Tuesday 24 October 2017

Two Irish players make Australian website's world rugby selection

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell did not make the side chosen by Roar.

Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray in action for the Lions in 2013. The Irish half-back pairing are the only players in the northern hemisphere to make a world selection of one Australian website.
Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray in action for the Lions in 2013. The Irish half-back pairing are the only players in the northern hemisphere to make a world selection of one Australian website.
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Irish half-backs Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray are the only players in the northern hemisphere to make a world selection of one Australian website.

In light of the Telegraph’s release of their top 100 current players in world rugby, Australian site The Roar decided to put together their world team based on current form and it is heavily weighted towards the teams in the southern hemisphere.

Irish pair Sexton and Murray are the only players to break into a team featuring nine Kiwis, two South Africans and Australians and a sole representative from Argentina.

Here is what they had to say about the Irish pair.

Conor Murray

"A two-horse race between himself and Aaron Smith, but wins out due to his ability to shine behind a slightly less dominant pack. The best tactical box kicker in world rugby, his ability to continuously ensure quick ball, brilliant support play as well as his superb game management skills make him a top contender at international record.

"Rarely makes mistakes, and has enjoyed a brilliant campaign in 2015, and brings a level of poise and calm to his team that young halfbacks should aspire to imitate.

"Can be counted on to bring his best whenever needed, Murray is not dissimilar to Conrad Smith in that the basics and necessities of his position are done so well that any side would be privileged to have him.

"Is irreplaceable to Ireland’s cause this year, and one would suspect many years to come."

Johnny Sexton

"If Dan Carter had enjoyed a more continuous run of games, he would most likely have done enough to convince me he is still the best option at this position. However given his horrid run of injury, he loses his spot to Sexton.

"Put simply, if Ireland achieve the grand slam this year, it will be remembered as Sexton’s tournament. The best player in the northern hemisphere bar none, under the guide of coach Joe Schmidt, Sexton has gone from strength to strength, and has now no apparent weakness in his game.

"Has schooled all 10s he has faced this year, including English young gun George Ford last weekend, and looks to be the key cog in Ireland’s hopes this year, a role which he has grasped with two hands in the last few months.

"Phenomenal performances against South Africa, England, France and Australia, he wins this jersey based on pure form."

World team selection:

Israel Folau (Australia), Ben Smith (New Zealand), Tevita Kuridrani (Australia), Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand), Julian Savea (New Zealand), Jonny Sexton (Ireland), Conor Murray (Ireland); Marcos Ayerza (Argentina), Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), Charlie Faumuina (New Zealand), Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), Jerome Kaino (New Zealand), Richie McCaw (New Zealand), Kieran Read (New Zealand)

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