Home / Latest News / The Rugby Championship Combined 15.

The Rugby Championship Combined 15.

View image | gettyimages.com

After the first game of the Rugby Championship, which was a dominant win by New Zealand over Argentina 39 points to 18, our Rugby writer Craig Muncey thought it might be interesting to put up his thoughts on a combined starting 15 of the 4 teams competing in the Rugby Championship currently.

In terms of this year’s tournament, I am expecting teams to try different combinations of players during the tournament, in preparation for the World Cup in September and October. I am not saying that diminishes this year’s tournament, will still be some fantastic matches, but may not have the same desire to win as all roads lead to the World Cup.

Anyway back to the combined 15 as I see it currently.


15. Willie Le Roux (South Africa) – So many good full backs to choose from, but for me, Le Roux just pips them all, can do the lot, brave under the high ball, good kicking game and scores his fair share of tries as you would expect from a player who started off as an international winger.

14. Ben Smith (New Zealand) – Simply a fantastic all round rugby player, equally adept at playing full back. Has good pace and just makes the right decisions on a rugby field.

13. Tevita Kuridrani (Australia) – Burst on the scene internationally in 2013, and has been very impressive indeed, 6ft 5 inches tall, just over 16 stone, with a good turn of pace and good hands, a real handful.

12. Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand) – Has adapted his game so much last 18 months, was initially a battering ram, but now has improved his passing skills and now has a decent kicking game, can still be battering ram mind!

11. Julian Savea (New Zealand) – Simply put in full flight, this guy is frightening what he can do, is a beast of a player can run over people and around them, a try scoring machine, currently 33 caps for his country and 30 tries, phenomenal.

10. Dan Carter (New Zealand) – Has had a number of injuries recently, but has shown in recent months is getting back to his best, and at his best is the best 10 in the last 20 years with Jonny Wilkinson, so enough said.

9. Aaron Smith (New Zealand) – Has the best service for his outside backs in the game, great game management, decent kicking game, and can snipe when is on, outstanding player.

View image | gettyimages.com


1. Marcos Ayerza (Argentina) – A powerhouse in the scrum, and a very strong ball carrier, in my eyes is the best loosehead in the world right now

2. Bismarck Du Plessis (South Africa) – Has had a few injuries and been in and out of South Africa team recently, but when fit which is now, has all you need in a hooker, heart of a lion, can carry efficiently, puts in a shift in defence and accurate line out thrower, a real warrior.

3. Owen Franks (New Zealand) – Very strong scrumager, is a good ball carrier but his work in defence is phenomenal, puts in huge hits, very good tight head prop.

4. Brodie Retalick (New Zealand) – Last 12 months he has been the best lock in the world on form, huge work rate, is a pest in defence with his physical hard edge approach, a real enforcer.

5.Sam Whitelock (New Zealand) – Hugely talented lock, runs like a back rower, but like his partner Retalick, has a huge work rate in all facets of the game.

6.Jerome Kaino (New Zealand) – When Kaino went to play in Japan, New Zealand tried a few different players at 6, but nobody had the impact Kaino had, and this showed when he returned to the fold, can do it all you would want from a blind side flanker.

7.Richie McCaw (New Zealand) – Has his critics, and some say he is slowing down, but in my eyes still the best openside in the world, and one of the best ever to play the game. He can do it all at 7, and his presence and influence on a rugby game is huge and even the referees know this.

8. Kieran Read (New Zealand) – So many great 8’s out there at the moment, especially in the Southern Hemisphere, but for me Read comes out on top, is intelligent, has good pace, makes hard yards, a good athlete, but has what some others do not have as much, a great offloading game.

Thoughts? If you have enjoyed this article, please follow on Twitter @TheSportLowdown

new zealand rugby union

About Craig Muncey

Check Also


Mourinho takes Old Trafford hot seat

Embed from Getty Images   Jose Mourinho has been confirmed as the new manager of ...