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World Rugby lets fans vote for player of the decade

With 2020 looming, World Rugby are letting fans from around the world decide who gets crowned their player of the decade. 

The first round of match-ups have been revealed on Instagram and fans have the chance to vote for players going through to the next round. 

One half of the draw sees Dan Carter and Aaron Smith pitted against one another, Jonathan Sexton against Owen Farrell, Will Genia against Beauden Barrett and Ma’a Nonu versus Bryan Habana. 

This past decade saw Carter named the World Rugby player of the year twice, as was Barrett, and Sexton once in 2018.

Alongside that, the legendary All Blacks and Crusaders fly-half, and his inside centre partner Nonu, won the World Cup in 2011 and 2015. Smith and Barrett were also members of the 2015 squad. 

(Continue reading below…)

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The other half of the draw sees Tendai Mtawarira come up against Richie McCaw, Brodie Retallick battle Sergio Parisse, Alun-Wyn Jones face David Pocock, with Sam Warburton and Kieran Read the remaining two contestants.

McCaw and Read both won two RWCs over the past ten years, with the flanker captaining the All Blacks to both wins. McCaw won one of his three player of the year awards in 2010 (the other two being in 2006 and 2009), with Read scooping the award in 2013 and Retallick in 2014.

The lock is yet another RWC winner on the list, having won in 2015, as is ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira, who was titanic for the Springboks in their recent triumph. 

Given the dominance of the All Blacks since 2010, it is hard to see any player from another country being given this title.

It may already be shaping up to be a contest between Carter and McCaw, who are undeniably two of the greatest players in history, let alone this past decade. 

WATCH: Follow every game in the Guinness PRO14 and Gallagher Premiership live in the RugbyPass Match Centre, with live scores, stats, commentary and more including HD streaming in some parts of the world

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World Rugby lets fans vote for player of the decade