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World XV

World  XV

World XV

It’s that time of year again when, with the internationals over, pundits turn their attention to who’ll be in what squad for next year’s World Cup and/or selecting World XVs.

The Sunday Times asked four of the biggest names in the game to select their World XV. Interestingly, only three players feature in each team selected by David Campese, Francois Pienaar, Will Carling Sean Fitzpatrick and the Sunday Times itself.
Those players were Brian O’Driscoll, French prop Pieter de Villiers and his international team-mate, number 8 Imanol Harinordoquy.

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And no matter what esteem we hold Keith Wood in on this island, none of the above included the Killaloe man, Raphael Ibanez was the choice of the four former players with the newspaper opting for Gordon Bulloch.

None of the five selections included a member of current champions Australia. Sean Fitzpatrick picked O’Driscoll at inside centre to partner Tana Umaga, as did David Campese and the Sunday Times went for Malcolm O’Kelly to partner Martin Johnson in the second row.

Taking the five sides chosen, this is the team that would be considered the best in the world at the moment by the above panel.

Christian Cullen (New Zealand); Doug Howlett (New Zealand), Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland), Tana Umaga (New Zealand), Jason Robinson (England); Johnny Wilkinson (England), Fabien Galthie (France); Jean-Jacques Crenca (France), Raphael Ibanez (France), Pieter de Villiers (France); Martin Johnson (England), Ben Kay (England); Richard Hill (England), Olivier Magne (France), Imanol Harinordoquy (France).