It gets worse. A shocking 2017 for the Kiwis has ended with none of them being named in Rugby League World magazine's Team of the Year.

Auckland-born Tonga star Jason Taumalolo was named for a second consecutive year - but this is the first time no Kiwi got into the English magazine's all-star side.

Taumalolo, the North Queensland Cowboys loose forward, and Australian captain and hooker Cameron Smith both got maximum votes from the judging panel – 12 rugby league journalists spread between the northern and southern hemispheres.

Seven of Smith's Australian team-mates were named in the World XIII, including longtime Melbourne Storm and Queensland State of Origin colleagues Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk.


Smith, the 2017 world player of the year, made the team for the 12th year in a row while it was Slater's seventh appearance and Cronk's fourth.

Three Englishman, veteran prop James Graham, wing Jermaine McGillvary and centre Kallum Watkins, made the side along with Fiji's Melbourne Storm wing Suliasi Vunivalu and Taumalolo, who controversially chose to play for Tonga ahead of the Kiwis after playing for New Zealand in the 2017 Anzac test.

Graham was named in the World XIII for a ninth time – a record for an English player.

Rugby League World noted Vunivalu and Taumalolo were the first players from tier two rugby league nations to make the team since Semi Radrada (Fiji) and Anthony Milford (Samoa) in 2015.


1 Billy Slater (Australia)
2 Jermaine McGillvary (England)
3 Will Chambers (Australia)
4 Kallum Watkins (England)
5 Suliasi Vunivalu (Fiji)
6 Michael Morgan (Australia)
7 Cooper Cronk (Australia)
8 James Graham (England)
9 Cameron Smith (Australia)
10 Aaron Woods (Australia)
11 Boyd Cordner (Australia)
12 Matt Gillett (Australia)
13 Jason Taumalolo (Tonga)