australia's Payne Haas and England's Harry Smith.

The men's award was chosen by a panel of NRL greats, including Kiwis Adam Blair and Ruben Wiki, as well as Darren Lockyer, James Graham and Adrian Morley.

Fisher-Harris' latest honour caps off an incredible year, in which he captained the Kiwis to a record 30-0 win over the Kangaroos, and won a third straight NRL title with Penrith Panthers.  

Meanwhile, Hale took out the women's award, joining teammate and fellow Kiwi Ferns co-captain Raecene McGregor as the latest recipient of the Golden Boot.

Hale beat out competition from Kiwi Ferns teammate Mele Hufanga, and Australia's Tamika Upton and Apii Nicholls.

At club level, Hale also captained Gold Coast Titans to the final of the NRLW competition, where they were defeated by Newcastle Knights.

France's Jeremy Bourson was named as the 2023 wheelchair rugby league player of the year. 

"You only need to hear from their coaches and team-mates to know that James, Georgia and Jérémy are deserved winners of the Golden Boot and worthy of having their names alongside some of the greats of our game," said International Rugby League chair Tony Grant.

"Each played a significant role in the achievements of their team at international level this season, in which all three of last year's World Cup winners were beaten, and they have now created personal history."