RWC 2011 Facebook Dream Team
For the past two weeks, fans of the official Rugby World Cup facebook page have been voting on which players would make their RWC 2011 Dream Team. Based on suggestions from the online community, a shortlist of names per position was created each day and put to the vote, with over 160,000 votes being cast along the way.
Our final 15 is below. We think they would compete with any of the great sides to have played at Rugby World Cups.
Jean-Baptiste Poux FRA
|The French prop has now played in three Rugby World Cups and was ever present in the French team on their run to the Final. A leader on the field and 100% committed to the team effort, Poux has shown he deserves his place in your Dream Team.|
|Keven Mealamu NZL||
A firm fans favourite, Keven Mealamu scored his second Rugby World Cup try at this year’s tournament. His appearance against France in the Final saw him equal Sean Fitzpatrick record as New Zealand's most capped hooker with 92 Test caps.
|Owen Franks NZL||A phenomenal tackler, the younger Franks brother has been described as the unsung hero of this year's All Blacks side. A self confessed rugby obsessive who, at only 23, has a very bright future ahead of him.|
|Brad Thorn NZL||Brad Thorn was your choice for the #4 shirt by a considerable margin. He featured in all seven of New Zealand's RWC 2011 victories, scoring a try along the way. The final against France was last appearance as an All Black but his performance will be remembered for a long time to come.|
|Paul O'Connell IRE||Voted Man of the Match in Ireland's first match of RWC 2011, Paul O'Connell was the overwhelming favourite for the #5 shirt in your Dream Team. Appearing in his third RWC, O'Connell was the heartbeat of the Irish side on their run to the quarter finals.|
|Thierry Dusautoir FRA||Thierry Dusautoir beat off some stiff competition to land his place as #6 in your Dream Team. It caps a fine year for the France captain after leading his team to the RWC Final, as well as being named IRB Player of the Year.|
|Richie McCaw NZL||RWC winning captain Richie McCaw became the fourth All Black in your Dream Team after taking a huge percentage of the vote for the #7 shirt. His stand out performances in both the semi-final and the Final were achieved while carrying a foot injury, making his place in your team all the more deserved.|
|Imanol Harinordoquy FRA||Imanol Harinordoquy leads by example. He dominates in the air. He picks and drives. In short, he inspires his teammates. A worthy #8 for any team in the world and a great asset for your Dream Team.|
|Mike Phillips WAL||Mike Phillips was chosen as your scrum half by a comfortable distance. His ability to cut through tough tackles and score important tries makes him one of the world's best in his position.|
|Ronan O'Gara IRE||The second Irish player to make the Dream Team, O'Gara earned his place after scoring 44 points at RWC 2011. His cool head and calm under pressure make him a valuable addition to your team.|
|Richard Kahui NZL||Voted Man of the Match in New Zealand's opening match against Tonga, Richard Kahui proved himself an integral part of the All Blacks team, playing in four more matches and scoring a total of four RWC tries.|
|Jamie Roberts WAL||Considered by many as one of the players of the tournament, Jamie Roberts was a popular choice for your #12 shirt. Ever present in the Wales team, he was an inspiration both on and off the field.|
|Brian O'Driscoll IRE||Ireland Captain Brian O'Driscoll took nearly 50% of the votes to make your Dream Team. A consistent performer for Ireland, O'Driscoll added to his impressive tally of international tries with a well taken try in Ireland's must win pool match against Italy.|
|Cory Jane NZL||Named Man of the Match in New Zealand's stunning semi final win over Australia, Cory Jane won plenty of new fans in his first RWC. Beating off tough opposition for the #14 shirt Jane's place in your team is well deserved.|
|Mercurial feet, astute under the high ball and five tries in his five Rugby World Cup matches saw New Zealand's full back Israel Dagg aptly complete the RWC Facebook Dream Team.