What A Current World Rugby XV Might Look Like
The best of the best.
Picking a current World XV is always difficult as you can’t keep everybody happy. While there are a number of players that simply cannot be denied a spot on the team, a lot of the positions are purely down to personal opinion.
That being said, I’ve decided to have a crack at it anyway to see what I can come up with. Just to clarify a few things before I’m asked; I’ve overlooked players that are currently out injured/or haven’t played much rugby this season – ruling out guys like Kieran Read and Jonathan Davies. I’ve included Malcolm Marx as his injury is minor and recent.
The team is a mixture of current form and reputation. A lot of big names miss out, but unfortunately that was always going to happen. And as I said – this is purely one person’s opinion. Feel free to let me know where you’d make changes, or even have a crack at an XV yourself.
Current World XV.
15. Beauden Barrett
With Sexton at ten on current form, I had to find a spot for the World Player of the Year. He started his career here and no doubt can still do a hell of a job at fifteen with that lighting pace.
14. Ben Smith
I could have gone with someone like Elliot Daly here, but it’s just so hard to leave Ben Smith out. The All Blacks veteran has featured on the wing recently to incorporate Jordie Barrett, and could very well stay here come Japan 2019.
13. Ryan Crotty
Tough decision here. There are a lot of good thirteens around, but not many truly outstanding ones. Crotty is solid and has been in good form for the last couple of seasons. He’s filled the huge void left by Conrad Smith with relative ease.
12. Kurtley Beale
Really has been Australia’s stand out player in recent years, alongside Michael Hooper. Showed his class once again in the June series with Ireland. Superb talent that can carve through a defence in an instant.
11. Rieko Ioane
The All Blacks winger has been a sensation since bursting onto the scene during last summer’s Lions tour. A lethal finisher, you just simply cannot leave this guy out of a World XV.
10. Johnny Sexton
The Irishman has been pivotal in Leinster and Ireland’s success this season, winning absolutely everything on offer to him. A leading candidate for World Player of the year.
9. Conor Murray
Another man that has been so key to Ireland’s success this season. The complete number nine in every way and just so damn consistent.
1. Cian Healy
After a injury ravaged couple of seasons, Cian Healy returned with a bang this season. He’s been superb for both club and country, and overtaken Mako Vunipola as far as Im concerned.
2. Malcolm Marx
With Dane Coles still struggling with injury, South African Malcolm Marx has stepped up and taken the mantle as the world’s best hooker. An absolute monster of a player in so many ways. Still only 23 mind you.
3. Tadhg Furlong
Not only is he the best tighthead in the world right now – he’s on course to be the greatest of all-time.
4. Brodie Retalick
Has had some injury problems of late, but you just cannot leave this man out. A former World Player of the Year, and still only 27-years-old, Retallick is the bar when it comes to second-rows.
5. James Ryan
This time last year Maro Itoje would have been the man slotting in here, but what a difference a season makes. Ryan has been incredible, and 21-years-old, he’s only going to get better.
6. David Pocock
The Wallabies turnover machine returned to the Test arena this month and showed us what we’ve been missing. An absolute freak – and I mean that as an ultimate compliment.
7. Michael Hooper
A superb captain, and the perfect foil for Pocock. One of the few consistently brilliant players in Australian rugby.
8. CJ Stander
Is there a more consistent man in world rugby? Played more minutes than anyone in the professional game last year, and wasn’t far off this year. How often does he have a bad game? Be honest. Exactly.