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The All Blacks new coaching team is almost complete, with head coach Ian Foster announcing three of his four assistants.
OPINION:Springboks loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit was the world’s best rugby player in 2019.
The old adage ‘defence wins big games’ never seemed truer than in the Rugby World Cup final, when South Africa’s ability to repel waves of big English runners – combined with their scrum – won the decider for them.
Du Toit is a key man in the way the Springboks play the game. You get the sense that their forwards have more skills up their sleeves than they normally show – remember Eben Etzebeth’s offload against England? – but they also know their bread and butter is winning the physical contests.
He is joined in Stuff’s top 10 for 2019 by the reborn Duane Vermeulen and the brilliant Cheslin Kolbe, with Faf de Klerk, Etzebeth and Damian Allende all unlucky to miss out.
That is a fair representation of South Africa’s achievements this year and in contrast Ardie Savea and Beauden Barrett are the only All Blacks to make the list. The challenge for Ian Foster’s All Blacks in 2020 is to end the year with more players with strong claims to be among the world’s elite.
* New All Blacks assistant John Plumtree on his new role: ‘I’ve got Fozzie’s back’
* England’s World Cup victory over All Blacks meant more than winning the title
* Seven All Blacks in hunt for World Rugby’s player of the decade
* All Blacks largely snubbed in World XV named by top British magazine
* All Blacks show their true colours with Rugby World Cup disappointment
The top 10
1. Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa):A 2-metre tackling machine who can stop a Vunipola brother in his track
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