Today is the day French sports newspaper L'Equipe publish their rugby team of the year for 2017. The team is decided by a public vote and takes into account the Six Nations, British and Irish Lions in New Zealand, June tours of the in the southern hemisphere, the Four Nations Championship and November internationals. Surprisingly, no Irish player made the team.
Hogg (Scotland) - Naholo (New Zealand), Joseph (England), SB Williams (New Zealand), R. Ioane (New Zealand) - B. Barrett (New Zealand), A Smith (New Zealand);
Itoje (England), Read (New Zealand), Kaino (New Zealand) - Whitelock (New Zealand), Retallick (New Zealand) - O. Francks (New Zealand), Coles (New Zealand), M. Vunipola (England).
Each position had a shortlist which the public could vote from. Ireland had a player nominated in every position bar second-row, full-back and number 8 (CJ Stander was shortlisted as a flanker.)
Of the Irish players you could make a case for, Tadhg Furlong finished last of four with 16%, behind Owen Francks, Sekope Kepu and Dan Cole.
Conor Murray got 18%, considerably behind Aaron Smith who got 62%. Keith Earls, Peter O'Mahony, CJ Stander, Sean O'Brien, Rory Best, Jack McGrath and Johnny Sexton were all shortlisted but failed to secure any significant vote.
The team is not something that will concern Joe Schmidt's side, but it is interesting to see how Irish players are considered abroad.
You can see the full vote here.