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Ireland dominate with four selections while France secure just two in World XV

By Ben Smith
Ireland's James Ryan, Tadhg Furlong and Tadhg Beirne celebrate their November 2021 win over the All Blacks (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland have dominated World Rugby’s men’s dream team of the year with four selections in the XV, the most of any country.

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The historic series win on New Zealand soil over the All Blacks by Ireland has been rewarded at the annual World Rugby awards, with two nominations for Player of the Year and now four selections in the World XV.

Flyhalf Johnny Sexton was the lone Irish back in the XV, while three forwards were named in the pack, Tadhg Beirne, Tadhg Furlong, and openside Josh van der Flier.

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Sexton and Van der Flier were also both nominated for men’s Player of the Year, with the Irish flanker taking home the honour for the first time.

France, who completed a Grand Slam in March and had a perfect 10 from 10 wins in the calendar year with a win over Japan, had just two selections in scrumhalf Antoine Dupont and No 8 Gregory Alldritt.

The All Blacks, who won this year’s Rugby Championship, managed two selections in Sam Whitelock and prolific try-scoring wing Will Jordan.

However, Ardie Savea was a notable non-selection once again with Alldritt preferred over the All Blacks No 8.

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South Africa had three picks in the XV, with Malcolm Marx taking the starting hooker role while both centres Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am were picked in the midfield.

England had two selections also, with prop Ellis Genge and fullback Freddie Steward making the starting XV.

Argentina had one selection on the blindside with Pablo Matera, while Austraila also had one in left wing Marika Koroibete.

Wales, Scotland, and Italy were the only tier one nations not to recieve any selections.

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Shaylen 8 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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