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Springboks dominate the World Rugby Dream Team of the Year

By Liam Heagney
Eben Etzebeth is a powerhouse for the Springboks. (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Jacques Nienaber’s Springboks are the dominant force in the 2021 World Rugby Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year, Eben Etzebeth leading the charge towards securing five places in an XV featuring players from eight different countries. South Africa signed off on their 13-game season with a last-gasp loss last month to England at Twickenham. 

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However, they have now trumped Eddie Jones’ side on a five-to-one score in the World Rugby dream team selection which features a combined total of 850 Test caps across the 15 picks. Malcolm Marx, Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am were the five chosen Springboks compared to Maro Itoje being the sole England pick.

The All Blacks were the next-best in terms of representation, Ardie Savea, Beauden Barrett and Will Jordan giving them three picks. The Wallabies secured two inclusions, Michael Hooper and Samu Kerevi, with Wales’ Wyn Jones, Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong, France’s Antoine Dupont and Scotland’s Stuart Hogg the other players who were chosen. 

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Why England boss Eddie Jones was recently spotted at a Top 14 match
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Why England boss Eddie Jones was recently spotted at a Top 14 match

World Rugby Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year
1. Wyn Jones (Wales)
2. Malcolm Marx (South Africa)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
4. Maro Itoje (England)
5. Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)
6. Siya Kolisi (South Africa)
7. Michael Hooper (Australia)
8. Ardie Savea (New Zealand)
9. Antoine Dupont (France)
10. Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
11. Makazole Mapimpi (South Africa)
12. Samu Kerevi (Australia)
13. Lukhanyo Am (South Africa)
14. Will Jordan (New Zealand)
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

In the women’s dream team selection, six countries were represented in a 539-cap XV dominated by France and England, who respectively had six and five picks. 

World Rugby Women’s 15s Dream Team of the Year
1. Annaëlle Deshayes (France)
2. Agathe Sochat (France)
3. Sarah Bern (England)
4. Safi N’Diaye (France)
5. Abbie Ward (England)
6. Zoe Aldcroft (England)
7. Karen Paquin (Canada)
8. Poppy Cleall (England)
9. Laure Sansus (France)
10. Caroline Drouin (France)
11. Abby Dow (England)
12. Beatrice Rigoni (Italy)
13. Stacey Fluhler (New Zealand)
14. Caroline Boujard (France)
15. Jasmine Joyce (Wales)

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