Rugby

Here Is Our Guinness Pro14 Team Of The Year For 2017/18

Here Is Our Guinness Pro14 Team Of The Year For 2017/18

After the weekend's action, we are down to just two in the 2017/2018 Pro14 as Leinster await Scarlets in their quest for a double. It was a historic year for the league as they expanded into a new continent and created two conferences to cater for their debutant South African teams.

Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Scarlets, Cardiff Blues, Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors have all achieved a place in the Champions Cup next season. With the final upcoming this weekend, we've selected our team of the season. In terms of qualification, a player must have played in at least ten games in the tournament ruling out the likes of Conor Murray, Jonathan Sexton, Robbie Henshaw, Dan Leavy, Stuart Hogg etc.

With that in mind, here is our definitive team of the year.

1. Rob Evans

The Scarlets man is a trojan in the scrum and has demonstrated some slick hands in the loose this year for the Welsh side.

2. Sean Cronin

The 32-year-old came into the year with his place in the Leinster and Irish set-up under threat but an explosive year has seen Cronin develop to become Leinster's certain number one and a key player in Joe Schmidt's side. Showed against the Ospreys he can also fill in on the wing.

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3. Andrew Porter

A breakout year for the youngster who has been outstanding for club and country.

4. Tadhg Beirne

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Munster fans will be eagerly anticipating the arrival of Beirne to Thomond as the athletic lock has been a sensation for Scarlets this year. Still has the opportunity to end his stay in Wales with one last piece of silverware.

5. Iain Henderson

Made far fewer appearances than several other inclusions but has been superb as pack leader in the absence of Rory Best, who missed three months due to injury.

6. Scott Fardy

A year in and already being discussed as one of Leinster's best foreign signings. Slightly out of position but has featured as a flanker in both the Champions Cup and Pro14.

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7. Callum Gibbins

The New Zealander was a superb player in Glasgow's playoff run. The former Hurricanes man gets through a monumental amount of work and is a constant threat in defensive rucking.

8. John Muldoon

In his farewell year, Muldoon had endured a difficult opening few games but quickly found his rhythm. Deserves inclusion for his iconic conversion alone.

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9. John Cooney

The most improved Irish player this year and the best signing in the league. Cooney has been a revelation this year, dictating the game and place kicking.

10. Tommaso Allan

It seems bizarre that Benetton can finish with more points, wins, and a better score difference than Ospreys but don't even make a play-off for the Champions Cup. Regardless they have enjoyed a strong season, with the win over Leinster a particular highlight. Allan was brilliant in that game and enjoyed a strong campaign overall.

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11. Barry Daly

Demonstrates the ludicrous strength in depth at Leinster that the top Pro14 try scorer struggles to make the squad when at full strength. A remarkable 12 tries for the former Gonzaga College man.

12. Rory Scannell

Quite possibly the most under-appreciated player in Irish rugby. After a breakout year, Scannell has kicked on even more, so much so that the loss of Taute and Farrell has not felt as devastating for Munster as it could have been.

13. Sam Arnold

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Munster's Young Player of the Year. Arnold is an awesome ball carrier and brings real aggression in his approach but has wits too, as he demonstrated last weekend with a perfect try-saving tackle on James Lowe.

14. Charles Piatau

A toss up between Blair Kinghorn, Tiernan O'Halloran and Piatau. Piatau is set to become the highest paid player in rugby with a move to Pat Lam's Bristol on the horizon. He missed Ulster's playoff victory but enjoyed another strong season. Has a gifted eye for the try-line that proved immensely useful.

15. Makizole Mapimpi

Anyone who tuned in to watch how the Cheetahs would take to the Pro14 was treated to a treat as Mapimpi's explosive pace saw him land 10 tries in 13 games. His form was such that it earned a move to Super Rugby side Sharks.

SEE ALSO: Ulster Need IRFU To Overcome Differences And Agree Deal With Scottish Union

Maurice Brosnan

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