All Blacks and Boks dominate Team of the Decade
SPOTLIGHT: New Zealand and South Africa dominated the awards at World Rugby’s virtual prize giving on Monday.
The World Rugby Awards Special Edition celebrated members of the rugby family who have provided outstanding service during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as players and teams who have starred over the last decade in a virtual show.
Instead of the traditional awards celebrating performances on the pitch in 2020, supporters had the opportunity to vote for their six favourite Players and Tries of the Decade Awards, with the World Rugby Awards’ star-studded panel given the difficult task of selecting two Teams of the Decade.
Seven All Blacks and three Springboks made the Team of the Decade.
Ireland (two), Australia, Italy and Wales make up the numbers.
The All Blacks were Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock , Richie McCaw (who was also name player of the decade), Dan Carter, Ma’a Nonu and Ben Smith.
The Boks were Tendai Mtawarira, who retired from Test rugby after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Bismarck du Plessis and Bryan Habana.
There was also special recognition for Siyamthanda Kolisi and his Springbok colleagues for their fundraising efforts through the #StrongerTogether for R32-12 campaign, which raised more than ZAR1-million for hunger alleviation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Du Plessis and Habana were team mates when South Africa won the Rugby World Cup in 2007, while all three players were members of the Springboks’ 2-1 series win over the 2009 British & Irish Lions.
Fiji’s Jerry Tuwai was the winner of the World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of Decade Award.
Jamie Heaslip’s try for Ireland against Italy in the 2016 Six Nations was voted Try of the Decade.
Team of the decade:
1 Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa)
2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa)
3 Owen Franks (New Zealand)
4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)
5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand)
6 David Pocock (Australia)
7 Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
8 Sergio Parisse (Italy)
9 Conor Murray (Ireland)
10 Dan Carter (New Zealand)
11 Bryan Habana (South Africa)
12 Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand)
13 Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
14 George North (Wales)
15 Ben Smith (New Zealand)
Men’s 15s Player of the Decade – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
Women’s 15s Player of the Decade – Jessy Trémoulière (France)
Men’s Sevens Player of the Decade – Jerry Tuwai (Fiji)
Women’s Sevens Player of the Decade – Portia Woodman (New Zealand)
Men’s 15s Try of the Decade – Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)
Women’s 15s Try of the Decade – Portia Woodman (New Zealand)