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Who makes the cut in our 2015 Rugby World Cup All-Star XV?

09 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Who makes the cut in our 2015 Rugby World Cup All-Star XV?

The selection process was strenous but the shirts have now been assigned. Here are the players selected for our All-Star XV.

From David Campese in 1991 to Francois Pienaar in 1995 and Jonny Wilkinson in 2003.

Every Rugby World Cup is remembered for a star player that did more than any other to help his country lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

With the latest chapter in international rugby history getting underway next week, here’s our look at the fifteen players most likely to star for some of the tournament favourites and write themselves into 2015 folklore.

This is our 2015 Rugby World Cup All-Star XV:

1. Joe Marler (England)

Following a season that saw him take over the Harlequins captaincy from England skipper Chris Robshaw, Marler has long since put any doubts about his temperament to bed.

The tattoos and crazy hairstyles may remain, but it is Marler’s much-matured game that most catches the eye now.

A rampaging runner in the loose, Marler is the most exciting prop in international rugby right now.

2. Agustin Creevy (Argentina)

A revelation since becoming Argentina’s first-choice hooker last year, Creevy was rewarded with the Pumas’ captaincy last year.

As a former flanker, no other hooker in the world boasts the same mobility around the pitch and ability to offload in the tackle.

Filling the shoes of the retiring Mario Ledesma was always likely to be an impossible job, but Creevy has arguably proven to be an upgrade on the legendary hooker.

3. Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa)

There is simply no prop forward in international rugby more iconic than ‘The Beast’.

Standing at over six-feet tall and weighing more than 18 stone, he is one of the most fearsome physical specimens around.

The star turn in arguably the best front row in the world, Mtawarira can decide a game with his scrummaging alone – as proven when he reduced World Cup winner Phil Vickery to rubble on the 2009 Lions tour.

4. Alun Wyn-Jones (Wales)

Already a veteran of 90 caps for Wales, it is hard to believe that Jones will only turn 30 the day after the World Cup kicks off.

A natural-born leader who stepped in to captain the Lions to their first series victory in 16 years in the decisive third Test against Australia two years ago, Jones does the simple things immaculately and has the ability to raise the game of all those around him.poc-awj5. Paul O’Connell (Ireland)

When O’Connell made his debut for Ireland in 2002, he marked the occasion by knocking himself clean out.

Over one hundred caps later and that same intensity and commitment to the cause every time he pulls on the green jersey has not waned one little bit.

A totem in the line-out and shuddering ball-carrier around the pitch, O’Connell is one of the most consistent locks to have ever played the game.

6. David Pocock (Australia)

A versatile player who can excel in any position across the back row, Pocock epitomises the modern-day flanker.

Quick across the ground and with the scavenging qualities to turn over even the securest of ball, he is lethal at the breakdown and can win the Wallabies possession out of nothing.

Now fully recovered from successive serious knee injuries, expect him to excel in England.

7. Sam Warburton (Wales)

Warburton has long been one of the most talismanic figures in Northern Hemisphere rugby as the youngest man ever to captain Wales at a Rugby World Cup (2011) and then to lead a Lions tour (2013).

Unfortunate to be sent off early on in a losing semi-final four years ago, he will be determined to make amends this time around by claiming the only international medal still missing from his cabinet.

8. Kieran Read (New Zealand)

It is a measure of Read’s consistent excellence that he has now usurped Richie McCaw as the most important member of the All Blacks’ back row.

He is quite simply the most complete number eight in world rugby.

With 18 international tries to his name, the 2013 IRB Player of the Year will be a key figure if he and New Zealand are to claim a second consecutive World Cup winners’ medal.all-starxv9. Aaron Smith (New Zealand)

Nobody can come close to Smith when it comes to claiming to be the best scrum-half in the world.

His metronomic passing off both hands provides a fluid link between forwards and backs, while his fleet of foot and sniping runs can often catch defenders arriving late at the breakdown off guard.

Smith can secure his place in the All Blacks’ Hall of Fame at his first ever Rugby World Cup.

10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)

The reason for Ireland’s optimism heading into the tournament is simple: in Sexton they have arguably the best fly-half in international rugby.

His rise to stardom has perfectly coincided with Ireland’s development into one of the top three sides in the world.

The stand-off has no obvious weakness to his game, while his kicking out of hand has the potential to decide any game by putting even the best sides under pressure.

11. Julian Savea (New Zealand)

When Savea first emerged in 2012, he was dubbed as the next Jonah Lomu.

Having racked up an incredible 30 tries in his first 35 caps, just seven short of the iconic winger, the 25-year-old is already being viewed as the best winger New Zealand have ever had.

Lightning quick, powerfully built and with excellent ball skills, Savea is quite simply the deadliest finisher in world rugby.savea-folau12. Wesley Fofana (France)

Fofana burst onto the international scene in 2012, scoring in his first four games for Les Bleus.

Deceptively strong and frighteningly quick, the man nicknamed ‘The Cheetah’ has the potential to make an unpredictable French side purr.

With long-term centre partner Mathieu Bastareaud providing the perfect foil to distract defences, Fofana will be sure to punish even the smallest of holes in the opposition defence.

13. Jonathan Joseph (England)

With five tries in seven matches since re-joining the England fold for this year’s Six Nations, Joseph has catapulted himself from a peripheral figure to one of the first names on Stuart Lancaster’s team sheet.

Boasting speed, strength and a step to leave defences for dead, England’s Player of the Year is one of the host nation’s key men and looks set to finish 2015 in style.

14. George North (Wales)

Becoming the youngest try scorer in history of the Rugby World in 2011, North was also the fastest man to 50 caps for his country.

With frightening power and blistering speed, the winger has already racked up 23 tries for Wales at the tender age of 23.

He took just 13 minutes to score in his comeback from concussion last weekend and now looks ready to take the tournament by storm.

15. Israel Folau (Australia)

Having already earned star status in both Aussie Rules and rugby league, Folau now looks certain to flourish at rugby union’s showpiece event after announcing himself to the world with two tries on his Test debut against the British and Irish Lions in 2013.

A wonderful runner in broken play, he has racked up 18 international tries at a rate of better than one every other game. 

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