Just four Springboks have made it into the Rugby World magazine World XV for 2019 – the same number of representatives from the England team they convincingly defeated in the November final in Yokohama.
South Africa’s pack gained a reputation throughout the finals in Japan for being rugged and hard, but only one of their forwards – Pieter-Steph du Toit – was deemed good enough for the prestigious magazine’s XV compared to three of the beaten English forwards.
England, in fact, ended up with five representatives in total as Test rugby outcast Danny Cipriani was chosen as their best out-half of the year.
The Gloucester talisman man lit up the Premiership but was discarded by Eddie Jones when it came to choosing his World Cup finals squad.
With England accounting for five positions and world champions South Africa taking up another four slots, it meant space was at a premium for anyone else to get a look in on the fantasy XV.
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15 – Liam Williams (Wales)
14 – Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa)
13 – Lukhanyo Am (South Africa)
12 – Owen Farrell (England)
11 – Semi Radradra (Fiji)
10 – Danny Cipriani (England)
9 – Faf de Klerk (South Africa)
1 – Joe Moody (New Zealand)
2 – Shota Horie (Japan)
3 – Kyle Sinckler (England)
4 – Maro Itoje (England)
5 – Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales)
6 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa)
7 – Tom Curry (England)
8 – Ardie Savea (New Zealand)
In choosing its picks, the magazine explained: “We decided to focus on individuals and pick the best player in each position rather than ponder a team – as this is a fantasy scenario, we don’t have to worry about how combinations work in a match.
“We took into account players’ form over the past year for club and country, and looked for skills that set them apart from other contenders.”
WATCH: RugbyPass looks back on some of our favourite moments with the fans at the 2019 World Cup in Japan
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