Rugby World Cup Dream Team

Here’s my team of the World Cup – let me know what you think.

One or two controversial selections, but the wealth of talent on show meant there was always going to be disappointment for those that missed out.

1. Andrew Sheridan (England)
First name on the teamsheet, primarily because I started at the top, but also because he’s now the most-feared scrummager in World Rugby.

2. John Smit (South Africa)
The World Cup-winning captain led his team with pride and courage, and I would have liked to have seen Thabo Mbeki hoisting the big hooker onto his shoulders, rather than the other way around.

3. Census Johnston (Samoa)
Gave the Samoan pack its teeth.  Several teams of the tournament have selected Carl Hayman, but surely only on reputation rather than impact at this World Cup.

4. Victor Matfield (South Africa)
The best lineout forward in the world, and made a big contribution in the loose.  Was responsible almost single-handedly for dominating England at the set-piece.

5. Simon Shaw (England)
Powerful tight game and prolific loose game.  A revelation for England in this World Cup, and helped give Sheridan the necessary shove to destroy Australia.

6. Schalk Burger (South Africa)
Despite wearing the number 7 shirt, he was far and away the best blindside in the tournament.  Marshalled South Africa’s defence in the final, and regularly contributed to their score throughout the competition.

7. Thierry Dusatoir (France)
A star of the French victory over the All Blacks, Dusatoir emerged as an outstanding openside, winning the battle of the breakdown with Richie McCaw.

8. Finau Maka (Tonga)
Spearheaded Tonga’s famous victory over Samoa, and almost carried them through to the knockout stages.  Big guns, big hair, big game player.

9. Fourie du Preez (South Africa)
Now widely regarded as the best scrum-half in the world, and deserved to lift the trophy.  His tactical nous took some of the pressure away from Butch James.

10. Juan Martin Hernandez (Argentina)
My player of the tournament, without question.  Executed the Pumas’ gameplan expertly, dropping the ball onto a sixpence whenever required.

11. Bryan Habana (South Africa)
The record-equalling try-scorer had a great World Cup.  Several of his tries required a lot of finishing, and luckily he’s now on the same dream team as Takudzwa Ngwenya.

12. Luke McAlister (New Zealand)
The only kiwi representative, but deserves his place.  Always looked dangerous with ball in hand, and some might say he was unlucky to be sin-binned against France!

13. Stirling Mortlock (Australia)
Looked a class act throughout with hard, direct running and nearly rescued his team despite the watching forwards crumbling around him.

14. Takudzwa Ngwenya (USA)
Bryan Habana couldn’t get near him, and makes this team for that searing break alone.  He lit up the World Cup, and will be dining out on it for years to come.

15. Percy Montgomery (South Africa)
Percy epitomised calmness under pressure in the final, slotting four penalties for the winners, and standing firm at the back.

51 thoughts on “Rugby World Cup Dream Team

  1. I think you are so unfair with the argentinians. Players like Roncero, Albacete, Contepomi, Longo and Corleto could deserve be part of this team.

  2. Contempomi nearly made the inside centre berth, but ruled himself out with his petulant fighting and tantrums in the semi final.

    Ledesma was also close behind Smit, and Corleto should maybe be in the back 3 ahead of Ngwenga.

    As I said, competition was tough!

  3. With some soubts my team is : 1 Roncero/Sheridan 2 Smith 3 de Villiers 4 Matfield 5 Albacete 6 Burger 7 Dusatoir 8 Longo 9 Du Preez 10 Hernandez 11 Habana 12 Contepomi/Stein 13 Morlock/McAllister 14 Shane Williams/Delasau 15 Corleto

  4. Shane Williams?! Don’t agree with that. Delasau was very close to selection, but not many of the Welsh team were.

  5. It always amazes me how much debate gets stimulated by teams such as this which will never actually play a game together!

    Can’t argue with any of your selections really James. For Caucaunibuca in 2003, read Ngwenya in 2007 – maybe he’ll build a career in Europe on the basis of his wonder try and end up fat and out of favour by 2011!

  6. Remarkable similarity to my own team from 3 weeks ago matey! Do agree that at least one member of the Argentine front row deserves a place, probably Scelzo for Johnston.

    Also, great leader that he is, I’m sticking to that fiersome Ukrainain Akvsenti Giorgadze at hooker over Smit!

