Ulster have claimed four places in a 2020/21 Guinness PRO14 Dream Team where players attached to provinces in Ireland have gobbled up 13 of the available 15 places as champions Leinster, beaten finalists Munster and Connacht were awarded three selections each.
The only break to the pattern of Irish dominance was provided by Glasgow Warriors midfielder Huw Jones and Cardiff Blues back-rower Josh Turnbull. Otherwise, the Dream Team was an all-Irish selection.
Dan McFarland’s Ulster had four representatives in full-back Michael Lowry, scrum-half John Cooney, loosehead Eric O’Sullivan and soon-to-depart No8 Marcell Coetzee, while the Leinster trio were left-winger Dave Kearney, tighthead Michael Bent and back-rower Scott Penny.
Munster’s picks were midfielder Damien de Allende, hooker Kevin O’Byrne and soon-to-return lock Billy Holland, while Connacht’s three selections were right-winger Alex Wootton, out-half Jack Carty and lock Gavin Thornbury.
A pool of 75-plus media – not including RugbyPass – from across the UK, Ireland, Italy and South Africa voted in assembling the final XV and all players had to make at least eight appearances in the 2020/21 season.
Familiar decade-old heartache for Munster, repetitive joy for Leinster. No wonder Leo Cullen sounded off about red-eyed pundits who had read the room completely wrong#LEIvMUN #PRO14https://t.co/j59Q3avugI
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 27, 2021
Many of the players selected featured prominently in the Opta stats. Wootton, Penny and Coetzee each scored nine tries, Cooney was the leading points scorer on 115 and he also topped the assists list with 13. Jones was third for offloads (14) and second for defenders beaten (36) while Turnbull led the competition for most tackles made (215) and Coetzee also led the offloads list with 20.
GUINNESS PRO14 DREAM TEAM 2020/21
15. Michael Lowry (Ulster)
14. Alex Wootton (Connacht)
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors)
12. Damien de Allende (Munster)
11. Dave Kearney (Leinster)
10. Jack Carty (Connacht)
9. John Cooney (Ulster)
1. Eric O’Sullivan (Ulster)
2. Kevin O’Byrne (Munster)
3. Michael Bent (Leinster)
4. Billy Holland (Munster)
5. Gavin Thornbury (Connacht)
6. Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues)
7. Scott Penny (Leinster)
8. Marcell Coetzee (Ulster)
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 28, 2021
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