What would an ANZAC XV look like?


Quade Cooper has spoken out this morning in favour of a combined Australia and New Zealand team, that could take on the likes of the British and Irish Lions in the future. Whether you think it’s a good idea or not, it’s a great chance to pick another fantasy team – here’s my stab at it, from the players currently available.

15. Israel Folau
14. Julien Savea
13. Conrad Smith
12. Ma’a Nonu
11. Ben Smith
10. Quade Cooper
9. Aaron Smith
1. Tony Woodcock
2. Stephen Moore
3. Owen Franks
4. Brodie Retallick
5. Sam Whitelock
6. Scott Higginbotham
7. Michael Hooper
8. Kieran Read

I’ve picked a team based mostly on last season’s international form as opposed to current Super Rugby performances – the one exception to this is Scott Higginbotham, who has been in such insatiable form recently that he has to be included despite missing most of last season through injury.

Other notable selections include Michael Hooper, who was a standout player for the Wallabies last season and pips even the great Richie McCaw. At half back Will Genia was some way from his best in 2013 and Aaron Smith has shown huge leaps of improvement, while Quade Cooper is selected at fly-half because… well, because look at that backline and ask yourself if there would be anyone better at orchestrating it (Dan Carter is on sabbatical, for reference). Ma’a Nonu only plays well with Conrad Smith on an international stage – but when they do combine, there is no better centre combination in the world.

All in all it is, unsurprisingly, an All Black dominated team – but after completing the first ever unbeaten year, that’s to be expected.

What do you think of that team? Would you make any changes, and do you think it would beat the Lions team that played last summer?

By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

7 thoughts on “What would an ANZAC XV look like?

  1. Always enjoy a good fantasy team!

    Not sure I’d make any changes from the team you named though. I’m a massive Higgingbottom fan. I kept thinking last year that the Aussies missed a good call carrier in the back row, and he offers that.

    I would have Genia in over A.Smith. Mainly for the reasons you pick Nonu and C.Smith, the partnership of those two, with the go forward ball they’d get off that pack. With that back line behind them. Could be unreal.

    How many of that side would also be in a world 15? Probably most?

  2. I heard rumours that there was supposed to be a SANZAR team being assembled next year to play a Lions side for some commemoration?

    It’s pretty hard to disagree with any of the selections there, I’d pick Genia to complement Cooper.

    The more I think about a world XV the more changes I would make. For me only Read and Folau would be dead certs, most other positions are pretty open for debate.

  3. Who’s going to do the post match interviews? Swap Ben Smith for Conrad and stick The Honey Badger on the wing :)

  4. 16. Coles
    18. Franks
    19. Horwill

    Suitable bench?

  5. Who’s coach?

    If is in Europe after WC Id have:

    Giteau 12 then
    Ashley-Cooper 13

    Hayman 3

    Spirit of Anzac should not exclude Mat and Carl.

    And bring in a wild card player from the U20s At 9 or 2 or 7.

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  7. 1. woodcock
    2. moore
    4.horwill (vice)
    5. whitelock
    6. mccaw (captain)
    7. hooper
    9. genia
    10. carter
    11. savea
    12. SBW
    13. adam ashley cooper
    14. ben smith
    15 folau

    16. dane coles
    17. slipper
    18. b. franks
    19. retallick
    20. higginbotham
    21. a.smith
    22. beauden barrett
    23. israel dagg

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