  7. I think I’d probably have Mario Ledesma for Smit – he’s still the best! Contepomi is a must for me too. Also Argentinian, Roncero might challenge Sheridan for a place, I can’t really decide between the two!

    Not sure about Juan Martin Hernandez, he didn’t have the best of games in the semi-final. I’d maybe replace him with Wilkinson. What about Nili Tatu for Tonga?

  8. 1 du Randt, 2 Smit, 3 van der Linde, 4 Shaw, 5 Matfield, 6 Smith, 7 Dusautoir, 8 Longo, 9 du Preez, 10 Hernandez, 11 Habana, 12 Contepomi, 13 Mortlock, 14 S. Williams, 15 Montgomery

  9. Nick I assume you’re having a giraffe with the front row, although at least you didn’t pick Pieter De Villiers like post 4. Sheridan, Smit and Scelzo I reckon. I disagree with people on Contepomi, didn’t think he was actually that influential for Argentina.

    Juan Smith has to be in there – he was awesome and I think Qera and Latu were both up there with Dusattior on the open side. Delasau and Haban would carve up on the wings and I’d like to see Corleto or Robinson instead of Montgomery although if you’re picking a blanced team with a goalkicker then Percy gets the nod.

    Shaun Perry at scrum half anyone?

  10. 1Roncero 2Ledesma 3DeVilliers 4Matfield 5Albacete 6Burger 7Smith 8Longo 9Du Preez 10Wilko 11Habana 12Steyn 13Mc Allister(despite he’s playes as 12)
    14Lewsey 15Corleto

  11. Regan, Vickery, Moody, Easter, Catt, Robinson and Worsley. Each of those players played fewer minutes in the World Cup final than van der Linde and 35 year old du Randt did.

    They faced supposedly the most dominant scrum in the world and beat them while playing the full 80 minutes. For a front row in this day and age, that is remarkable. The three of them were the best front row in the tournament as far as I’m concerned.

  12. Nick, no one has even suggested that any of those 7 English players should be in this team. Robinson would be the closest, but none of the others would get anywhere near.

  13. I wouldn’t say the South African front row beat the English as it was pretty even in that department but I know that I’ve never enjoyed watching a scrummaging contest as much as I enjoyed watching the one in the World Cup final – I thought it was fantastic, and that’s coming from a fly half.
    It was as good an argument as any for keeping the scrum as a real contest as it can have such an impact on the game. Watching free-flowing rugby is great but the best thing about the sport is that there are so many different dimensions to enjoy.

  14. nili latu deserves the 7 spot the way he led his fowards in battle he fought above his wieght and played in a team which was not nearly as strong as other players in contention for this postion but still played well constantly where as others played as they as they are expected with world class player all around them

  15. 1-Roncero 2-Smith 3-de Villiers 4-Albacete 5-Matfield 6-Burger 7-Dusatoir 8-Longo 9-du Preez\Rauluni 10-Hernandez 11-Habana 12-Contepomi 13-Mortlock 14-Delasau 15-Corleto

  16. Are you Argentinian by any chance?! Notable absence of Englishmen despite England being the second best team. It’s a good side, but would probably swap Roncero for Sheridan to make it more representative.

  17. Wales didn’t even qualify from their group, which puts them on the same level as Canada, USA and Portugal. None of their players made the Dream Team either.

  18. i think you have been really unfair to the all blacks there is a reason why they are noticed as the best team in the world but on the other hand the fact its the team that function so well it can be a bad habbit picking too many from their team and not noticing other better players.

  19. I think that this is the best team that you could have picked except if you had just added the whole springbok team as they performedoutstanding. GO BOKKEEE!!!

