Beauden Barrett Three All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup team of the pool stages

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Ireland boast a winning record over the All Blacks in the past few years.

OPINION:The Rugby World Cup is about to get serious.

This weekend’s quarterfinals will see a huge step up in intensity as teams fight for the right to stay in Japan for another week.

But who has already impressed in the pool stages?

Stuff takes a look back and picks its best XV from the first month of the tournament.  

Beauden Barrett Beauden Barrett has been a class act for the All Blacks in the No 15 jersey.

HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES

Beauden Barrett has been a class act for the All Blacks in the No 15 jersey.

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*Brendan Venter: Defence, not attack, wins Rugby World Cups
*Japan’s Rugby World Cup performance might bump them up a tier
*Japan’s Kiwi coaches show team how to play like All Blacks
*Joe Schmidt urged to pick ‘Christian Cullen’ option for quarterfinal
*How the title contenders shape up ahead of quarterfinals

15. Beauden Barrett (New Zealand):Dual playmaker role hasn’t diluted his influence but has released him into the areas where he causes most damage.  

14. Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa):The power wing has been replaced with smaller, fast, multiskilled athletes at this tournament and Kolbe is leading the way. 

13. Semi Radradra (Fiji):Starred on the wing but has been shifted to centre here to make room for Josh Adams (below). Unstoppable with ball in hand.

12. Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand):Simply on fire with his elusive running game. Somewhere in Japan Wayne Smit

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