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GUINNESS PRO12 Dream Team Includes Seven Provincial Players

GUINNESS PRO12 Dream Team Includes Seven Provincial Players

Three Ulster players, two from Munster and two from Connacht have been selected in this season’s GUINNESS PRO12 Dream Team which was voted on by a media panel of 11 journalists from all four countries. The panel was chaired by Diageo’s Rory Sheridan.

Before they were whisked away on international duty in February, Ospreys half-backs Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar ruled the roost in the GUINNESS PRO12. Webb shot out into an early lead in the try-scoring table, while Biggar’s unerring boot saw him set the standard for the league’s kickers.

Now they have returned to aid the Ospreys’ title push, Steve Tandy’s side beating Glasgow Warriors 21-10, with Webb among the scorers, to go top of the pile heading into next Saturday’s final round.

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They have been joined in the Dream Team by Ospreys captain Alun Wyn Jones, just one of three players – Biggar and Scarlets full-back Liam Williams the other two – to retain their places in the Dream Team selection from last season.

The only man with more GUINNESS PRO12 tries this season than Webb is Ulster winger Craig Gilroy, who is one of three entrants from Neil Doak’s team. The other two come from a powerful Ulster pack as hooker and captain Rory Best is joined in the Dream Team’s tight five by influential South African second row Franco van der Merwe.

Munster – another side still well in the title hunt – make up two thirds of the back row, with the province’s Player of the Year CJ Stander on the blindside. He is joined by Tommy O’Donnell on the other flank, the 27-year-old enjoying a productive season in both the red of Munster and the green of Ireland.

Glasgow Warriors complete the top four, though they were knocked off top spot by the Ospreys on Friday night, and also boast three entrants – meaning this year’s play-off quartet make up 11 of the 15 players selected.

Tommy Seymour takes his place on the right wing after another bright campaign, while Peter Horne is at inside centre. Horne has shown his versatility this season, starting at full-back, out-half and in the centres on various occasions, as well as regularly taking on kicking duties in the absence of Finn Russell and Duncan Weir.

And in the pack Josh Strauss takes the number 8 shirt, the South African going from strength to strength in his third season at Scotstoun.

There is another South African at tighthead in Edinburgh’s WP Nel, while Connacht prop Denis Buckley is rewarded for an impressive campaign with the number 1 shirt. His team-mate Robbie Henshaw is at outside centre, the 21-year-old having established himself as a regular fixture in Ireland’s midfield, while Wales international Liam Williams is again at full-back.

The annual GUINNESS PRO12 Awards ceremony will take place in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin next Sunday (May 17).


– PRO12 stats in 2014/15 (including round 21)

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets)
11 starts, 6 tries, 800 mins played

14. Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors)
11 starts, 1 rep, 4 tries, 888 mins

13. Robbie Henshaw (Connacht)
11 starts, 1 try, 874 mins

12. Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors)
19 starts, 6 tries, 15 conv, 13 pens, 99 pts, 1274 mins

11. Craig Gilroy (Ulster)
15 starts, 2 reps, 11 tries, 1258 mins

10. Dan Biggar (Ospreys)
13 starts, 1 rep, 3 tries, 29 conv, 27 pens, 154 pts, 945 mins

9. Rhys Webb (Ospreys)
11 starts, 2 reps, 10 tries, 804 mins

1. Denis Buckley (Connacht)
20 starts, 1 rep, 1 try, 1443 mins

2. Rory Best (Ulster)
11 starts,1 rep, 2 tries, 822 mins

3. WP Nel (Edinburgh)
13 starts, 8 rep, 1 try, 1159 pts

4. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys)
11 starts, 2 reps, 902 mins

5. Franco van der Merwe (Ulster)
19 starts, 1 rep, 2 tries, 1459 mins

6. CJ Stander (Munster)
17 starts, 1 rep, 8 tries, 1350 mins

7. Tommy O’Donnell (Munster)
11 starts, 2 reps, 1 try, 770 mins

8. Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors)
16 starts, 4 reps, 3 tries, 1297 mins