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Just one Australian included in 2022 Super Rugby Pacific Dream Team

By Sam Smith
(Photos / Getty Images)

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Only one Australian has been voted into a fan-selected Super Rugby Pacific Dream Team conducted by RugbyPass.

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Home to the best players on offer in New Zealand, Australia and the wider Pacific region, the RugbyPass Super Rugby Dream Team offers fans the chance to have their say as to who the best players in the competition are on a week-by-week basis.

With the regular season done and dusted as we prepare for the competition’s playoffs, fans have used their voice to collectively decide who they believe to be the best players from the round-robin.

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That decision has been made via week-by-week voting, with each round in the Super Rugby Pacific season having its own Dream Team.

Votes from throughout the course of the season accumulate to create an overall Dream Team, a composite side comprised of the highest-voted players from throughout the year.

As things stand, Reds prop Taniela Tupou is the only non-Kiwi to feature in the overall RugbyPass Super Rugby Pacific Dream Team.

A star for the Reds and Wallabies, Tupou has featured regularly for the Queenslanders this season, but the 26-year-old will be absent as the Reds aim to keep their campaign alive in their quarter-final against the Crusaders on Friday.

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Joining Tupou in the RugbyPass Super Rugby Pacific Dream Team front row is injured Crusaders prop Joe Moody and Chiefs hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho.

All three front rowers hold healthy leads over the second-highest voted for players in their respective positions, although – as things stand – Moody is only 20 votes clear of Highlanders behemoth Ethan de Groot.

Crusaders captain Scott Barrett and Chiefs star Brodie Retallick, a recent injury returnee for the Hamilton-based franchise, hold down the two lock spots and are both well clear of the chasing pack.

The same can be said for Hurricanes skipper Ardie Savea, who has been voted into the No 8 role and is more than 200 votes ahead of Chiefs powerhouse Pita Gus Sowakula.

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However, things are bit more tightly-contested in the two flanker roles, with Crusaders blindside Ethan Blackadder holding a slender 27-vote lead over teammate and Los Pumas star Pablo Matera in the No 6 jersey.

Likewise, inspirational Blues captain Dalton Papalii leads the charge at openside flanker, but is less than 40 votes clear of Chiefs stalwart and All Blacks skipper Sam Cane.

In the backline, Highlanders captain Aaron Smith holds a dominant lead of nearly 150 votes over Finlay Christie and Brad Weber to earn the public’s vote at halfback.

Smith’s inclusion at N0 9 means he resumes his All Blacks halves partnership with Blues first-five Beauden Barrett, who is comfortably ahead of Reds playmaker James O’Connor in the race for the No 10 jersey.

The public have seen enough from Blues pair Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Rieko Ioane to anoint them the RugbyPass Super Rugby Pacific Dream Team midfield duo.

That could change during the playoffs, though, as Crusaders utility back David Havili trails Tuivasa-Sheck by less than 30 votes at second-five.

Blues speedster Caleb Clarke and Crusaders flyer Sevu Reece have been voted as the RugbyPass Super Rugby Pacific Dream Team wings.

Neither player is likely to lose their spots, unless Crusaders wing Leicester Fainga’anuku impresses enough in the post-season to overcome the 60-vote deficit he currently concedes to Clarke on the left wing.

Rounding out the RugbyPass Super Rugby Pacific Dream Team at fullback is Crusaders star Will Jordan, whose form for the Christchurch-based outfit has earned him a 135-vote lead over his Hurricanes counterpart Jordie Barrett.

The door remains open for other players to be voted into the RugbyPass Super Rugby Pacific Dream Team during the playoffs, so register now to have your say and be in with a chance to win a guest appearance on the Aotearoa Rugby Pod.

RugbyPass Super Rugby Pacific Dream Team at the end of the regular season

1. Joe Moody (Crusaders)
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho (Chiefs)
3. Taniela Tupou (Reds)
4. Scott Barrett (Crusaders)
5. Brodie Retallick (Chiefs)
6. Ethan Blackadder (Crusaders)
7. Dalton Papalii (Blues)
8. Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)
9. Aaron Smith (Highlanders)
10. Beauden Barrett (Blues)
11. Caleb Clarke (Blues)
12. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Blues)
13. Rieko Ioane (Blues)
14. Sevu Reece (Crusaders)
15. Will Jordan (Crusaders)

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