Has canvassed opinions f rom writers across t he globe t o compile a t eam of t his year ’s best player s
THE PLANET’S top coaches may have had a tricky time selecting their teams for the myriad Tests that took place this year, but they had it easy compared to the RugbyWorld panel charged with the task of picking a global XV for 2018. Twelve writers from eight countries trying to agree on Team 2018. Difficult. In all, 63 players were nominated and only one swept the board with 12 votes out of 12. Step forward Tadhg Furlong.
The rest? Based on votes won, this is the Rugby World Team of 2018… Okay, Barrett didn’t start a Test at full-back in 2018 – but he did finish a fair few there. And with the vote evenly poised between the All Black and Ireland’s Johnny Sexton for the fly-half berth, we thought we’d get both of them in our team by moving Barrett to 15.
It’s a position that suits him after all. The Kiwi is a master creator, an incredible strike runner who hits the gain-line flat and at pace, and whose speed around the field allows him to make big cover tackles when he needs to.
In his first ten Tests of 2018 he scored 115 points – 35 of them from tries, four of which came in one mesmerising performance against the Wallabies. Barrett was rugby poetry in motion.
His goalkicking remains suspect, but dropping goals is part of his repertoire now – just ask England and Ireland.
Comeback kingDavies with a trademark hand-off against Australia