Sunday 24 March 2019

Not one Irish player makes this rugby World Cup Team of the Tournament

Andrew Baldock

The 2015 Rugby World Cup was lit up by many sparkling individual displays during six weeks of memorable action.

Here, Press Association Sport selects a team of the tournament.

15 AYUMU GOROMARU (Japan): Became the first player from a Tier 2 nation to pass 700 Test points during the course of Japan's memorable World Cup campaign that included a stunning victory over South Africa.

14 ADAM ASHLEY-COOPER (Australia): An outstanding footballer whose wonderful awareness means that he is nearly always in the right place at the right time. Scored a hat-trick of tries during Australia's semi-final victory over Argentina.

13 JESSE KRIEL (South Africa): Only 21, but the Cape Town-born centre performed with a maturity beyond his years. A quality player, whose subtle skills are matched by considerable power.

Rugby Union - England v Australia - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool A - Twickenham Stadium, London, England - 3/10/15 Australia's Matt Giteau scores a try Reuters / Stefan Wermuth Livepic

12 MATT GITEAU (Australia): Moved past 100 caps for Australia during the tournament, and the Wallabies centre often appeared as though he was gliding through matches with effortless ease. Makes so much happen around him.

11 JULIAN SAVEA (New Zealand): The All Blacks' powerhouse wing is a fearsome sight when in full flight, as illustrated by the try-scoring demolition job he performed on hapless quarter-final opponents France. A proven match-winner.

10 NICOLAS SANCHEZ (Argentina): The Pumas' maestro playmaker orchestrated some memorable attacking moments as Argentina remained true to their values of open, running rugby. A classy, confident performer.

9 FOURIE DU PREEZ (South Africa): Took over the Springboks captaincy when Jean De Villiers suffered a tournament-ending injury, and his consistency of performance was world class. A master of the scrum-half arts who mixed and matched his game magnificently.

1 MARCOS AYERZA (Argentina): Loosehead prop Ayerza was an immovable object in a typically robust and powerful Argentina scrum. Technically accomplished and immensely strong, no opponent got the better of him.

Dane Coles of the All Blacks beats the tackle of Nic White of the Wallabies to score a try

2 DANE COLES (New Zealand): The All Blacks' workaholic hooker combined set-piece excellence with some staggering efforts in the loose. Quick and elusive, he was almost like an extra back at times.

3 SEKOPE KEPU (Australia): Along with Wallabies loosehead prop Scott Sio, Kepu did so much to consign Australia's reputation as a poor scrummaging outfit to the scrapheap. Benefited hugely from the influence of the Wallabies' Argentinian scrum coach Mario Ledesma.

4 KANE DOUGLAS (Australia): A cornerstone of the Wallabies pack, his work-rate was at an immense level, while he lacked nothing in the line-out department either. A quality all-round operator.

5 LOOD DE JAGER (South Africa): The 6ft 9in lock cemented his status as a long-term successor to Springboks second-row colossus Victor Matfield through relishing and embracing every challenge he was presented with. A tackling machine.

6 MICHAEL LEITCH (Japan): Japan's inspired skipper led from the front, making a total of 51 tackles during the pool stage and driving his team to new World Cup heights. Seized the moment spectacularly.

7 RICHIE McCAW (New Zealand): The greatest player of his generation, All Blacks captain McCaw once again excelled on rugby union's biggest stage. An imposing figure on and off the pitch.

8 DAVID POCOCK (Australia): The master of the breakdown, Pocock secured a total of 14 turnovers for his team during their march to the World Cup final. The Rolls Royce of back-row forwards.

Press Association

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