Just two Springboks make UK news agency’s Rugby World Cup Team of the Tournament

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Rugby World Cup players Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), Damian Penaud (France) and Aaron Smith (New Zealand)

Rugby World Cup players Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), Damian Penaud (France) and Aaron Smith (New Zealand).

UK news agency PA Media have named their Rugby World Cup Team of the Tournament featuring seven finalists, five All Blacks and two Springboks.

While the tournament finalists dominate PA’s team, three players from tier two nations also feature, with hosts France having just one player representing them.

Tonga, Fiji and Portugal are the three tier-two players picked, while World Cup quarter-finalists Ireland have two players in the side and Wales one.

Despite reaching the semi-finals of the competition, Argentina has no players in the XV, while England has one representative.

In the backs, All Blacks veteran Beauden Barrett is picked at full-back and is joined by fellow countrymen Will Jordan (11), Richie Mo’unga (10) and Aaron Smith beats France captain Antoine Dupont to the number nine jersey. The New Zealand quintet is completed by number eight, Ardie Savea.

Damian Penaud, who scored seven tries in the tournament, fills the right wing position with Fiji skipper Waisea Nayacalevu picked at outside centre and Ireland’s Bundee Aki on his inside.

Courtney Lawes (England) and Jac Morgan (Wales) are the flankers, with Ireland’s Tadhg Beirne and South Africa’s Eben Etzebeth picked as the locks.

Springboks loosehead prop Ox Nche is selected after his heroics off the bench, particularly in the quarter and semi-finals. Portugal hooker Mike Tadjer and Tonga tighthead Ben Tameifuna join Nche in the front-row.

PA’s Rugby World Cup Team of the Tournament

15 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand): Two-time world player of the year set the standard for a playmaking full-back.

14 Damian Penaud (France): Daredevil wing who topped the try-scoring chart until Will Jordan ran amok against Argentina.

13 Waisea Nayacalevu (Fiji): The Islanders’ skipper stood out in a backline full of lethal runners.

12 Bundee Aki (Ireland): A player of the tournament candidate through his powerful running, clever lines and slick footwork.

11 Will Jordan (New Zealand): Ruthless finisher who is in the company of greats such as Jonah Lomu after amassing eight tries.

10 Richie Mo’unga (New Zealand): The game’s most complete fly-half with the creativity to match his game management.

9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand): One of the World Cup’s smallest players is also among its smartest.

8 Ardie Savea (New Zealand): Pushed very close by England’s Ben Earl, but Savea is a class apart.

7 Jac Morgan (Wales): Blockbusting flanker who showed maturity beyond his years to lead Wales into the quarter-finals.

6 Courtney Lawes (England): A back-row warrior with a sharp rugby brain who excelled in the biggest games.

5 Tadhg Beirne (Ireland): Ever-present for Ireland who provided fight whether playing at lock or in the second-row.

4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa): A snarling enforcer and still the game’s dominant second-row despite an off-night against England.

3 Ben Tameifuna (Tonga): Monster tighthead prop weighing in at 23st 11lbs yet has the carrying prowess to match his scrummaging.

2 Mike Tadjer (Portugal): A front-row all-rounder who was especially influential in the shock victory over Fiji.

1 Ox Nche (South Africa): The Springboks’ strongest scrummager may be on the bench, but what an impact he makes.

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