Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Rugby World Cup team of the tournament

South Africa trio Faf De Klerk, Damian De Allende and Duane Vermeulen make the cut.

Beauden Barrett, Faf De Klerk and Maro Itoje made the team of the tournament (David Davies/Adam Davy/PA)
Beauden Barrett, Faf De Klerk and Maro Itoje made the team of the tournament (David Davies/Adam Davy/PA)

By PA Sport Staff

South Africa clinched a third World Cup triumph by beating England 32-12 in Yokohama to bring down the curtain on a memorable tournament.

Rugby round up Newsletter

Game previews, plus expert insights and exclusive commentary from the Belfast Telegraph sports team.

The PA news agency takes a look at the players who have excelled in Japan:

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded2989492

15 – Beauden Barrett (Nzl)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded247878913
Beauden Barrett starred for New Zealand (David Davies/PA)

Barrett’s speedy and efficient performances saw the All Blacks ease into the semi-finals, where despite his best efforts they came up short.

14 – Kotaro Matsushima (Jpn)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded245444115
Kotaro Matsushima was one of the host nation’s stars (Ashley Western/PA)

Star of the Cherry Blossoms’ World Cup odyssey, Matsushima started with a hat-trick against Russia and continued to flower in his side’s march to the last eight.

13 – Manu Tuilagi (Eng)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded247851893
Manu Tuilagi stood out in a strong England team (David Davies/PA)

Tuilagi was one of England’s standout performers throughout, never more so than when he barged over for the crucial early try in the semi-final.

12 – Damian De Allende (Rsa)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded245818620
Damian De Allende was a star of the Springboks’ run (Adam Davy/PA)

De Allende’s muscular qualities were one of the chief reasons why South Africa shrugged off their embarrassing campaign in England four years ago.

11 – Semi Radradra (Fij)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded245456492
Semi Radradra was an exhilarating presence for Fiji (David Davies/PA)

Fiji’s tournament might have started in low-key fashion but Radradra’s lung-bursting exploits drew gasps of admiration from the Japanese fans.

10  – George Ford (Eng)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded247879869
George Ford proved Mr Dependable for England (David Davies/PA)

Ford’s role might not have been clearly defined by England coach Eddie Jones but he rose to the occasion when required to steer his team all the way to the final.

9 – Faf De Klerk (Rsa)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded247740167
Faf De Klerk walked tall for the Springboks (Adam Davy/PA)

He stands only five foot seven but the South African scrum-half has walked tall throughout the tournament and defied plenty of other much more weighty opponents.

1 – Keita Inagaki (Jpn)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded246731176
Keita Inagaki flowered in the Cherry Blossoms’ line-up (Ashley Western/PA)

The Japanese prop lifted his side to new heights and was integral in orchestrating their route to the quarter-finals.

2 – Jamie George (Eng)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded244705629
Jamie George was tough and uncompromising for England (David Davies/PA)

George grappled England through the tournament with a series of typically uncompromising performances.

3 – Kyle Sinckler (Eng)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded247569846
Kyle Sinckler continued to emerge as a star (David Davies/PA)

Relishing his arrival on the big stage, Sinckler has continued to emerge as one of the potential stars of the future for Eddie Jones’ England team, despite leaving the field early in the final due to concussion.

4 – Maro Itoje (Eng)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded247878526
Maro Itoje did more than most to ensure England’s final berth (David Davies/PA)

Itoje was a cut above the rest in England’s exhilarating semi-final win over the All-Blacks and is bound to be recalled as one of the players of the tournament.

5 – James Moore (Jpn)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded245433901
James Moore is growing accustomed to life in Japan (Adam Davy/PA)

The Australian-born Moore was an aggressive presence in the heart of the Japanese defence, leading from the front into uncharted territory.

6  – Aaron Wainwright (Wal)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded247907140
Aaron Wainwright could not quite steer Wales into the World Cup final (David Davies/PA)

The Wales flanker battled throughout but could not quite help lead his nation into their first World Cup final.

7 – Tom Curry (Eng)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded247580262
Tom Curry repeatedly rose to the occasion (David Davies/PA)

The red-hot flanker has continued to grow into his role as the tournament progresses and challenged for a series of man-of-the-match awards.

8 – Duane Vermeulen (Rsa)

bpanews_78794d7c-430e-4050-84d8-b115a3f5614c_embedded240037687
Duane Vermeulen was a star for South Africa (David Davies/PA)

Vermeulen allied an aggressive approach with a calming manner among his team-mates to play an integral role in the Springboks’ march through the tournament.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph