Not One Irish Player Makes The Cut As Rugby World Names Their 2019 Team Of The Year

The best of the best.

Leading rugby magazine Rugby World has named their World XV for the year – and after a disappointing 2019, not one Irish player has managed to make the cut.

World Champions South Africa have just four players in the team with Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am and Faf de Klerk all named in the backline and World Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit named in the pack.

England meanwhile, have five players in the XV with Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Kyle Sinckler and Tom Curry all named, as well as Danny Cipriani, who is included despite not making their squad for the World Cup in Japan.

Elsewhere Wales have two players named in Liam Williams and captain Alun Wyn Jones, while New Zealand also have two in Joe Moody and Ardie Savea. Fiji and Japan have one each with Semi Radradra and Shota Horie both selected.

In choosing its picks, the magazine said:

“We decided to focus on individuals and pick the best player in each position rather than ponder a team – as this is a fantasy scenario, we don’t have to worry about how combinations work in a match.

“We took into account players’ form over the past year for club and country, and looked for skills that set them apart from other contenders.”

Rugby World’s Team of the Year

15 – Liam Williams (Wales)
14 – Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa)
13 – Lukhanyo Am (South Africa)
12 – Owen Farrell (England)
11 – Semi Radradra (Fiji)
10 – Danny Cipriani (England)
9 – Faf de Klerk (South Africa)

1 – Joe Moody (New Zealand)
2 – Shota Horie (Japan)
3 – Kyle Sinckler (England)
4 – Maro Itoje (England)
5 – Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales)
6 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa)
7 – Tom Curry (England)
8 – Ardie Savea (New Zealand)