On Sunday evening the 2022 World Rugby Men's 15s Dream Team of the Year was unveiled at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco on Sunday.
Every year there are players who can feel hard done by for not making the XV and this year was no different with three standout candidates catching our eye.
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In case you missed it the 2022 World Rugby Men's 15s Dream Team of the Year is: 1. Ellis Genge (England) 2. Malcolm Marx (South Africa) 3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland) 4. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland) 5. Sam Whitelock (New Zealand) 6. Pablo Matera (Argentina) 7. Josh van der Flier (Ireland) 8. Grégory Alldritt (France) 9. Antoine Dupont (France) 10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland) 11. Marika Koroibete (Australia) 12. Damian de Allende (South Africa) 13. Lukhanyo Am (South Africa) 14. Will Jordan (New Zealand) 15. Freddie Steward (England).
Three notable names are omitted from that list namely Eben Etzebeth, Ardie Savea and Emiliano Boffelli.
While it has been far from the best year for both South Africa and New Zealand, Etzebeth and Savea were consistently brilliant for their respective sides and probably deserved nominations for the World Rugby Player of the Year Award which was claimed by Ireland's Josh van der Flier.
Savea was beaten to the no.8 jersey by Grand Slam winning no.8 Gregory Alldritt who helped France go unbeaten in 2022. There is a very strong case for the Frenchman to be in the side while the other back row spot was taken by Argentina's Pablo Matera.
Tadhg Beirne and Sam Whitelock produced some stellar performances for Ireland and New Zealand respectively but Etzebeth can feel hard done by for his exclusion having been consistently one of the best players on the pitch in Springbok tests this year.
Finally, Argentine outside back Emiliano Boffelli was beaten to the team by England's Freddie Steward (15), Will Jordan (New Zealand), and Marika Koribete (Australia).
Boffelli played in every single Los Pumas test match in 2022, featuring on either wing and at fullback. The 27-year-old's sharp shooting from the tee was crucial for Argentina this year steering his side to a historic win over New Zealand and England, scoring a try in the latter and another in the series decider against Scotland.
The team was picked by a star-studded panel of former players which included Jacques Burger, Thierry Dusautoir, Drew Mitchell, Richie McCaw, Ugo Monye, and John Smit.
Reaction from Twitter on the World Rugby Dream XV of 2022:
What did Ardie Savea and Eben Etzebeth do to piss off World Rugby???? It's just ridiculous... https://t.co/PZO9occgnj— The Rugby Whisperer - Beautiful Warrior of GOD ✝️ (@VoLKANO76) November 21, 2022
It’s a good thing nobody takes these awards seriously as they should because this is a joke. No Etzebeth or Savea?😂— Dylan van der Spuy (@dylanvdspuy14) November 21, 2022
I think Bofelli deserves a spot on the wing.— Nic Venter (@NicVenterMental) November 21, 2022
Ardie and Eben play basketball ? cause no other explanation for their exclusion here😂😂— George (@GeorgeAtte1) November 20, 2022
Boffelli missing out too is madness— Shaun Lilford (@Carcharius) November 21, 2022
Yeah, wing choices seem odd to me. Jordan and Koroibete both great but neither toured this November. Would have Penaud and Boffelli over them.— Paul Eddison (@pauleddison) November 20, 2022
Not sure how Etzebeth Boffelli or Savea missed out but man Sam Whitelock, unbilivibil player let me tell youuu https://t.co/hWtHaa1gCo— Millar (@SUNSTlRADE) November 20, 2022