World Rugby team of the decade sparks debate – Rugby World

Not everyone agrees with these award selections…

Everyone knows that composing player ratings, composite XVs and teams of the year/decade/millennium are a recipe for arguments – and the World Rugby team of the decade for men’s players has proved no different as rugby fans flocked to the web to give their views.

There were some other interesting decisions for the other awards too. Jessy Trémoulière was named the women’s player of the decade but did not make it into the women’s XV of the decade.

In a Covid-hit year, World Rugby decided to forego their usual awards ceremony to celebrate the rugby year, and instead opted to celebrate the last decade. The awards were split between fan-selected winners (choosing their favourite from lists of previous winners through the decade) and an Awards Panel selection for teams of the decade.

And the men’s team caused a bit of a buzz.

Men’s 15s Team of the Decade in association with Mastercard: Ben Smith (NZL); George North (WAL); Brian O’Driscoll (IRL), Ma’a Nonu (NZL), Bryan Habana (RSA); Dan Carter (NZL), Conor Murray (IRE); Tendai Mtawarira (RSA), Bismarck du Plessis (RSA), Owen Franks (NZL), Brodie Retallick (NZL), Sam Whitelock (NZL), David Pocock (AUS), Richie McCaw (NZL), Sergio Parisse (ITA).

Take a look at these reactions…

The women’s team of the decade that the panel selected was dominated by England and New Zealand, with just powerpack French forward Safi N’Diaye able to break into the team from outside those two. Some were left questioning why the fan-selected player of the decade, Trémoulière, couldn’t squeeze in at full-back.

Women’s 15s Team of the Decade in association with Mastercard: Danielle Waterman (ENG); Lydia Thompson (ENG), Emily Scarratt (ENG), Kelly Brazier (NZL), Portia Woodman (NZL); Katy Daley-Mclean (ENG), Kendra Cocksedge (NZL); Rochelle Clark (ENG), Fiao’o Faamausili (NZL), Sophie Hemming (ENG), Eloise Blackwell (NZL), Tamara Taylor (ENG), Linda Itunu (NZL), Maggie Alphonsi (ENG), Safi N’Diaye (FRA).

Below are all the  awards selected by fans.

World Rugby team of the decade

Player of the decade: Jessy Trémoulière (Getty Images)

Fan Awards

  • Men’s 15s Player of the Decade in association with Tudor – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
  • Women’s 15s Player of the Decade in association with Tudor – Jessy Trémoulière (France)
  • Men’s Sevens Player of the Decade in association with HSBC – Jerry Tuwai (Fiji)
  • Women’s Sevens Player of the Decade in association with HSBC – Portia Woodman (New Zealand)
  • Men’s 15s Try of the Decade in association with International Rugby Players – Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)
  • Women’s 15s Try of the Decade in association with International Rugby Players – Portia Woodman (New Zealand)

Got a bee in your bonnet about any of these selections? Let us know: email us at rugbyworldletters@futurenet.com or hit us up on social media.

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