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World Rugby Dream Team Honour For Furlong

World Rugby Dream Team Honour For Furlong

Wexford man Tadhg Furlong is pictured in action during Ireland's recent win over New Zealand in the Autumn Nations Series ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

The newly-created World Rugby Men’s and Women’s 15s Dream Teams of 2021, in association with Capgemini, have been unveiled.

World Rugby Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year, in association with Capgemini

Players from seven nations – Australia, England, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and South Africa – have been selected in the Dream Team by the World Rugby Awards Panel with all four of the Men’s 15s Player of the Year nominees included.

The players selected boast a combined 850 caps for their countries with the world champion Springboks having the most representatives with five, followed by New Zealand with three.  

1. Wyn Jones (Wales)
2. Malcolm Marx (South Africa)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
4. Maro Itoje (England)
5. Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)
6. Siya Kolisi (South Africa)
7. Michael Hooper (Australia)
8. Ardie Savea (New Zealand)
9. Antoine Dupont (France)
10. Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
11. Makazole Mapimpi (South Africa)
12. Samu Kerevi (Australia)
13. Lukhanyo Am (South Africa)
14. Will Jordan (New Zealand)
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

World Rugby Women’s 15s Dream Team of the Year, in association with Capgemini 

Six nations are represented in the Dream Team with Canada, Italy, New Zealand and Wales each providing one player in a selection dominated by England and France, the two most successful teams in women’s rugby in 2021.

With a total of 539 caps across the Dream Team, France provides six players, one more than England, with all four Women’s 15s Player of the Year nominees making the cut.  

1. Annaëlle Deshayes (France)
2. Agathe Sochat (France)
3. Sarah Bern (England)
4. Safi N’Diaye (France)
5. Abbie Ward (England)
6. Zoe Aldcroft (England)
7. Karen Paquin (Canada)
8. Poppy Cleall (England)
9. Laure Sansus (France)
10. Caroline Drouin (France)
11. Abby Dow (England)
12. Beatrice Rigoni (Italy)
13. Stacey Fluhler (New Zealand)
14. Caroline Boujard (France)
15. Jasmine Joyce (Wales)

World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year 2021, in association with Tudor: Will Jordan (New Zealand)

One of a number of young wingers to announce their arrival on the world stage over the last 12 months, Will Jordan caught the eye not just for his try-scoring exploits for the All Blacks but also his work off the ball, unlocking defences for team-mates with regularity.

A record of 15 tries in 11 Tests in 2021, including five against Tonga and a hat-trick against the USA, saw him become the second-fastest All Black to reach 15 tries.

Jordan only failed to score in two matches and given his phenomenal strike-rate, had he been available for all 15 Tests that the All Blacks played in 2021, it is likely he would have got the two tries he needed to set a new All Blacks record. He is the third All Black to win this award after Nehe Milner-Skudder (2015) and Rieko Ioane (2017).

Nominees: Andrew Kellaway (Australia), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales), Marcus Smith (England) 

World Rugby Coach of the Year 2021: Simon Middleton (England Women)

Simon Middleton creates history as the first coach of a Women’s team to win the prestigious award, having guided the Red Roses through a second successive calendar year unbeaten and 18 Test wins in a row, including back-to-back record victories over world champions New Zealand in November.

Middleton, in his seventh year as England head coach, saw his side score 57 tries and concede only 10 in 2021 as they added another Women’s Six Nations title to their honours roll.

Nominees: Allan Bunting/Cory Sweeney (New Zealand Women’s Sevens), Ian Foster (New Zealand Men), Dave Rennie (Australia Men) 

International Rugby Players Men’s Try of the Year: Damian Penaud (France v Scotland, March 26) 

Going from one 22 to another, France fashioned a score for the ages against Scotland in their delayed Six Nations match at Stade de France.

Taking a quick tap from a marked box kick, full-back Brice Dulin set off on an electrifying run before finding Romain Ntamack and Arthur Vincent in support.

Antoine Dupont swiftly transferred the ball away from the breakdown and Virimi Vakatawa drew the defence before offloading to Damian Penaud whose footballing skills – including a chip, chase and dribble – took him over in the corner for a wonderful try.

Nominees: Lukhanyo Am (South Africa ‘A’ v British & Irish Lions, July 14), Pierre-Louis Barassi (France v Australia, July 17), Luke Jacobson (New Zealand v Argentina, September 12)  

International Rugby Players Women’s Try of the Year: Emilie Boulard (France v Wales, April 3) 

Trailing 43-0 with under three minutes to play, Wales managed to clear their lines but only to near halfway where hat-trick scorer Caroline Boujard fielded the kick and immediately found Jessy Trémoulière.

France worked the ball out to Emilie Boulard on the left wing, the debutant full-back finding Maëlle Filopon on the loop around to take play into the Welsh 22.

The centre passed inside to Camille Imart, who drew the defence before passing back out to Boulard to go over in the corner.

Nominees: Sara Barattin (Italy v Scotland, September 13), Abby Dow (England v France, April 30), Romane Ménager (France, v Ireland, April 17)

World Rugby Referee Award: Andrew Cole (Australia) 

Andrew Cole refereed 44 Super Rugby games and 31 Test matches from 1997 to 2005. The Australian’s Test debut was Samoa v Tonga in 1997 with his final Test being Ireland v Romania eight years later.

He also refereed the second Test between New Zealand and the British & Irish Lions in 2005. Selected as a referee for Rugby World Cup 1999 and 2003, he was a referee selector from 2012 through Rugby World Cup 2015.

Cole was head coach of referees at Rugby Australia from 2010 to 2017 and is a Life Member of the Queensland Rugby Referees’ Association.

Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service: Jacques Laurans (France)  

A well-known personality in world rugby, Jacques Laurans had a successful playing career, winning junior and senior titles in France in 1958 and 1965 respectively, before moving into administration and holding roles with the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR), World Rugby and the Six Nations.

He spent 25 years with the FFR in various roles and was a World Rugby Council member for France from 1997-2016, as well as a Rugby World Cup Director from 2000-08.

He is currently President of the Albert Ferrasse Federation which helps injured rugby players in France.