New Zealand players dominate – who makes our World Cup team of the tournament?

By Sports Desk October 27, 2023

Reigning champions South Africa take on fellow three-time winners New Zealand in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final.

Here, the PA news agency picks a team from the best performing players in the tournament.

 

 

15. Beauden Barrett (New Zealand): Two-time world player of the year set the standard for a playmaking full-back.

14. Damian Penaud (France): Daredevil wing who topped the try-scoring chart until Will Jordan ran amok against Argentina.

13. Waisea Nayacalevu (Fiji): The Islanders’ skipper stood out in a backline full of lethal runners.

12. Bundee Aki (Ireland): A player of the tournament candidate through his powerful running, clever lines and slick footwork.

11. Will Jordan (New Zealand): Ruthless finisher who is in the company of greats such as Jonah Lomu after amassing eight tries.

10. Richie Mo’unga (New Zealand): The game’s most complete fly-half with the creativity to match his game management.

9. Aaron Smith (New Zealand): One of the World Cup’s smallest players is also among its smartest.

1. Ox Nche (South Africa): The Springboks’ strongest scrummager may be on the bench but what an impact he makes.

2. Mike Tadjer (Portugal): A front row all-rounder who was especially influential in the shock victory over Fiji.

3. Ben Tameifuna (Tonga): Monster tighthead prop weighing in at 23st 11lbs yet has the carrying prowess to match his scrummaging.

4. Eben Etzebeth (South Africa): A snarling enforcer and still the game’s dominant second row despite an off-night against England.

5. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland): Ever-present for Ireland who provided fight whether playing at lock or in the second-row.

6. Courtney Lawes (England): A back-row warrior with a sharp rugby brain excelled in the biggest games.

7. Jac Morgan (Wales): Blockbusting flanker who showed maturity beyond his years to lead Wales into the quarter-finals.

8. Ardie Savea (New Zealand): Pushed very close by England’s Ben Earl but Savea is a class apart.

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