Has can­vassed opin­ions f rom writ­ers across t he globe t o com­pile a t eam of t his year ’s best player s

Rugby World - - WORLD XV - Words Tom English // Pic­tures Getty Im­ages & In­pho

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

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