Three Irish Players Make The Cut In 31-Man Squad Of The World’s Best Players

World 31.

Time and time again we’ve seen newspapers and online outlets put together their World XVs but what would an entire World Cup-style squad of the 31 best players in the world look like?

Rugby statistician Simon Gleave has decided to have a go and in the current climate, he reckons just three Irish players would make the cut with World Cup finalists South Africa and England dominating the selection with nine players each.

The All Blacks are next with four players, while Six Nations Grand Slam champions Wales having three players like Ireland and the remainder of the squad made up of a player each for France, Scotland and Fiji.

The three Irish players selected are 2018 World Player of the Year Johnny Sexton, tighthead Tadhg Furlong and loosehead prop Cian Healy with the likes of Conor Murray and James Ryan failing to make the cut.

Scotland’s only pick comes in the form of Stuart Hogg while Bristol-bound Fijian winger Semi Radradra is the only player to be selected who doesn’t play for a ‘Tier One’ nation.

Here’s the squad in full. Do you agree with his selection? Has he missed anybody? Has he selected anyone that doesn’t deserve to be there?

World 31.

Forwards:
Mako Vunipola
Cian Healy
Steven Kitshoff
Tadhg Furlong
Kyle Sinckler
Mbongeni Mbonambi
Malcolm Marx
Jamie George
Brodie Retallick
Maro Itoje
Alun Wyn Jones
Eben Etzebeth
Tom Curry
Billy Vunipola
Ardie Savea
Pieter-Steph du Toit
Duane Vermeulen

Backs:
Antoine Dupont
Aaron Smith
Faf de Klerk
Beauden Barrett
Owen Farrell
Johnny Sexton
Jonathan Davies
Semi Radradra
Damien de Allende
Liam Williams
Stuart Hogg
Cheslin Kolbe
Anthony Watson
Jonny May