North Queensland Cowboys' five-eight Johnathan Thurston has won the Rugby League's Golden Boot for a second time, as the Australian international became only the third player to be handed the prestigious award twice by League Publications Limited.  

Thurston has been a key cog in the Australian machine over the years, and was named as the man of the match in the Kangaroos 34-2 World Cup Final thrashing over New Zealand last November. 

A panel of experts who choose the winner were urged by the Rugby League World magazine to consider international performances first and foremost, with Thurston also outstanding for his club the Cowboys, and Queensland State, as they went on to win their eighth straight State of Origin battle. 

Gareth Walker, the Editor of the magazine that gives out the award, explained the reasons for Thurston's selection. 

"We asked the panel to consider performances in international matches first and foremost and, given his outstanding World Cup campaign, Jonathan Thurston has emerged as a deserving winner," Walker said.
"It was typical of the way he orchestrated his Australian side superbly in the match that mattered most, though it should be noted that he was excellent for the entire competition.
"Ever since breaking onto the international scene almost eight years ago, Thurston has been at the very forefront of the sport at its highest level."

English forward Sam Burgess was a close second in the race for the Golden Boot, as the powerful South Sydney player performed tremendously well for both club and country in 2013. 

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