The Rugby World Cup concluded as the Springboks were crowned champions. Bet Central compiles the team of the tournament.
15. Damian Willemse (South Africa)
Usurped Willie le Roux ahead of the World Cup and performed incredibly well. His attacking impetus was impeccable, and his kicking helped the Boks in several situations.
Beauden Barrett had a great World Cup despite losing out in the final.
Honourable mention: Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
14. Damian Penaud (France)
Damian Penaud went out of the tournament in the quarterfinal stage, but he was irresistible throughout as he was a prolific finisher.
Shout out to Will Jordan for his record-equalling 8 tries through the tournament.
Honourable mention: Will Jordan (New Zealand)
13. Waisea Nayacalevu (Fiji)
The first of 2 Pacific Islands players in the team of the tournament. Waisea Nayacalevu led his team impeccably well and was penetrating most defensive lines with incredible power and pace.
Garry Ringrose had a great tournament, and Jesse Kriel’s defensive efforts were phenomenal in the Boks’ successful campaign.
Honourable mention: Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
12. Bundee Aki (Ireland)
The best inside centre in the world by a margin, Bundee Aki was phenomenal throughout this World Cup, and not even his quarterfinal exit could deter him from his tournament.
Jordie Barrett and Damian de Allende were amazing in their sides’ campaigns.
Honourable mention: Damian de Allende (New Zealand)
11. Mark Telea (New Zealand)
Strength and speed like no one else across the board in the World Cup. Mark Telea had a tournament to remember, and he was deservedly crowned Breakthrough Player of the Year at the World Rugby Awards.
Cheslin Kolbe reminded all and sundry of his class on the way to the title.
Honourable mention: Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa)
10. Richie Mo’unga (New Zealand)
Probably didn’t play as well as he could have in the final, but Richie Mo’unga was an accomplished playmaker for the All Blacks and was unlucky to go out as a runner-up.
Owen Farrell came in after great performances George Ford and showed why he is the no.1 flyhalf and captain for England.
Honourable mention: Owen Farrell (England)
9. Aaron Smith (New Zealand)
Aaron Smith played his final game for the All Blacks in a 2nd World Cup final. In helping New Zealand get to the final he solidified his place in the pantheon of greats at scrumhalf.
Antoine Dupont is incredibly efficient, but he loses out to Smith.
Honourable mention: Antoine Dupont (France)
8. Ardie Savea (New Zealand)
The best player in the world right now after being crowned by World Rugby as the Men’s 15s Player of the Year. A colossal player on both sides of the ball.
Duane Vermeulen had a vintage tournament in his last tournament for the Springboks.
Honourable mention: Duane Vermeulen (South Africa)
7. Sam Cane (New Zealand)
The red card is a blight, but Sam Cane was outstanding in helping the All Blacks get to the final. His quarterfinal performance against Ireland was phenomenal.
Charles Ollivon was brilliant as he went in the quarterfinals, the Frenchman has done a lot of good work for France.
Honourable mention: Charles Ollivon (France)
6. Courtney Lawes (England)
Is there a better transition from lock to blindside flanker? Maybe the man who bubbles under Courtney Lawes could have a say, but the English flanker who called time on his Test career was amazing throughout the competition.
Pieter-Steph du Toit’s 28 tackles in the final alone warrants his place as backup to Lawes.
Honourable mention: Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa)
5. Theo McFarland (Samoa)
If he played for a Tier 1 nation, he would have been in the knockouts, but Theo McFarland was sensational with Samoa and despite not going to the knockout stage, he left a lasting impression.
Franco Mostert may not have had much joy as a carrier, but as a defender, he was phenomenal.
Honourable mention: Franco Mostert (South Africa)
4. Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)
The best lock in the world, Eben Etzebeth had a great World Cup and was unlucky to miss out on being the World Rugby Player of the Year.
Tadhg Beirne continues to be a supreme player for Ireland.
Honourable mention: Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
3. Frans Malherbe (South Africa)
There weren’t any standouts and tighthead prop is probably the hardest to emerge as a clear standout from, but the Boks’ triumph was based on a forward effort and Frans Malherbe was an immense contributor.
Uini Atonio was a titan for a French team that unfortunately fell out in the quarterfinals.
Honourable mention: Uini Atonio (France)
2. Peato Mauvaka (France)
One wonders whether his coming off against South Africa didn’t shift the momentum of the game, but that alone should tell you how massive he was for France. The best hooker of the tournament.
Bongi Mbonambi deserves recognition for his immense contributions in the knockout stages.
Honourable mention: Bongi Mbonambi
1. Ethan de Groot (New Zealand)
Ethan de Groot was immovable at the scrum for New Zealand even against the best in the business, he refused to even give an inch. His work as a carrier and a tackler – quite brilliant.
Cyril Baille had a memorable tournament, a part of what was arguably the best ball-carrying front row in the competition.
Honourable mention: Cyril Baille (France)