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2 Irish Players Named In The Telegraph's World Rugby XV

2 Irish Players Named In The Telegraph's World Rugby XV
By Mikey Traynor
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In a year where predicted Lions XVs and combined Six Nations XVs are going to dominate the rugby landscape of fictional XVs, we were pleased to see the Telegraph respond to Eddie Jones' recent grumblings.

The England boss has said numerous times in recent weeks that England do not have any world class players, especially in comparison to the likes of New Zealand.

In order to prove him wrong, The Telegraph have compiled their best XV from around the world, and sure enough two English players make the cut, along with two Irishmen.

It is, understandably, heavily dominated by Kiwis, but Conor Murray and Jack McGrath were chosen as the best in the world in their positions.

On McGrath, the reasoning for his selection was as follows:

McGrath has been around for a while now but in 2016 he really cemented his reputation as the most feared loosehead in world rugby.

England's Marko Vunipola is also building up a head of steam and New Zealand's Joe Moody has come into contention, as does The Beast - Tendai Mtawarira - and Cian Healy.

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And for Murray, the decision was a little more difficult:

This is a 50/50 call and Murray sneaks it over New Zealand's Aaron Smith based on the form he showed against his rival over the autumn.

The Irishman is a physical player whose passing is fast and accurate. Plus he can mix it with the big boys.

Considering only five northern hemisphere players were included, it's nice to see Murray and McGrath recognised for being the standard setters for their positions.

Here is the XV in full:

15: Israel Folau - Australia
14: Ben Smith - New Zealand
13: Wesley Fofana - France
12: Owen Farrell - England
11: Julian Savea - New Zealand
10: Beauden Barrett - New Zealand
9: Conor Murray - Ireland
1: Jack McGrath - Ireland
2: Dane Coles - New Zealand
3: Owen Franks - New Zealand
4: Brodie Retallick - New Zealand
5: Maro Itoje - England
6: Jerome Kaino - New Zealand
7: David Pocock - Australia
8: Kieran Read - New Zealand

So basically it's New Zealand & Friends, which is hard to argue with really, although it makes that win in Chicago even sweeter. Owen Farrell at 12? Hmmm...

Let us know who makes your World XV.

[via The Telegraph]

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