Trio shortlisted for rugby league player award

Cameron Smith and Billy Slater
Smith and Slater have been key figures for Australia and Melbourne Storm

Australian players dominate the shortlist for the Rugby League International Federation awards, with the winners announced on Wednesday.

Kangaroos full-back Billy Slater, 28, and hooker Cameron Smith, 28, are up against New Zealand captain Benji Marshall, 26, for player of the year.

Slater won the award in 2008 with Todd Carney taking last year's honour.

Leeds's Brian McDermott is vying with Des Hasler (Manly) and Craig Bellamy (Melbourne) for coach of the year.

Australia's Jharal Yow Yeh and Jamal Idris and New Zealand's Matt Duffie are up for the rookie of the year award.

Super League players shortlisted for positional awards are full-backs Brett Hodgson (Warrington) and Sam Tomkins (Wigan), winger Joel Monaghan (Warrington), centre George Carmont (Wigan), stand-off Rangi Chase (Castleford), scrum-halves Scott Dureau (Catalan Dragons) and Jonny Lomax (St Helens), prop James Graham (St Helens), hookers Thomas Leuluai (Wigan), Michael Monaghan (Warrington) and James Roby, second-rowers Steve Menzies (Catalan Dragons) and Ben Westwood (Warrington) and loose-forwards Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan) and Kevin Sinfield (Leeds).

The awards, which will be presented in London, are chosen by a 20-strong selection panel from both hemispheres comprising former players and coaches, journalists and broadcasters.