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June 2, 2014 | by  | in Opinion Sports |
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Super Rugby Dream Team

Heading into the international break in two weeks, here’s my form team from this year’s Super Rugby. Let the disagreement begin.

1. Tendai Mtawarira – Sharks – Their front row has been solid all season, with the Beast leading from the front.

2. Bismarck du Plessis – Sharks – This guy has been impressive at hooker: probably the best in the world, his work rate has been immense and his tackling is huge.

3. Owen Franks – Crusaders – The in-form New Zealand prop, his scrum has been the best in the competition, and his work rate has been outstanding.

4. Will Skelton – Waratahs – This guy has been huge; his ability to get around the field, his block-busting runs, and he is good in the lineouts.

5. Sam Whitelock – Crusaders – Best lock in the world at the moment, without a shadow of a doubt. He reminds me of a young Brad Thorn, and his work in the lineouts is world-class.

6. Jerome Kaino – Blues – This guy, since he has been back from Japan, has been enormous for the Blues, and it’s a shame he will not be going any further in the competition. He has been brilliant with his runs and tackling, and creating opportunities where the Blues haven’t been able to capitalise.

7. Matt Hodgson – Western Force – Yes, you might be scratching your head right now and be going: ‘What the?’ But this guy has been what the Force have been about this season. His work rate has been outstanding, and his tackling and the way he gets to the breakdown first have been superb.

8. Warren Whiteley – Lions – This guy has led the Lions superb all season, and his work rate again has been brilliant.

9. Aaron Smith – Highlanders – This guy has been the key to the Highlanders attack alongside Fekitoa; his play around the fringes has been solid and his passing terrific, as well as the way he can read situations.

10. Beauden Barrett – Hurricanes – This guy is superb. You could have easily had the likes of Slade from the Crusaders, Foley from the Waratahs or Sopoaga from the Highlanders, but after the performance against the Chiefs last week he gets the nod at 10.

11. Julian Savea – Hurricanes – The most devastating winger in world rugby right now, without a shadow of a doubt. His running metres are huge, and if you give him the ball in space, it will be devastating.

12. Pat McCabe – Brumbies – People will question this selection as well, but this guy has been the cornerstone of the Brumbies backline for me and has been solid.

13. Malakai Fekitoa – Highlanders – The most-talked-about centre in New Zealand rugby and possibly world rugby. What on earth were those Blues thinking at the start of the season? Trading him, obviously, for Benji Marshall, who was hopeless at union.

14. Nemani Nadolo – Crusaders – This guy’s form has been immense this season since he came on in his ability to get past the last man. He is someone the Crusaders need.

15. Israel Dagg– After his heroics against the Highlanders last week, how can you not put this guy in?! Good to see him in form playing Super Rugby and not just in the black jersey.


Top 5 Players Heading Into The FIFA World Cup

5. Iker Casillas– Spain– This guy has been all over it for Real Madrid lately, and expect nothing less heading into the FIFA World Cup. And he’ll need it too. They’ll come up against a ferocious Dutch side in pool play, and with Robin van Persie firing rockets at him; he’ll need to be on his game.

4. Philipp Lahm– Germany– Arguably one of the best fullbacks in world football right now, he’s been in unbelievable form for Bayern Munich so far, and they’ll be hoping he can transfer this form into the World Cup, especially with CR7 and Portugal in their pool.

3. Luis Suarez– Uruguay– If Suarez can be fit for Uruguay, he will be one of the players to watch. Topping the Premier League in goals scored this season with 31, Suarez found it hard to miss the goal! Here’s hoping he can be fit for the World Cup and deliver the goods for Uruguay.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo– Portugal– was it to be CR7 or Messi? You tell me, but the power, skill and flare of this man is undeniable. We saw it for Real Madrid as they came so close to claiming the ‘La Liga’ title, and as they overcame a 1–0 deficit to claim the Champions League Crown 4–1. Portugal will need all that Ronaldo has in this World Cup if they want to push past quarter final stage, which is likely to be their exit point.

1. Lionel Messi– Argentina– Here lays the key to Argentina’s success in Brazil. If Messi can fire, Argentina can go a long way in this tournament. On their home continent, Argentina will be confident but in recent years, especially world cup years, Messi has failed to really fire for Argentina and the Argentinian public are demanding more. I’m picking Messi to have a huge impact on this World Cup, and send Argentina close to that grand final.


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