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Three Irish forwards make Bakkies Botha's World Cup dream team

No other northern hemisphere players feature, however.

Bakkies Botha and Paul O'Connell after Ireland's win over South Africa in Dublin last November.
Bakkies Botha and Paul O'Connell after Ireland's win over South Africa in Dublin last November.
Image: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

BAKKIES BOTHA HAS found room for three Irishmen in his 2015 Rugby World Cup dream team.

Cian Healy, Paul O’Connell and Jamie Heaslip were all included by the South African legend, but there was no place for any other players from the northern hemisphere.

Heaslip is selected at number eight with O’Connell in the second-row, although it’s a square-peg-in-a-round-hole situation for Healy, who’s named at tighthead instead of loosehead in order to facilitate the inclusion of Argentina’s Marcos Ayerza.

“He’s a tough scrummer as well and a good player in the loose,” said Botha of Healy.

Botha has O’Connell partnered in the second-row by Victor Matfield: “I truly believe that they are world-class leaders and they bring something to a team that’s special.”

As for Heaslip: “Strong ball carrier and he’s definitely a leader.”

Unsurprisingly there’s a strong South African presence in Botha’s team. In addition to the three Irishmen and one Argentine, there are five Springboks, four All Blacks and two Wallabies.

1. Marcos Ayerza (Argentina)
2. Dane Coles (New Zealand)
3. Cian Healy (Ireland)
4. Paul O’Connell (Ireland)
5. Victor Matfield (South Africa)
6. David Pocock (Australia)
7. Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
8. Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)

9. Aaron Smith (New Zealand)
10. Morne Steyn (South Africa)
11. Bryan Habana (South Africa)
12. Damian de Allende (South Africa)
13. Jesse Kriel (South Africa)
14. Julian Savea (New Zealand)
15. Israel Folau (Australia)

Source: Barbarian F.C. Official/YouTube

Video: Barbarian F.C. Official

Botha, a World Cup winner with South Africa in 2007, will captain the Barbarians side that takes on Samoa at London’s Olympic Stadium on Saturday.

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Paul Dollery

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