Planet Rugby

Planet Rugby Readers' Team of 2013

16th December 2013 13:39

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Planet Rugby Readers Team 2013

Your choice: Readers' XV

Power to the people! As has become our tradition, we gave you the chance to vote for YOUR Team of Year: Here are the results from the PR faithful.

We received a massive response from hundreds of readers who sent in their first-choice line-ups.

Only three players kept their place in your side from 2012 - Conrad Smith, Kieran Read and Eben Etzebeth.

The southern hemisphere rules in your final selection which features no less than seven All Blacks, two Wallabies and three Springboks.

Planet Rugby Readers' Team of the Year:

15 Israel Folau (Australia): Only a handful of votes separated British and Irish Lions star Leigh Halfpenny and Australia's Newcomer of the Year in the full-back position from the line-ups you sent in, but many of you actually picked both players, naming the Wallaby on the wing. So we decided to face them off in a straight poll on the front page and you voted for a clear winner.

14 Ben Smith (New Zealand): No doubt about this one. 86 percent of you named Test rugby's top try-scorer in 2013 as your right wing.

13 Conrad Smith (New Zealand): Another runaway winner in the votes. The All Blacks and Hurricanes stalwart took 71 percent of the nominations. No one else even got into double figures.

12 Jean de Villiers (South Africa): A two-horse race between the Stormers centre and Clermont's Wesley Fofana saw the Bok skipper get 64 percent of the votes while the French international took 28 percent.

11 George North (Wales): A relatively close battle for the left wing berth between the British and Irish Lions flyer, who got 51 percent, and All Blacks wing Julian Savea who got 39 percent. Bryan Habana was the only other name in contention with 16 percent.

10 Aaron Cruden (New Zealand): Plenty of candidates here. Cruden was a relatively clear choice though with 44 percent of the vote. With the nominations split between five other fly-halves, only Quade Cooper came remotely close with 19 percent.

9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand): No other position saw more names being put forward than scrum-half and Smith was far from a unanimous choice with just 40 percent. Fourie du Preez was a surprise second choice - at 27 percent - considering how little top-level rugby he played this year.

8 Kieran Read (New Zealand): Unsurprisingly the clearest choice in any position, the IRB Player of the Year was the number eight in 95 percent of the teams sent in.

7 Michael Hooper (Australia): As usual, openside flank was a hotly-contest berth but 42 percent of the vote was enough for the Wallaby flank to get the nod. Francois Louw was the next most popular choice at 32 percent while Sean O'Brien came in at just under 20 percent.

6 Liam Messam (New Zealand): Another wide spread of nominations but yet again an All Black wins the race. Messam's 34 percent was more than double number of votes received by his nearest challenger, Willem Alberts.

5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand): No doubt about your favourite line-out jumper, with the Crusaders lock dominating the number five nominations with 65 percent of the votes.

4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa): The Stormers enforcer was the number four of choice amongst almost everyone, featuring in 81 percent of the line-ups. Brodie Retallick got nearly all the other votes.

3 Adam Jones (Wales): There were only two real contenders for the tighthead berth. Lions prop Jones was your favourite with 52 percent of the ballots while Argentina's Juan Figallo collected 23 percent.

2 Bismark du Plessis (South Africa): He may have missed half the year, but the Springbok hooker dominated the voting, racking up 68 percent of the votes. Adriaan Strauss was second best with just 10 percent.

1 Alex Corbisiero (England): 56 percent of our readers reckoned Corbisiero did enough on tour for the Lions to get their vote despite missing most of the rest of the year. Marcos Ayerza got 12 percent.

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