Just two Boks in players’ World XV
- 06 Dec 2013
The International Rugby Players' Association's World XV includes seven All Blacks, four Welshmen and two South Africans.
Hooker Bismarck du Plessis and lock Eben Etzebeth are the only representatives from the No 2-ranked Boks.
There is one player from each of England and France.
All Blacks flank Liam Messam only just pipped Argentinian Juan Fernandez Lobbe for the No 6 berth, while New Zealand halfbacks Aaron Smith and Aaron Cruden received marginally more votes than Samoa No 9 Kahn Fotuali'i and Ireland flyhalf Jonathan Sexton.
The biggest bone of contention in the World XV was in the midfield with voting spread across four players – All Blacks Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith, Springbok Jean de Villiers and France's Wesley Fofana. The final count favoured Fofana and Smith.
Meanwhile, All Blacks No 8 Kieran Read, who was named the IRB Player of the Year earlier this week, received the Players' Player of the Year award. Israel Folau was voted International Newcomer of the year, and the All Blacks the Team of the Year.
International Players' Association 2013 World XV of the Year – 15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), 14 Ben Smith (New Zealand), 13 Conrad Smith (New Zealand), 12 Wesley Fofana (France), 11 George North (Wales), 10 Aaron Cruden (New Zealand), 9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 Sam Warburton (Wales), 6 Liam Messam (New Zealand), 5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Adam Jones (Wales), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), 1 Alex Corbisiero (England).
What do you think of this World XV? Post your comments below.
Photo: Sandra Mu/Getty Images
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