Sydney Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall's year hit another high point on Thursday night when he was named player of the year at New Zealand Rugby League's annual awards.

Kenny-Dowall, 22, had lived with a one-test tag for three years following his debut against France in Paris in 2007, but a positional switch to the centres prompted a stellar 2010 season and a Kiwis recall for the upcoming Four Nations.

He also was integral in helping the Roosters go from last year's wooden-spooners to NRL grand finalists this year.

Rated by many as the best centre in the NRL this season, Kenny-Dowall was the competition's equal top try-scorer with Newcastle's Akuila Uate, scoring 21 tries in 28 matches.

He was also second best among all players for tackle breaks (170), sixth for most metres gained (3559m), eighth for line breaks (20) and 10th for most runs (359). He was the leading centre in each of those categories.

Kenny-Dowall fended off fellow nominees Manu Vatuvei, Benji Marshall and Issac Luke for the award.

Major award winners:-

International player of the year: Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters). International rookie of the year: Lewis Brown (NZ Warriors).

Junior player of the year: Matt Duffie (Melbourne Storm).

Women's player of the year: Sarina Fiso (Auckland).