Planet Rugby’s Team of the Year

Date published: December 18 2014

You’ve had your turn, now it’s ours. After hours of debate here at Planet Rugby HQ, we’ve selected our line-up of 2014.

We’ve assessed the year’s action from the Six Nations through to the November Tests, including domestic action in the European Cup and Super Rugby.

Three of our side are different to the one selected by you last week

Find out who made the cut below.

Planet Rugby Team of the Year 2014

15 Israel Folau (Australia/Waratahs): Started the year slightly better than he finished it, and for all the talk of a try ‘drought’ when he went four games without scoring, only Julian Savea scored more tries against top tier opposition in 2014. Away from his seven tries in the Test arena, Folau was the standout player in Super Rugby, racking up 12 tries as he helped the Waratahs to a maiden title.

14 Ben Smith (New Zealand/Highlanders): Played six games on the wing and six at full-back for the All Blacks, but we’re going to slot him in on the right wing. A gliding, elegant runner, Smith’s all-round skills help him to stand out and offer much more than most wide men. He edges out another New Zealand-based player in Nemani Nadolo, the giant Fijian winger who showed his own versatility by shifting to 12 for his country after starring on the wing for the Crusaders in Super Rugby.

13 Tevita Kuridrani (Australia/Brumbies): Came of age in 2014 as he caused defenders so many problems with his powerful runs up the middle. His best form came in the gold jersey as in June, the Rugby Championship and November he was unstoppable. We have to mention Malakai Fekitoa as he shone for the Highlanders while Kuridrani’s Wallaby team-mate Adam Ashley-Cooper starred at the ‘Tahs.

12 Matt Giteau (Toulon): Was a key cog in the Toulon machine that won the Top 14 and Heineken Cup double in 2014. Giteau tore defences to shreds in an arduous campaign in France, with his electric feet, excellent distribution and kicking game also taking some of the heat off Jonny Wilkinson. Matt Toomua, Jean de Villiers and Jamie Roberts deserve mentions but Giteau was outstanding in the calendar year.

11 Julian Savea (New Zealand/Hurricanes): Hands down the stand-out number eleven in world rugby this year, Savea has 30 tries in 31 internationals so far in his career and there are plenty more to come. Rugby Championship, Bledisloe Cup and an unbeaten end-of-year series followed an impressive personal campaign for the Hurricanes in which he was in the top ten for metres, carries and defenders beaten.

10 Jonathan Sexton (Ireland/Racing M