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Choice cuts: do you agree with our Rugby World Cup team of the week

Following a week in which we have now seen nearly every team play at least once, here is who we feel have been the standout players of the tournament so far.

Faletau caused the South Africans some serious problems.
Faletau caused the South Africans some serious problems.

GIVEN THAT ALMOST every team has now played in the Rugby World Cup (sorry Russia), we thought we’d pick our best XV of the tournament so far.

So here are the players that we feel have made a significant impact on the tournament this week:

1. Rodrigo Roncero (Argentina): One of Argentina’s key influences against England, the Stade Francais man epitomised his side’s tenacity and courage.

2. Aleki Lutui (Tonga): Lutui played a major role in his side’s valiant second half display in which the mighty New Zealand were kept at bay for large periods.

3. Martin Castrogiovanni (Italy): The Italian side have gone from strength to strength in recent years thanks in no small part to the experienced Leicester Tigers man. While his side ultimately endured a comprehensive loss to Australia, Castrogiovanni was one of the players who could still hold their head up high despite the loss.

4. Danie Rossouw (South Africa): Despite many of their team under-performing, in addition to the loss of the hugely influential Victor Matfield, Rossouw stood up while others around him looked as if they were wilting.

5. Patricio Albacete (Argentina): Albacete was one of the key members of an Argentina team that came agonisingly close to beating England, with some strong, bustling runs.

6. Jerome Kaino (New Zealand): A workmanlike performance from the man who faced the daunting challenge of compensating for Kieran Read’s absence, and was rewarded for his tireless display, deservedly scoring his team’s fifth try.

7. Sam Warburton (Wales): The 22-year-old Wales captain lived up to the hype against South Africa and was at the heart of everything that was good about his team.

8. Toby Faletau (Wales): The Tongan gave an incredibly assured performance especially when you consider it was only his third cap. His imperious display was also capped off with a brilliantly-taken try.

9. Mike Phillips (Wales): The Lions scrum-half was back to his effervescent best as Wales pummelled South Africa for 80 minutes and still, unluckily came away with nothing.

10. Dan Parks (Scotland): By far Scotland’s standout player against Georgia, one wonders how poorly his side would have fared without his crucial presence.

11. Digby Ioane (Australia): The winger scored a superb try against Italy and looked like he was about to set the tournament alight, but now a thumb injury has hampered his chances of taking any further part in the tournament.

12. Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand): While Williams did not score against Tonga, his influence on the game was palpable, proving he will be a force to reckon for whatever side his team comes up against in the competition.

13. Jonathan Davies (Wales): Davies produced an excellent performance against South Africa in which the centre proved a constant threat and even managed to outshine his more high-profile partner at centre, Jamie Roberts.

14. Richard Kahui (New Zealand): The winger, who often plays centre at club level, was at his ruthless best against Tonga, scoring two tries.

15. Frans Steyn (South Africa): Steyn emphasised his incredible strength for his try and generally kicked with an intelligence that helped his side run out 17-16 victors.

Do you agree with our choices? Have your say in the comments section below.

Read: Ireland Flannery out for four to six weeks as Varley is called up>

Poll: Has Kidney got his team selection right?>

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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