Owen Farrell These add-ons are adorable!!
The 2010s! Three Rugby World Cups, five Grand Slam winners in the Six Nations, it’s been a packed decade full of fascinating moments.
Trying to pick a team of the best players is a bit of a thankless task, given the quality on offer in each position. Some choices were easy, others required more consideration.
Owen Farrell 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders, Pau and New Zealand)
Contenders: Israel Folau, Leigh Halfpenny, Stuart Hogg
Folau became Super Rugby’s record try scorer and a revolutionary attacking force playing for the Waratahs and Australia. But none of the full-back contenders can surpass Ben Smith for class.
The full-back exuded it constantly, helping to guide the Highlanders to the most unlikely of Super Rugby titles and winning the Rugby World Cup in the same year in 2015. Superb under the high ball and he glided across the field. Now deservedly earning a bumper payday in France with Pau.
Owen Farrell 14 Bryan Habana (Stormers, Toulon and South Africa)
Contenders: George North, Isa Nacewa
Tricky. North has been a constant throughout the 2010s, scoring 41 tries in 94 Tests, and at 27 still has many years ahead of him. It’s hard to overstate how much of an impact Isa Nacewa made at Leinster, returning for a second spell out of retirement to win his fourth Champions Cup.
Habana could probably be named in teams of both the 2000s and 2010s. In the past decade he was an integral part of Toulon’s success, winning three European Cups and a Top 14 title, and still scored 31 Test tries for South Africa before winning his last Test cap in 2016.
Owen Farrell 13 Jonathan Davies (Scarlets, Clermont and Wales, British and Irish Lions)
Contenders: Conrad Smith, Manu Tuilagi
Such a disjointed 10 years for Tuilagi since his debut before the 2011 Rugby World Cup, hit hard by injury, and yet there is no doubt that when fit, Tuilagi has been a mercurial talent that England heavily rely on. Conrad Smith’s Test career crossed over both decades. Truly world-class, he bowed out as a double Rugby World Cup winner.
And then there is Davies, a superb defensive reader of the game who instantly makes Wales’ more of an attacking threat too with his distribution and vision. His efforts in Wales’ Rugby World Cup campaigns and for the British and Irish Lions in 2013 and 2017 were first class.
Owen Farrell 12 Owen Farrell (Saracens and England, British and Irish Lions)
Contenders: Ma’a Nonu, Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty
The Stuart Lancaster era in 2012 began with England edging a win away at Murrayfield, with one of debutants in the side that day being a 21-year-old centre in Owen Farrell. The England captain has since gone on to score over 900 points in 83 Tests.
Three All Blacks all came into consideration, with Ma’a Nonu developing his game towards the latter stages of his career away from the bash-up strategy he was so good at early on. Sonny Bill Williams’ offloading prowess transformed the way teams attacked, and defended, while Ryan Crotty has always been impressive and clinched the All Blacks’ unbeaten year in 2013 with his late try to sink Ireland.
Owen Farrell 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes, Toulon and New Zealand)
Contenders: Juan Imhoff, Nemani Nadolo
No one has surpassed Savea’s brief reign of
I adore constituents, because they are the magnificent!
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