RugbyPass builds the best under-85kg team possible from the world’s professional playing pool.
- Damian McKenzie – 80kg
When healthy is already one of the world’s most elusive players. Can provide cover at 10 but has really set Super Rugby on fire from the back. When healthy, would be an automatic starter at the back.
- Cheslin Kolbe – 80kg
Springbok and Toulouse winger is a hot-stepping phenom capable of unlocking any defence and can handle himself one-on-one with the world’s biggest power wingers. A safe pick for the right wing.
- Alex Lozowski – 85kg
Saracens utility Alex Lozowski offers ball-playing versatility in the midfield and can also cover flyhalf. Has regularly seen Premiership action wearing the 13 jersey so will slot in without any issues on the pre-match scales.
- Romain Ntamack – 82kg
The 19-year-old son of former international Emile Ntamack has cemented himself as one of the top midfielders in France already and debuted in the Six Nations at outside-centre against Wales. His natural position is at 12 where he can bring his natural ball-playing into the picture.
- Santiago Cordero – 79kg
The elusive outside back has become the Premiership’s most dangerous runner, with a league-leading 98 defenders beaten for the Exeter Chiefs. He is one of the world’s best-attacking talents with ball-in-hand and pushes out fellow Argentinan wing Bautista Delguy for the starting spot.
- Richie Mo’unga – 86kg
Crusaders flyhalf Richie Mo’unga is smaller in stature compared to incumbent All Black 10 Beauden Barrett but is just as effective. His attacking class has been on show the last two years for the back-to-back Super Rugby champions, leading to an All Blacks debut last year.
Mo’unga is an automatic selection at 10 and will just need to manage his preparation to drop that water weight before game day.
- Aaron Smith – 83kg
The easiest position to fill in the side with many available candidates under the 85kg mark. Why not just pick one of the best halfback’s in the world?
France and Toulouse halfback Antoine Dupont (82kg) would also be a strong pick on form.
This is where the team gets tricky, as every under-85kg side knows, there are no real forwards on the pitch.
- Du’Plessis Kirifi – 96kg
The Hurricanes flanker is tipping way over the required weight at 96kg but the former youth halfback is a beast with ball in hand and is used to playing above his size in Super Rugby. With a full-offseason of fasting, Kirifi could drop 10kgs and find himself peeling off the back of the World under-85kg scrum.
- Jack Nowell – 89kg
Eddie Jones wants to play Nowell at openside but the only team he probably could do that with is in an under-85kg local side. With strong carrying and no fear of contact, we can make Jones’ wish come true if Nowell is prepared to eat two-minute noodles for the rest of the season to make the weight.
- Darcy Graham – 75kg
Scotland’s pocket rocket is a tough rooster with elite footwork. Lacking size but not heart, Graham possesses the type of toughness we need in this pack. At only 1.76m he won’t provide a third jumping option in the lineout, but that never stopped the Wallabies and Michael Hooper, right?
- Emiliano Boffelli – 83kg
Argentina’s elusive fullback is known for his game-breaking runs and ability under the high ball. At 1.91m, Boffelli can bring his height to the lineout and be used as a jumping option. His catching skills will hopefully bring a reliable pair of hands to the second row.
- Jordan Olowofela – 90kg
At 1.89m, Leicester Tigers’ speedster Olowofela would be a perfect second jumping option in the second row. Listed at 90kg, he would have to slim down a bit but is the option for lock.
- Leigh Halfpenny – 84kg
A goal-kicking front rower, Halfpenny brings a unique edge to the front row with years at fullback. He has the kind of upper body bulk required of an under-85kg prop, with big arms and chest area.
- Harry Thacker – 82kg
The only actual forward to make the pack in his position, Bristol’s Harry Thacker has proven that size isn’t everything for forwards. The rake brings much-needed scrum knowledge and throwing ability to the side.
- Sevu Reece – 86kg
Full of power, Reece has a robust upper body on a small frame with large traps that at least will make it easier to hold his own at scrummaging time. The Crusaders wing has been in sublime form and should be able to make those tight carries off 9.
Weaknesses – Set Piece/Lineout
Strengths – Skills and Pace.
Style – Bringing 7’s style rugby to 15’s, the World under-85kg XV would take the ‘zero ruck’ defence strategy to attack, limiting any sort of tackle by keeping the ball alive at all costs. Would likely crush any local under-85kg club side by at least 100 points.
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