Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2019 Rugby World Cup - Team of the Tournament

2019 Rugby World Cup - Team of the Tournament

Handre Pollard kicks with Faf de Klerk and Jerome Garces looking on

With the sun having set on Japan Darry Worthington takes a look at who starred in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. 

The Rugby World Cup is now over and its time to pay our dues to those players who shone in their respective positions.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sport - Hollywoodbets

Beauden Barrett (NZ)

While his side were unable to secure the hat-trick and he was slightly slower than usual, Barrett once again shone in the unfamiliar position of fullback.

The soon to be Auckland Blue was mesmeric from the back, giving a slightly misfiring New Zealand backline some real cut and thrust.

While he'll tell you that he was undercooked over the tournament, he was still the best fullback on show.

Kenki Fukuoka (JPN)

This one is a bit harsh of Josh Adams of Wales who leads the try-scoring charts at the tournament, but I cannot help but give it to Japanese Star Kenki Fukuoka.

The diminutive wing was absolutely sensational at the tournament rounding off some great tries and sparking a few others.

Outside Centre
Manu Tuilangi (ENG)

The English destroyer was in fine fettle at the tournament with the highlight of it being his display during England's semi-final win over the All Blacks.

He was impossible to bring down at times and sparked the English attack on numerous occasions.

Inside Centre
Damien de Allende (SA)
I will be the first to admit that I thought the Stormers man was going to be a weak link at the tournament. Boy was I wrong.

De Allende was an absolute Trojan in the heart of midfield. He made huge tackles and made more turnovers than some teams' flankers. His ball carrying was also top-draw.

Cheslin Kolbe (SA)

Kolbe was the main attraction at this yer's World Cup taking over the role of tournament magician that Nehe Milner-Skudder played in 2015.

Kolbe razzled. He dazzled. And he blew our minds with footwork that Michael Jackson would have envied.

Handre Pollard (SA)

I actually think Pollard wasn't at the peak of his powers, which is pretty scary considering he ended the tournament top of the points scoring pops.

His finest hour was undoubtedly the final where he kicked two conversions and further six penalties. This was made all the more impressive by the fact that he missed a fairly easy chance early in the match. Lesser fly-halves would've been left frazzled, not the ice-cool Bulls man, though.

Faf de Klerk (SA)

He divided opinion throughout the tournament with a host of South African fans cursing his hit-and-miss box kicking game. While he was poor with the boot, De Klerk along with Cheslin Kolbe, were the heart and soul of this title-winning team on defence.

The former Golden Lions man was an absolute mongrel on around the fringes and the set-piece, making hit after hit on far bigger men than himself.

Eighth Man
Duane Vermeulen (SA)

There were some high-quality eights on show in Japan, and had England won this one then Billly Vuniopoala's name would have likely appeared on here.

Duane wasn't he and shoulders above his competition but he was solid as a rock. He also formed part of the senior core which was vital to this World Cup win.

Pieter-Steph du Toit (SA)

We don't really need to go into this one do we? I mean he was named World Player of the Year just a few short days ago. Fine, I'll keep it short.

Du Toit = Tank.

Sam Underhill (ENG)
I hate doing this as I really want to put down Siya Kolisi's name here but I cannot overlook Underhill.

The man made a staggering 69 tackles and more metres than I care to remember.

Alun Wyn Jones (Wal)

You don't need to go much deeper than a quick look at the tackle stats to see how badly Wales are going to miss the now-retired 34-year-old, with the veteran topping the charts with a staggering 79 successful tackles.

Maro Itoje (ENG)

Like Jones, Itoje ended the tournament with a mammoth tackle count as the Saracens man made 69 hits.

Itoje was also a solid lineout option and got through a massive amount of work in the loose.

Tighthead Prop
Kyle Sinckler (ENG)

Like the locking combination, this call is harsh on the South African contingent who were brilliant throughout the campaign.

Sinckler has always bee a great rugby player but he's had a nasty habit of losing his cool. He's showed a level of maturity I did not expect and that went along nicely with some great ranging tighthead performances.

Bong Mbonambi (SA)

There were a few eyebrows raised when Mbonambi was made Rassie Erasmus' starting hooker in favour of Malcolm Marx but the Western Province man silenced all naysayers with some barnstorming displays at the tournament.

Beast Mtawirira/Steven Kitshoff (SA)

The two props performed something of a doubles act splitting playing time between them with remarkable results.

Both were solid at the coalface and got around the park really nicely. They were absolutely key to the 'Boks winning the final.

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