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'Does Ardie Savea not exist?': Fans react to World Rugby's dream team

By Finn Morton
Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

World Rugby have announced the Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year, but the absence of two international superstars has left fans on Twitter shocked and confused.


World No. 1 Ireland had four players included in the star studded line-up, the most of any nation, with Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne and Johnny Sexton all named.

Irish flanker Josh van der Flier was also included in the XV, before later being crowned the world’s best male 15s player at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco.

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Three players from South Africa were also selected – including the midfield pairing of Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am.

New Zealand, England and France had two players named in the Dream Team each – which is somewhat of a surprise considering Les Bleus’ dominance this year.

Winger Marika Koroibete was the only Australian included in the team of the year, while flanker Pablo Matera was the only Argentinian player selected.

While the team certainly looks fantastic on paper, the glaring omissions of two players has stumped fans – including the absence of an All Blacks star.


All Blacks backrower Ardie Savea has been phenomenal again this year, which is why many rugby fans were shocked to discover that he wasn’t even nominated for the Player of the Year award.

Many rugby fans believed he was the best player in Test rugby this year, but the fact that he didn’t even make the top XV has left a couple of fans asking whether Savea actually exists.

Another international superstar who was omitted from the Dream Team, and who many believed should’ve been nominated for the Player of the Year award, was South Africa’s Eben Etzebeth.


Etzebeth was left out of the XV with Irish lock Tadhg Beirne and All Blacks star Sam Whitelock selected ahead of him.

There is still more international rugby to be played this weekend, with South Africa set to take on England in a blockbuster at Twickenham.

In the other Test, traditional rugby rivals Wales and Australia will both run out to Cardiff’s Principality Stadium with a point to prove.


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Jérémie 611 days ago

It seems that France won the 6N, stayed unbeaten the whole year and La Rochelle and Lyon won the 2 European cups with bad, bad players... :D

Jon 612 days ago

Who would want to be selector? I know this is only a Dream Team on paper..nobody has to play and nobody gets paid but you will never keep everyone happy with the selection.

There are some awesome players on the list and hard to argue with most of the calls ...but here is my take on it just in case the selectors are interested.

Front Row..Genge/Baille 50/50 call so no arguments there.

Second Row ..Eben Etzebeth has to be picked but a tight call who to drop. Probably play Etzebeth and Beirne as Ireland got the better of the Allblacks.

Back Row..As a Welsh fan I would love to see a place for Taulupe Faletau but Ardie Savea would be my pick for Player of the Year so he has to get a spot. Again hard decision who to drop from the Dream Team but would go with Savea, Alldritt and Van de Flier.

Backs..not too many disagreements here but a 50/50 call for me at fullback with Freddie Steward and Jordie Barrett.

I am sure not everyone would agree with my team .....but every arm chair selector has aright to there own opinion. From what I have seen of Ardie Savea, when interviewed he is a humble human who will not be too upset at not making the team but will go out to prove the selectors wrong at RWC 2023.

Jonny Wales

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