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How many Six Nations stars would feature in a World XV?

Published 21/03/2016

New Zealand's Julian Savea has been incredibly prolific in Test rugby
New Zealand's Julian Savea has been incredibly prolific in Test rugby

The 2015-16 season has delivered an outstanding World Cup won by New Zealand, and another intriguing RBS 6 Nations Championship that England dominated.

Here, Press Association Sport selects a World XV, based on performances in the two competitions.

15 AYUMU GOROMARU (Japan): Became the first player from a tier-two nation to pass 700 Test points during the course of Japan's memorable World Cup campaign last year, that included a stunning victory over South Africa in Brighton.

14 GEORGE NORTH (Wales): Became the first Wales player since Shane Williams eight years ago to score tries in four successive Six Nations games this season. Brilliant match-winner who is almost back to his blistering form of 2013.

13 JESSE KRIEL (South Africa): Only 21, but the Cape Town-born centre performed with a maturity beyond his years at the 2015 World Cup. A quality player, whose subtle skills are matched by considerable power.

12 MATT GITEAU (Australia): Moved past 100 caps for Australia during the World Cup, and the Wallabies centre often appears as though he is gliding through matches with effortless ease. Makes so much happen around him.

11 JULIAN SAVEA (New Zealand): The All Blacks' powerhouse wing is a fearsome sight when in full flight, as illustrated by the try-scoring demolition job he performed on hapless World Cup quarter-final opponents France. Has collected 38 tries in 41 Tests.

10 HANDRE POLLARD (South Africa): At the age of just 22, Pollard has shown that he possesses the all-round game to be South Africa's long-term chief tactical operator. Also a superb goalkicker, and he does not get flustered, whatever the situation.

9 AARON SMITH (New Zealand): Works as a tireless general behind the All Blacks pack, mixing his running and kicking game so astutely. Decision-making is world class, and he remains a key member of the world champions' armoury.

1 MARCOS AYERZA (Argentina): Loosehead prop Ayerza is an immovable object in a typically robust and powerful Argentina scrum. Technically accomplished and immensely strong.

2 GUILHEM GUIRADO (France) - The new France captain led from the front during this season's Six Nations campaign. A tough-as-teak forward who scored tries against Wales and Scotland, he was a talisman figure that Les Bleus head coach Guy Noves can continue building his team around.

3 RAMIRO HERRERA (Argentina): The 27-year-old tighthead prop was largely unheralded before last autumn's World Cup, but his consistent shows of scrummaging power and outstanding technique meant he won many admirers. A true warrior.

4 BRODIE RETALLICK (New Zealand): A former world player of the year, the 24-year-old All Blacks lock continues to go from strength to strength and is already closing in on 50 Test caps. Uncompromising and technically brilliant.

5 GEORGE KRUIS (England): Took his club second-row partnership with Maro Itoje at Saracens impressively into the Six Nations arena this season, delivering world-class displays. He won 33 line-outs during the tournament, which says everything.

6 MICHAEL LEITCH (Japan): Japan's inspired skipper led imperiously, making a total of 51 tackles during the World Cup pool stage and driving his team to new heights last autumn. Seized the moment spectacularly.

7 DAVID POCOCK (Australia): The master of the breakdown, Pocock secured a total of 14 turnovers for his team during their march to the 2015 World Cup final. The Rolls Royce of back-row forwards.

8 KIERAN READ (New Zealand): The 30-year-old will face one of rugby's biggest tasks this year - replacing a retired Richie McCaw as All Blacks captain - but he is a magnificent player whose consistency of performance shines through.

Replacements: 16 - Dane Coles (New Zealand), 17 - Scott Sio (Australia), 18 - Sekope Kepu (Australia), 19 - Maro Itoje (England), 20 - Francois Louw (South Africa), 21 - Ben Youngs (England), 22 - Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), 23 - Juan Imhoff (Argentina).

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