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Rugby World Cup team of the tournament (so far)

The 40-match World Cup pool stage ended on Sunday night with tournament surprise package Japan defeating the United States.

The competition has so far seen more than 2,000 points scored, including 231 tries, while over 1.88million fans have gone through the turnstiles.

Here Press Association Sport selects a team of the World Cup so far.

15 AYUMU GOROMARU (Japan): Became the first player from a Tier 2 nation to pass 700 Test points during the course of Japan's memorable World Cup campaign. Outstanding.

14 ANTHONY WATSON (England): The only England player who looked world-class in every game he played. Brilliant attacker with pace to burn.

13 JESSE KRIEL (South Africa): Only 21, but the Cape Town-born centre has performed with a maturity beyond his years. A fine footballer with power to match.

12 MATT GITEAU (Australia): Closing in on 100 caps for Australia, Wallabies star Giteau has glided effortlessly through the pool stage. A magnificent player who makes so much happen around him.

11 DTH VAN DER MERWE (Canada): Canada might have bowed out of World Cup contention in their pool, but there was no hiding Van Der Merwe's sparkling contribution. Four tries in four games says it all.

10 BERNARD FOLEY (Australia): Largely unheralded before the tournament, Wallabies fly-half Foley has barely put a foot wrong. Scored 28 points against England, including two tries, to confirm the host nation's demise.

9 GARETH DAVIES (Wales): When Rhys Webb was injured and ruled out of the tournament, Wales need a scrum-half to step up, and Davies has delivered superbly. Quick, elusive and a prolific try-scorer.

1 SCOTT SIO (Australia): The Wallabies scrum had long been dismissed as lightweight in Test terms, but loosehead prop Sio has played a major part in debunking that theory during this World Cup.

2 AGUSTIN CREEVY (Argentina): Argentina's captain has helped drive the Pumas to some high-class performances during the tournament. A player who demands excellence and leads by example.

3 SEKOPE KEPU (Australia): Like Sio, Kepu has performed admirably to help make Australia's scrum a major force. In games against England and Wales, the Wallabies looked a complete package.

4 IAIN HENDERSON (Ireland): One of Irish rugby's rising stars, consistency could easily be his middle name. Wonderfully combative with supreme tactical skills, a long Test career lies ahead.

5 KANE DOUGLAS (Australia): A cornerstone of the Wallabies pack, his work-rate is at an immense level, while he lacks nothing in the line-out department. Quality all-round operator.

6 MICHAEL LEITCH (Japan): Japan's inspired skipper led from the front, making a tournament-topping 51 tackles and driving his team to new World Cup heights. Seized the moment spectacularly.

7 SEAN O'BRIEN (Ireland): A moment of indiscipline could yet affect his future participation in the competition, but the tough-as-teak Irish warrior has played like a man possessed.

8 DAVID POCOCK (Australia): The master of the breakdown, Pocock secured a total of 10 turnovers for his team during their unbeaten march through Pool A. The Rolls Royce of back-row forwards.


From Belfast Telegraph