A formidable World XV

Written by Benedict Chanakira (bchanakira2)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions on 18 Oct 2013 at 09:41
Tagged with : , , , , ,

New contributor Benedict gives us food for thought on this Friday as he selects a World XV, based on current form.

World XV

15. Leigh Halfpenny (WALES)
14. Ben Smith (NZ)
13. Conrad Smith (NZ)
12. Jean de Villiers (SA) (C)
11. Willie le Roux (SA)
10. Aaron Cruden (NZ)
9. Aaron Smith (NZ)
8. Kieran Read (NZ)
7. Liam Messam (NZ)
6. Francois Louw (SA)
5. Sam Whitelock (NZ)
4. Eben Etzebeth (SA)
3. Juan Figallo (ARG)
2. Bismarck du Plessis (SA)
1. Tendai Mtawarira (SA)

16. Adriaan Strauss (SA)
17. Jannie du Plessis (SA)
18. Bakkies Botha (SA)
19. Duane Vermaelen (SA)
20. Fourie du preez (SA)
21. Jonny Wilkinson (ENG)
22. Israel Folau (AUS)
23. Tony Woodcock (NZ)

Reasons for my selections:

Back Three– has the ability to diffuse high ball bombs, has pace and vision. It has counter attack ability. All three are experienced and have had a stellar year. Le Roux, who was the Springbok find of the year, has been a mercurial player who has quite the ingenuity. An explosive Israel Folau on the bench!

Centres– are two experienced campaigners. The finest in the world. They provide great defence, creativity and physicality. Both good communicators and have the ability at Test level. Jean de Villiers will also assume the captaincy role after fine work for both South Africa and the Stormers.

Flyhalf– this was tough, no real consistent performer. Steyn had a decent Championship. Who will forget that bump on Brodie? Barrett stepped up when Carter was smashed by du Plessis, controlled the test well, and showed class in scoring their fourth try against South Africa. I chose Cruden, was superb in the Super Rugby and was instrumental in the Blacks winning the Rugby Championship.

Scrumhalf– Will Genia has had a tough season. Despite brilliance in creating a world class try for Israel Folau. Aaron Smith and Fourie du Preez have taken the laurels. Smith edging du Preez who came to invigorate the Boks. A crisp left and right pass. An improving kicking game and the cog to an All Black machine.

Loose forwards– A balance. The best skill set you can ask for in the trio. They have great technical ability, link up play with the backs is supreme and when the hard yards are required they can put them in. β€œFerocious on defence, dominant at the breakdown and mesmerising on attack.”

Locks– Young, energetic and hungry. There is a new generation of rivalries and brilliance coming up. Etzebeth has the physical aura that Botha held, while developing an aerial threat in the lineout as well. Similar to Whitelock who has also made the All Black no 5 jumper his own.

Front row– I tried to combine the Argentineans and Springbok front row. They have managed to destroy all the scrums they have met. Bismarck is the best hooker in the world. Beast is quality, and will do the job better than most in the world. Figallo was the pillar for the Argentina side. A massive work rate around the park as well.

This is my World XV; arguably the best players in the world in their positions.


  • No Habana? o_0

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.10.13 10:00:38 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • Fantastic team, I would however question Jonny Wilkinson on the bench. His time is up IMO.

    Maybe also have Castrogiavanni(spelling?) on the bench instead of Jannie.

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.10.13 10:01:26 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Uli (Comment 1) :

    Agreed, I would pick Habana before Willie.

    I don’t know the NH players very well but I’m pretty sure there are better loosehead than the Beast up North.

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.10.13 10:03:41 by Pokkel Reply
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  • What? No Meyer Bosman? :mrgreen:

    What happened to the guy who carried us through the Super 15 anyway?

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.10.13 10:05:09 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 4) : He’s somewhere up north, can”t remember who he signed for though.

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.10.13 10:06:12 by Pokkel Reply
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  • This is more like a Rugby Championship 15 than a World XV. George North would certainly make it on current form, as would a number of other NH players. Alex Corbisiero, if fit, is definitely the best scrummaging Loosehead. Then you have players like Jonny Sexton, Alun Wyn-Jones, Wesley Fofana etc etc

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.10.13 10:10:04 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 4) : He joined Stade Francais after S15.

    Habana would also be an automatic choice for me along with Bismarck, Eben, Reid, Flow, Jean and Conrad Smith.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a South XV vs North XV?

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.10.13 10:16:23 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 7) : That’s what happened in the last two RWC

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.10.13 10:26:00 by benji Reply
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  • No Habana, George North or Julian Savea?? Seriously dude. World Rugby lacks scrumhalves if Du Preez makes the bench based on one good game he played in a game that had already been won.

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.10.13 10:36:22 by Lunga Mbatha Reply

  • I would love to see that too @Original Pierre

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.10.13 10:41:42 by Lunga Mbatha Reply

  • I would love to see this team ;
    3.Juan Figallo
    12.Sonny Boy πŸ˜†
    13.Jaque Fourie
    14.Le Roux

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.10.13 10:50:53 by Talent Reply
  • Cobisiero? Not considered first choice for Lions. Called up later. North had an explosive tour (Lions) however watched three of four games for Saints not as good. Southern Hemisphere players are a cut above most. Habana was injured earlier in the year; this was when le roux engineered a Cheetahs play off spot and reignited the Bok attack.

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.10.13 10:54:59 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • @Villie (Comment 6) : Sexton πŸ˜† yaaw

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.10.13 11:16:23 by Talent Reply
  • @bchanakira2 (Comment 12) : Corbisiero was injured before the Lions Squad was announced and then made a miraculous recovery in time to be selected as a replacement.

    I’d have Jamie Roberts as my inside centre as he’s been amazing for a few years now. I’d also prefer o’Brien as my blindside flank and either Brussouw, George Smith or McCaw as my openside.

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.10.13 11:28:25 by ChrisS Reply
  • @bchanakira2 (Comment 12) : Picking a World XV is always going to be subjective. No 2 people are ever going to agree. I mean just picking a Bok 15/squad creates a huge amount of debate. Even the Sharks team does. I rate Frans Steyn highly, lots of others don’t. Always going to be mixed views. However I do feel the NH players are being underrated. Hey and I’m a massive Bok and Sharks fan…certainly no fan of NH teams!

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.10.13 11:34:44 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @Villie (Comment 15) : I think what makes it so subjective is that every person values different skills in each position. So some people value a kicking flyhalf over a running flyhalf that cant kick as well. Some think hookers must be good at the breakdown over good lineout throwing and scrumming etc. Thats why no 2 coaches are alike and why watching rugby is interesting as no 2 teams are exactly similar

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.10.13 11:40:17 by SheldonK Reply

  • This is very true, makes a lot of sense. All our opinions will all be different. Gu
    ess this makes Rugby such a great game!

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.10.13 11:48:28 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • This is very true, makes a lot of sense. All our opinions will all be different. Guess this makes Rugby such a great game!

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.10.13 11:48:48 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • In my opinion, I would only include Halfpenny if he’s needed as a goal kicker. There are way better fullbacks with ball in hand and in defence!

    But since you chose Cruden at 10, Halfpenny will definitely be needed, since Cruden is an average goal kicker at best!

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.10.13 12:04:19 by SeanyJMc Reply

  • I think most people in the world will agree with your choices at 2, 4, 8. But yeah, everyone rates players differently and there will be loads of different World XV’s.

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.10.13 12:08:53 by SeanyJMc Reply

  • Yes, that is true! πŸ˜€

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.10.13 13:06:19 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • Great team…might sneek in Habs for a bit of raw finishing pace in place of le Roux, WHO STILL IS AWESOME. Sexton the backup 10 for sure. And Id argue for McCaw to start in place of Flo…he is the complete package and was brilliant at Ellis Park!!!

    But still an amazing team

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.10.13 13:06:33 by pienaar111 Reply

  • The only problem… who would this team play against?

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.10.13 13:51:30 by CS Reply

  • I’m really surprised that the powers that be have not created an annual North vs South contest yet? It would be hugely marketable… and I would personally find it a lot more entertaining than the arbitary annual barbarian matches.

    Maybe SANZAR are scared the Northern team might beat us 😯

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.10.13 13:54:25 by CS Reply

  • Who would coach this team?

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.10.13 13:56:27 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • I agree with Willie LeRoux over Habana… he’s by no means the finished product yet, but he has already shown some excellent qualities. Would actually like to see what Willie could become if coached in New Zealand.

    Habana is a one-trick pony… all he brings is speed (admittedly lots of it). But without space he is pretty ineffectual, and doesn’t create as much for the guys around him as Willie Le Roux does. Also in recent years Habana has proven to be a defensive weakness in our armoury, often rushing up in defence and leaving space for the attacking backline.

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.10.13 14:01:01 by CS Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 25) : I guess Steve Hansen and his team?

    They have the proven credentials… and despite following in Henry’s footsteps has certainly not lived in his shadow. He has been innovative in his approach and I believe has kept the team evolving and has taken them to another level

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.10.13 14:12:55 by CS Reply

  • @CS (Comment 26) : I actually agree with that..Keep Le Roux then!!!

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.10.13 14:13:51 by pienaar111 Reply

  • Great starting 15 that. But I would choose Mike Brown at fullback.

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.10.13 15:11:13 by rhineshark Reply
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  • Talking of world rugby, now looking forward to my 2 favourite Euro teams clashing at Wembley. Thankfully, Nigel Owens is the ref.

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.10.13 20:46:58 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
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  • Am seeing a new French superstar 8thman in the making: Gillian Galan. Dude is just about untackleable and can distribute. Basically Spies with brains and talent, but looks like an overweight club lock. 😯

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.10.13 21:33:14 by rhineshark Reply
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    Spirit of Rugby
  • he has been like that since last year. works for me. he is a capable player. Not a fan of Picamoles on the bench but hey ; he is good enough :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.10.13 23:48:09 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • @bchanakira2 (Comment 32) : Yes, I’m also a fan of Picamoles, but it’s working for Toulouse.

    Must be disheartening for opponents having to tackle Galan for 60 minutes and then on walks Picamoles! πŸ˜†

  • Comment 33, posted at 19.10.13 09:18:38 by rhineshark Reply
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