England star George Burgess named NRL rooke of the year
Last Updated: 01/10/13 8:36pm
The Burgess brothers (left to right) Tom, George, Luke and Sam with mum Julie
England's George Burgess has been named as the NRL's rookie of the year.
Burgess, 21, had a magnificent first season with South Sydney and was announced as the winner at the prestigious Dally M Awards.
And he shared the platform with brothers Sam, Luke and Thomas to receive the Peter Frilingos headline moment of the year from The Daily Telegraph.
In August they became the first set of four brothers to play for an Australian club since 1910 when they helped the Rabbitohs to a 32-18 win over Wests Tigers.
England coach Steve McNamara admits he considered including all four Burgess brothers in his World Cup squad before taking the tough decision to leave Luke out.
Former Bradford forward Sam, 24, who has been on the international scene for the past six years, was an automatic selection and George, 21, became an obvious choice following a stellar first full season in the NRL.
McNamara also opted to include George's twin Tom in his 24-strong squad, which left Luke, at 26 the oldest of the quartet, on the outside.
Luke, who made 93 appearances for Leeds from 2008-11, was in England's squad for the 2012 autumn international series but was not selected in any of the matches.
All four brothers were contacted individually by McNamara to be told the news.
"As well as making the nice phone calls, you've got to make the ones that are not so nice," McNamara said.
"It's very tough, I can only imagine what it must feel like to have your three brothers in a World Cup squad and you're not part of it.
"But it's part and parcel of the game and I'm sure Luke understands that. It would have been a marketing dream to have had all four but it was based on what I feel is best for performance.
"There are a number of players who are unfortunate not the make the squad. It's been a difficult selection."
Meanwhile, former Catalan Dragons boss Trent Robinson completed a rare double when he was named NRL coach of the year, two years after being named Super League coach of the year.
Robinson has guided Sydney Roosters to Sunday's Grand Final in his first season as a head coach in the NRL.
Melbourne's Australia Test scrum-half Cooper Cronk won the big prize, the Dally M Medal, which was presented by Hollywood actor Russell Crowe.