Schalk Burger and Eben Etzebeth are the only two Springboks included in the 2015 World Cup Dream Team.
The team was announced at the World Rugby awards, with Burger and Etzebeth included after playing an integral part in the Boks’ progression to the semi-finals.
The panel making the selections included former French World Cup player and finalist Christian Califano, 2014 Women’s World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi, World Rugby's elite referee manager Joel Jutge, and Andrew McGahey, a youth coach with Cambridge rugby club. Selection criteria included, in part, statistics and scores, but also the spirit in which the game was played at the showpiece.
Burger and Etzebeth earned inclusion ahead of Richie McCaw and Brodie Retallick, who would have seemed like the obvious choice in those positions. The rest of the team featured more obvious selections from tier-one nations, while tier-two players who impressed at this year’s tournament were rewarded for their contribution to the game.
2015 World Cup Dream Team – 15 Ayumu Goromaru (Japan), 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder (NZ), 13 Conrad Smith (NZ), 12 Matt Giteau (Australia), 11 Julian Savea (NZ), 10 Dan Carter (NZ), 9 Greig Laidlaw (Scotland), 8 David Pocock (Australia), 7 Schalk Burger (SA), 6 Mamuka Gorgodze (Georgia), 5 Leone Nakarawa (Fiji), 4 Eben Etzebeth (SA), 3 Ramiro Herrera (Argentina), 2 Stephen Moore (Australia), 1 Marcos Ayerza (Argentina).
Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP Photo