Ireland Captain Sarahjane Belton has been named in the Women’s World Cup All Star XV.
IRISH captain Sarahjane Belton has been named in the Women’s World Cup All Star XV, which was announced at the post-tournament dinner after New Zealand won their third title in a row over the weekend.
Team managers and tournament officials joined together to select the tournament’s All Star XV.
There are four players from the winning New Zealand side represented with two English players, three Americans, and one each from France, Ireland, Spain, Scotland, Kazakhstan and Canada make up the rest.
Belton’s assured kicking from hand and her hard-hitting tackling skills helped her earn the nod ahead of a host of other competitors including New Zealand’s Anna Richards and England’s Karen Andrew.
She moved to fullback for Ireland’s games against Scotland and South Africa but her composed displays against the USA, Australia and France assured her of her place in the star studded select team.
Players who can count themselves unlucky not to appear in the starting XV include Spanish scrum half Isabel Rodriguez, who led her team to three consecutive wins and scored two late tries that saw her team beat Samoa and Kazakhstan and France captain Estelle Sartini who was such a strong force in defence and attack for her country.
England flanker Maggie Alphonsi’s energy, tackling and nose for the breakdown were evident throughout the tournament while Samoa full back Valuese Sao Taliu was a classy act but found herself up against the likes of Canada’s Heather Moyse and New Zealand’s Amiria Marsh with Marsh getting the nod.
…Belton in action against Australia…
Ireland will return home this week having finished eighth in the tournament which they entered ranked as the tenth seeds. Their win over South Africa as well as their strong displays against Australia and France will provide much optimism ahead of next year’s Six Nations.
The All Star XV
1: Rocio Garcia (Spain)
2: Laetitia Salles (France)
3: Vanessa Gray (England)
4: Jenny Sutton (England)
5: Jen Crouse (USA)
6: Phaidra Knight (USA)
7: Rochelle Martin (New Zealand)
8: Anna Yakovleva (Kazakhstan)
9: Paula Chalmers (Scotland)
10: Sarahjane Belton (Ireland)
11: Ellie Karvoski (USA)
12: Exia Edwards (New Zealand)
13: Huriana Manuel (New Zealand)
14: Heather Moyse (Canada)
15: Amiria Marsh (New Zealand)