Team Of The Year 2016
What a year of rugby.
After the success of the 2015 Rugby World Cup it was always going to be hard to live up to those expectations this year. Following on from a disappointing showing at the tournament for the Northern Hemisphere teams, they have been out to prove a point this year.
England under Eddie Jones have been the biggest climbers following a disastrous Rugby World Cup campaign. An unbeaten year that included a Grand Slam and clean sweep of the Wallabies in Australia has seen the Red Rose climb to 2nd in the world.
Ireland had a disappointing Six Nations but bounced back in the second half of 2016 with some famous wins over South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. We’ve also seen a huge resurgence in the PRO12 in recent weeks as they look to finish the year strong after a really poor first half.
The All Blacks have once again led the way on the international front, with a loss to Ireland in Chicago their only blemish in 2016 as they claimed the Rugby Championship along the way in some fashion.
Great teams however, need great players so here’s the 2016 Team of the Year according to the guys over at Planet Rugby.
Planet Rugby’s 2016 Team of the Year
15 Ben Smith (Highlanders and New Zealand)
14 Israel Dagg (Crusaders and New Zealand)
13 Jonathan Joseph (Bath and England)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens and England)
11 Virimi Vakatawa (France)
10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes and New Zealand)
9 Conor Murray (Munster and Ireland)
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens and England)
7 David Pocock (Brumbies and Australia)
6 CJ Stander (Munster and Ireland)
5 Maro Itoje (Saracens and England)
4 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs and New Zealand)
3 Tadgh Furlong (Leinster and Ireland)
2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes and New Zealand)
1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens and England)
What do you think of this selection? Where would you make changes?