Date: October 27, 2023
In what has been a thrilling and action-packed Rugby World Cup, it’s no surprise that the dream team of the tournament is dominated by players from New Zealand. The reigning champions South Africa may have given a tough fight, but it’s the Kiwis who have truly stolen the spotlight with their outstanding performances on the field.
At the heart of this dream team is Beauden Barrett, the two-time world player of the year, who set the standard as a playmaking full-back. Joining him are his compatriots Damian Penaud and Will Jordan, whose daredevil playing style and ruthless finishing, respectively, wowed fans throughout the tournament. Waisea Nayacalevu of Fiji and Ireland’s Bundee Aki complete the formidable backline, standing out with their lethal running and powerful playing styles.
The half-back partnership of Richie Mo’unga and Aaron Smith, both hailing from New Zealand, proved to be a game-changer. Mo’unga, hailed as the game’s most complete fly-half, showcased creativity and excellent game management. Smith, despite his small stature, demonstrated exceptional intelligence and played a pivotal role for the Kiwis.
Formidable Forward Pack
In the front row, Ox Nche of South Africa, Mike Tadjer of Portugal, and Ben Tameifuna of Tonga displayed remarkable strength and versatility. Nche, known as the Springboks’ strongest scrummager, made a significant impact off the bench. Tadjer’s standout performance in the shock victory over Fiji earned him a well-deserved spot, while Tameifuna, weighing in at a staggering 23st 11lbs, showcased impressive carrying prowess and scrummaging skills.
The second row featured the snarling enforcer Eben Etzebeth of South Africa and Tadhg Beirne of Ireland, who consistently displayed resilience and determination whether playing at lock or in the second-row position.
Completing this dream team are the back-row warriors Courtney Lawes of England, Jac Morgan of Wales, and Ardie Savea of New Zealand. Lawes, with his sharp rugby brain, excelled in high-pressure situations, while Morgan, despite his young age, showed maturity beyond his years, leading Wales into the quarter-finals. Savea, a class apart, narrowly edged out England’s Ben Earl, proving his worth with exceptional performances throughout the tournament.
As the Rugby World Cup final approaches, fans can expect an exhilarating clash between the reigning champions South Africa and the powerhouse New Zealand, with these standout players set to make a significant impact on the grandest stage of them all.