All Blacks dominate players' World XV
December 6, 2013
The All Blacks lifted silverware everywhere they played in 2013 © Getty Images
IRPA Award Winners
Seven All Blacks have been named by their peers in the inaugural International Rugby Players Association (IRPA) World XV for 2013.
New Zealand No.8 Kieran Read was named Player of the Year, adding to the equivalent International Rugby Board honour bestowed on him this week, while Wallabies fullback Israel Folau was named Newcomer of the Year.
"There's no greater honour than to be recognised by the people you play against," Read said. "Rugby's a tough game. On the field there's no quarter given or expected. So for your opponents to single you out for this sort of attention means an awful lot."
Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith, Liam Messam and Sam Whitelock were the other All Blacks players included in the team.
Four players from Six Nations champions Wales were selected, along with two South Africans and one player each from France and England.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship