Here in the office, much debate has gone into picking the Lovell Rugby World Team Of The Year 2009. It really has been a great year for Rugby. After much deliberation, here is our team of the year:
15- Rob Kearney- Ireland
The Leinster Full Back (who wears Nike Laser 3 Rugby Boots) with a siege gun left boot. He helped Ireland win the Grand Slam, Leinster win their first Heineken cup and played outstanding for the Lions in South Africa.
14- Corey Jane- New Zealand
The Hurricanes man is more happy at Fullback, although has had a great year on the wing. He played the majority of games for the All Blacks this season and scored some really important tries. Is as good going forward as is going back, which is vital in the modern game.
13- Brian O’driscoll- Ireland
Again another Irish player to win the Heineken cup, the grand slam and have a wonderful Lions tour. Before the start of the seaon there had been doubt as to whether O’driscoll would rediscover his form that made him one of the worlds best. In 2009 He bounced back with a great season attacking with great vision and pace and defending like a world class 7. His combination with Jamie Roberts in the centre for the Lions was outstanding.
12- Jamie Roberts- Wales
A great breakthrough season for the giant Cardiff Blues centre. Originally seen as a winger or Full Back he has now established himself as a force in the centre, with his power and great off loading skills. He is endorsed to wear Under Armour Dominate Rugby Boots
11- Byran Habana- South Africa
A Lions series win, Tri Nations series win and Super 14 and Currie Cup. Another vintage season from the eletric Habana who is set to move to the Western Provence/Stormers from the Bulls next season. Scored some crucial trys in big games this season and has improved again as an allround player. Still one of the quickest and best finishers the game has seen.
10- Morne Steyn- South Africa Africa
Like Habbana, a Lions series Win, Tri Nations series win along with Super 14 and Currie Cup. A great break through season for the metronomic goalkicking ten. A prolific Super 14 saw him force his way into the Springboks squad and then Ruan Pienars poor goalkicking enabled him the chance to make himself a legend by beating the Lions with a penalty from inside his own half in injury time to win the second test. Form dipped slightly during the European tour but still a great year. Morne Steyn currently wears Nike Vapor Rugby Boots
9- Fourie du Preez- South Africa
For our money the IRB player of the year. Controls game with his great service and kicking game. Never looks flustered. His battle with Mike Phillips was a classic in the summer.
8- Sergio Parisse- Italy
A great year for the Stade Francais number 8 and Italy captain. Has great hands and is a great lineout forward. Some say his Stade Francais form outshines his Italian because he has better players around him.
7- Heinrich Brüssow- South Africa
A metronomic rise for the young Cheetahs flanker. Impressed against the Lions in one of the opening tour matches so much so that he made his Boks debut in the first test against the Lions. His small but powerful frame have made him the new king of the breakdown area. A great debut season. Will be looking to build again for next season wearing His Adidas Predator X Rugby boots
6- Rocky Elsom- Australia
On his one year Sabbatactal to Europe with Leinster helped them win the Heineken cup. After returning to the Wallabies has been made captain and put some big performances in for the Wallabies with his powerful running.
5- Victor Matfield- South Africa
The Blue Bulls second row has put in another big season winning the currie cup, super 14, tri nations and Lions series. Superb in the Line out and gets around the park well.
4- Simon Shaw- England
Shaw is currently the stand out forward in English Rugby. He was fantastic for the Lions in the summer. The second test was the best performance from a second row we had seen in the office. Despite his age he is surely the first name on Martin Johnson’s teamsheet currently. We would love to see Courtney Lawes given the chance to play with him to help him develop.
3- Benn Robinson- Australia
The Wallabies front row was once the source of great humour amongst world Rugby, as they always had brilliant teams but questionable scrummaging, No longer! with the help of Former Bath Coach Michael Foley the Wallabies have turned themselves into a great scrummaging team. Robinson along with Ben Alexander and Stephen Moore have been a massive part of this.
2-Stephen Moore- Australia
A tough one between Moore and Andrew Hore Wellington and the All Blacks. In the end Moore got the nod because of his solid lineout work and great scrummaging. Will be looking for an equally impressive year next season with teams looking at the Wallabies scrum with a lot of respect!
1 Gethin Jenkins- Wales
The world’s most athletic prop, with the ability to play either side of the scrum if need be. A great season for Jenkins., will be looking for a big year to help the Blues and Wales fight for Trophies.
What would be your team?
This is just our choice, but what would be yours? Use the comment form below to let us know!