The Formidable World XV that could face Japan

The Formidable World XV that could face Japan

Jamie Joseph's Japan will be up against it this weekend when they face off in an exhibition match against the World XV.


Robbie Deans and Scott Robertson will take charge of the World XV and former All Blacks have a formidable squad at their disposal that boasts 1 537 Super Rugby caps and 526 test caps.

We pieced together a potential starting XV that could line up for the World XV:

1. Wyatt Crockett

The most capped Super Rugby player in the history of the competition is likely to be the first name on the team sheet.

Crockett needs little introduction having earned 71 test caps for the All Blacks and won a Rugby World Cup and multiple Super Rugby titles.

2. Adriaan Strauss

 

Strauss is like to start for the World XV in what could be his final professional rugby match.

The former Springbok captained called time on his career as the most capped South African Super Rugby player and represented his country 66 times.

3. Ben Alexander

Former Wallabies front-rower Ben Alexander completes a front row that has 512 Super Rugby caps and 209 test caps worth of experience.

Like his fellow front rowers, Alexander also announced his retirement from Super Rugby at end of the season but will still trouble any loosehead prop that lines up across from him.

4. Sam Carter

The Brumbies co-captain has been unfortunate not to have more than 16 test caps for the Wallabies but become the Brumbies latest Super Rugby centurion this year.

Carter runs a tight shift at lineout and his hard-working around the pitch on attack and defence.

5. Jackson Hemopo

Hemopo made his test debut for the All Blacks in June and despite featuring on the side of the scrum for New Zealand he is likely to pack down at lock for the World XV.

The Highlanders' forward will have competition from Jason Jenkins for a starting position with both players comfortable on the side of the scrum as well.

6. Nili Latu

 

The former Newcastle Falcons looseforward is likely to claim the blindside flank starting role but is another who face competition for the jersey with the likes of Willie Britz in the squad.

7. Dillon Hunt

Hunt is on the fringes of the All Blacks squad and will link up with the squad following this game.

A strong performance by Hunt could see start his first test match against the same opposition.

8. Leonardo Senatore

The Los Pumas no.8 has earned 50 test caps for his country and will provide the World XV with aggressive ball carries and tackles.

Willie Britz could also start for the side at no.8.

9. Andy Ellis

 

The former Crusaders and All Blacks halfback will captain the side against Japan.

The 34-year-old showed that he is more than capable of playing at the highest level after fine performances against New Zealand and Tonga last year.

He will be backed up by Blues captain Agustin Pulu.

10. Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias

Capped 43 times for Los Pumas, Iglesias is likely to get the nod over Lionel Cronje for the starting jumper.

Both players provide the World XV wonderful attacking options.

This match will provide Iglesias with the opportunity to cement a place in the starting line up for Jaguares next season and potentially push for a start in Argentina's Novmeber tests.

11. Tevita Li

The Highlanders and North Harbour flyer finished as the top scorer in the Mitre 10 Cup regular season and will be a threat on attack for the World XV if given the opportunity.

Li is one of the quickest wingers in New Zealand and will punish Japan if he gets the ball in space.

12. Harold Vorster

The Lions inside-centre was a key figure in the side that reached consecutive Super Rugby Finals.

The hard-running centre featured for the South African A side and Barbarians last year and is another player who could push for a test call up in this match.

13. Ma'a Nonu

The test centurian who signed for the Blues for next season needs no introduction. 

Primarily an inside centre, Nonu will link up with Vorster in the midfield and forms an attacking partnership that will look to punch holes through the Japanese defence but will still have the ability to create space out wide for thier lethal outside backs.

14. Toni Pulu

Like Tevita Li, Pulu is exceptionally quick and will also make the most of just about every opportunity he is given.

This is Pulu first opportunity at test level and will look to make a point to Michael Cheika who will be able to select the flyer next year once he completes his move to the Brumbies.

15. Nehe Milner-Skudder

 

Milner-Skudder completes a potent outside back trio that could rip some of the best defences apart.

The exciting All Black outside back has been in and out of the All Black squad in recent times and will want to prove himself in the two games against Japan.

Potential Replacements:

16. Ricky Riccitelli

17. Corne Fourie

18. Craig Millar/ Hencus van Wyk

19. Jason Jenkins

20. Willie Britz

21. Augustine Pulu

22. Lionel Cronje

23. Keisuke Moriya



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