  20. you got it all wrong you should have it like this
    1: Phil Vickery 2:John Smit 3:Andrew Sheridan
    4: Chris Jack 5: Victor Matfield
    6:Schalk Burger 7:Richie Mccaw 8:Jerry Collins/George Smith
    9:Ericky Januaire 10:Daniel Carter
    12:Gavin Henson 13:Brian O’Driscoll (c)
    11:Shane Williams 14:Bryan Habana 15:Percy Montgomery

  21. 1. Gethin Jenkins
    2. John Smit
    3. Andrew Sheridan
    4. Victor Matfield
    5. Paul O’Connell
    6. Jerry Collins
    7. Martyn Williams
    8. Sergio Parisse
    9. Mike Phillips
    10. Dan Carter
    11. Shane Williams
    12. Matt Giteau
    13. Brian O’Driscoll
    14. Bryan Habana
    15. Percy Montegomery

    Now that is the team you need

  22. thats a shit team bro my all black dream team would maul them. 1)benfranks 2)kevan mealamu 3)tony woodcock 4)brad thorn 5)issac ross 6)liam messam 7)richie mccaw 8)nasi manu 9)jimmy cowan 10)dan carter 11)hosea gear 12)maa nonu 13)casey laulala 14)corey jane 15)mils mulianina

  23. 1.Carl Hayman
    2.Kevin Mealamu
    3.Tony Woodcock
    4.Brad Thorn
    5.Ali Williams
    6.Jerome Kano
    7.Rithcie McCaw
    8.Rodney So’olio
    9.Piri Weepu
    10.Dan Carter
    11.Joe Rocokoco
    12.Ma’a Nonu
    13.Isiah Toeava
    14.Cory Jane
    15.Mils Muliana

    This team wou;d fuck the Ozzies up gee

  24. 1.Carl Hayman
    2.John Smit
    3.Tony Woodcock
    4.Victor Matfield
    5.Brad Thorn
    6.Schalk Burger
    7.Ritche McCaw
    8.Sebestian Chabal
    9.Mike Phillips
    10.Dan Carter
    11.Shane Williams
    12.Gavin Henson
    13.Brian O’Driscoll
    14.Brian Habana
    15.Jason Robinson

    Shit ye son !

  25. 1 vickery
    2 J.Smit
    3 C.Hayman
    4 V.Matfield
    5 p.O Connell
    6 J.Collins
    7 R.Micaw
    8 S.Chabal
    9 M.Philips
    10 D.CARTER
    11 s.williams
    12 j.roberts
    13 b.o drisscoll
    14 Bryan habana
    15 r.kearney

  26. 1. John Hayes
    2. Bismark Du Plessis
    3. John Smit
    4. Victor Matfield
    5. Fabien Pelous
    6. Neil Back
    7. Richie McCaw
    8. Sergio Parisse
    9. Januarie
    10. Dan Carter
    11. Alesana Tulagi
    12. Umaga
    13. Ma’a Nonu
    14. Lomu
    15. Loki Tuquiri

  27. 1.Vickery
    2. Thompson
    3. john smit
    4. Martin Johnson
    5. Chabal
    6. Lewis moody
    7. collins
    8. Nonu
    9. Ben youngs
    10. Jonny wilkinson
    11. Lomu
    12. Dan carter
    13. Umaga
    14. Doug howlett
    15. Jason robinson

  28. 1.dan.cole
    6.lewis. moody
    7.richy mcCaul
    8.andrew beattie
    9.paul stringer
    10.jonny wilkinson
    11.bryan habanna
    13.brian odriscal
    14.david lemi
    15.ben foden

  29. Crap teams man.. all blacks
    1. Ben Franks
    2. Keven mealamu
    3. Tony Woodcock
    4. Ali Williams
    5. Chris Jack
    6. Jerry Collins
    7. Richie McCaw
    8. Keiran Read
    9. Justin Marshall
    10. Dan Carter
    11. Jonah Lomu
    12. Sonny Bill Williams
    13. Tana Umaga
    14. Doug Howlett
    15. Christian Cullen
    16. Sean Fitzpatrick
    17. Owen Franks
    18. Jerome Kaino
    19. Piri Weepu
    20. Robbie Fruen
    21. Rene Ranger
    22. Israel Dagg

    Now thats a team worth talking about .

  30. No, no you want:
    1.Andrew sheridan
    2.John Smit
    3.Tony Woodcock
    4.Victor Matfield
    5. Courtney Lawes
    6. Tom Croft
    7.Richie Mccaw
    8.Sergio Parisse
    9. Fourie Du Preez
    10.Dan Carter
    11.Joe rokocoko
    13.Stirling Mortlock
    14.James O’Connor
    15.Mild Muliania

  31. 1. Gethin Jenkins
    2. John Smit
    3. Phil Vickery
    4. George Smith
    5. Scahlt Burger
    6. David Wallace
    7. Richie Mccaw
    8. Sergio Parrise
    9. George Gregan
    10. Dan Carter
    11. Shane Williams
    12. Sonny Bill Williams
    13. Brian O’ Drisscoll
    14. Bryan Habana
    15. Percy Montgomery

    How about that then?????

  32. 1. Gethin Jenkins
    2. John Smit
    3. Phil Vickery
    4. George Smith
    5. Scahlt Burger
    6. David Wallace
    7. Richie Mccaw
    8. Sergio Parrise
    9. George Gregan
    10. Dan Carter
    11. Shane Williams
    12. Sonny Bill Williams
    13. Brian O’ Drisscoll
    14. Bryan Habana
    15. Percy Montgomery

    Now How about that then?????

  33. i say:

    1. Tony Woodcock
    2. John Smit
    3. Carl Hayman
    4. Victor Matfield
    5. Simon Shaw
    6. Schalk Burger
    7. Richie McCaw
    8. Finau Maka
    9. Fourie Du Preez
    10. Dan Carter
    11. Shane Williams
    12. Mike Tindall
    13. Brian O’Driscoll
    14. Doug Howlett
    15. Gavin Henson

    Now thats a bad-ass team

  34. 1. beast
    2. bismarck
    3. hayman
    4 botha
    5 matfield
    6 brussow
    7 G.smith
    8 schabal
    9. marshall
    10. cooper
    11. jane
    12. nonu
    13 fourie
    14 clerc
    15 f. steyn
    16 mealamu
    17 sheridan
    18 shaw
    19 croft
    20 du preez
    21 carter
    22 williams

  35. 1. Beast
    2. Bismarc
    9.Du Preez
    12.De Villiers

  36. 1.Tony Woodcock
    2.Andrew Hore
    3.Owen franks
    4.Brad Thorn
    5.Victor Matfield
    6.Jarome Kainoe
    7.Ritchie Mccaw
    8.Kieran reid
    9.Will Genia
    10.Quade Cooper
    11.Digbi Ioani
    12.Ma’a Nonu
    13.Conrad Smith
    14.Kurtley beale
    15.Izzy Dagg

  37. 1.Adam Jones
    2.Mathew Rees
    3.Gethin Jenkins
    4.Luke Chateris
    5.Bradley Davies
    6.Andy Powell
    7.Sam Warburton
    8.Toby Falatau
    9.Tavis Knoyle
    10.James Hook
    11.George Norh
    12.Jonathon Davies
    13.Jamie Roberts
    14.Shane Williams
    15.Leigh Halfpenny
    16.Paul James
    17.Huw Bennett
    18.Alun Wyn Jones
    19. Danny Lidiate
    20.Mike Phillips
    21.Rhys Priestland
    22.Scott Williams
    23.Aled Brew
    24.Lee Burn

  38. Now that the World Cup has finished, this would be my 2011 RWC XV squad:

    1. Gethin Jenkins
    2. Kevin Mealamu
    3. Adam Jones
    4 Luke Charteris
    5. Sam Whitelock
    6. Henry Dustinoir/David Pocock
    7. Sam Warburton
    8. Keiran Read/Toby Faletau
    9. Piri Weepu
    10. Rhys Preistland
    11. Cory Jane
    12. Jamie Roberts
    13. Adam Ashley Cooper/Rougerie
    14. James O’ Connor
    15. Kurtley Beale/Lee Halfpenny

    What do you think?

  39. Tony Woodcock
    2.Andrew Hore
    3.Owen franks
    4.Brad Thorn
    5.Victor Matfield
    6.Jarome Kainoe
    7.Ritchie Mccaw
    8.Kieran Reid
    9.Peri Weepu
    10.Daniel Carter
    11.Shane Williams
    12.Sonny Bill Williams
    13. Ma’a Nonu
    14.Isarel Dagg
    15. Quade Cooper

  40. 1) cian healey
    2)Kevin Mealamu
    3)mako vunipola
    4)Paul O’Connell
    5)Joe Launchbury
    6)Dan Lydiate
    7)Richie McCaw
    8)Kieran Reed
    9)curtly Beal
    10)Dan Carter
    11)Bryan Habana
    12)Jamie Roberts
    13)Brian O’Driscoll
    14)Israel Folaou
    15)Israel Dagg

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