World Cup 2019: Team of the Tournament
OPINION: The 2019 World Cup is over and now it is time to see who got selected in rugby365’s Team of the Tournament.
The Springboks are the champions and they lead the way with eight players in our selection.
England, the runners-up, are the next best represented with four players in our team.
New Zealand and Wales are the only other teams represented while hosts Japan have quite a few players bubbling under after their impressive showing.
Team of the Tournament:
15 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
His best position is flyhalf, but he excelled in the No.15 jersey during the tournament. He was a handful for opposition defenders when he ran with the ball – he beat 24 defenders and made 12 linebreaks in the tournament.
Bubbling under: Liam Williams (Wales)
14 – Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa)
He is a dangerous ball-runner, which was proven once again after his fantastic try in the Final against England. However, it’s his work rate without the ball that sets him apart from other wings. Despite his size, he was often dominant in the tackle and quite effective in the air as well.
Bubbling under: Kotaro Matsushima (Japan)
13 – Manu Tuilagi (England)
He gave his team plenty of power out wide and he just made life difficult for defenders with his big frame. He also scored three tries, one of which was against the All Blacks in the semifinal.
Bubbling under: Jack Goodhue (New Zealand)
12 – Damian de Allende (South Africa)
The midfielder was immense in open play for the Springboks. He was just a hard man to bring down when he had the ball. Like many of his teammates, he was outstanding in the defensive part of the game with his speed and power off the line putting teams under pressure.
Bubbling under: Owen Farrell (England)
11 – Josh Adams (Wales)
Finished as the tournament’s leading try-scorer with seven tries. He was a difficult player to mark out wide and he just had a good eye for spotting space. He also made 18 clean breaks and beat 16 defenders.
Bubbling under: Makazole Mapimpi (South Africa)
10 – Handré Pollard (South Africa)
The 25-year-old finished as the leading points scorer with 69. He did not light up the tournament on attack, but his boot got the Springboks through a tense game against Wales in the semifinal and it was more of the same in the Final where he outplayed his opposite number, George Ford.
Bubbling under: Dan Biggar (Wales)
9 – Faf De Klerk (South Africa)
He received a lot of criticism from Bok fans for his box kicks, but he was playing under instruction and he was effective. His game management and decision-making was excellent and gave his team direction around the park.
Bubbling under: Aaron Smith (New Zealand)
8 – Duane Vermeulen (South Africa)
His leadership and experience was there for all to see. His physicality in open play rattled teams and he got his side over the gainline with some big carries. No one can question his work on defence and there must surely be a few players still feeling the pain after he crashed into them during the tournament.
Bubbling under: Kazuki Himeno (Japan)
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa)
He just never stops to take a breather. He was a machine upfront for the Springboks, especially in the mauls and he was a monster in defence. He was deservedly crowned World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year.
Bubbling under: Sam Underhill (England)
6 – Tom Curry (England)
He played out of his skin in every single game for England. He was brutal in the tackle, especially against the All Blacks and he ran with the ball with great aggression. He also played his role at disrupting opposition ball at the breakdowns.
Bubbling under: Siyamthanda Kolisi (South Africa)
5 – Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
He made more tackles (79) than any other player in the tournament and he just led his team by example around the park. He was another player came to the party in terms of physicality.
Bubbling under: Lood de Jager (South Africa)
4 – Maro Itoje (England)
He was a consistent performer for England, but he will be remembered for his outstanding showing against the All Blacks. He won a few turnovers and was excellent at securing possession at the line-outs.
Bubbling under: Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)
3 – Kyle Sinckler (England)
He left the field after just two minutes in the Final after a head knock, but his campaign should not be remembered for that. His work rate throughout the tournament was excellent and he was a joy to watch in open play with his strong carries.
Bubbling under: Frans Malherbe (South Africa)
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (South Africa)
The Springboks’ set-pieces laid the foundation for their World Cup success and Bongi Mbonambi was at the heart of it. He was solid in the scrums and his line-out throwing was consistent throughout.
Bubbling under: Shota Horie (Japan)
1 – Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa)
He was one of the reasons why South Africa destroyed England in the scrums in the Final. In fact, he destroyed quite a few of his opposite numbers in the tournament.
Bubbling under: Keita Inagaki (Japan)
Our individual selections:
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Leezil Hendricks XV: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Damian De Allende, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf De Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Alun wyn Jones, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Warren Fortune XV: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Nienaber the next Boks coach?
England boss ‘sorry’ for World Cup final defeat
Kolbe magic: Step by step
‘Welcome home’ party for Boks: When and where
Boks clean up at World Rugby awards
AmaBokoboko back at No.1