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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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