Rugby Union team of the decade (2010-2019) voted for by fans

New Zealand v Australia - Final: Rugby World Cup 2015

So we are into a new year and a new decade, hopefully full of loads of sport and trail-blazing new athletes and superstars.

As we leave the 2010s behind us, we can’t do so without finding out the Rugby Union team of the decade (2010-2019) as voted for by YOU – the fans…

A total of 231,577 votes were cast via Sky Sports News in order to decide the fans’ Rugby Union team of the decade.

In the space of the last 10 years, we have witnessed two British & Irish Lions tour and a total of three Rugby World Cups.

So onto the voting…

When the voting polls opened, a choice of four players were given as an option per each position – the player with the highest percentage of votes ended up taking a place in the Rugby Union team of the decade best XV.

15. Israel Dagg (34 per cent)

• Leigh Halfpenny (27 per cent)
• Stuart Hogg (24 per cent)
• Rob Kearney (15 per cent)

In April 2019, the 31-year-old was forced to retire from the sport due to a knee injury, however, the former All Black Dagg is your first choice taking the full-back slot in the Rugby Union team of the decade.

Having a pivotal role in New Zealand’s 2011 Rugby World Cup win, the first since 1987!

14. Ben Smith (43 per cent)

• George North (34 per cent)
• Jonny May (18 per cent)
• Chris Ashton (5 per cent)

A consistent, experienced and integral full-back to surely any side, Ben Smith takes your right-wing slot.

13. Brian O’Driscoll (68 per cent)

• Jonathan Davies (18 per cent)
• Conrad Smith (13 per cent)
• Ryan Crotty (1 per cent)

Ireland Training Session

Taking the number 13 shirt is Brian O’Driscoll.

A decorated professional, who, during this past decade, has won two European Cup medals with Leinster (2011, 2012), two domestic titles (2013,2014) and a Challenge Cup medal to boot!

12. Ma’a Nonu (50 per cent)

• Sonny Bill Williams (22 per cent)
• Owen Farrell (21 per cent)
• Matt Giteau (7 per cent)

Exactly half the vote for his position, inside-centre, former All Black Nonu takes the number 12 shirt.

An experienced talent, ascertaining a total of 103 Test caps to date.

11. Bryan Habana (64 per cent)

• Julian Savea (26 per cent)
• Liam Williams (7 per cent)
• Nemani Nadolo (3 per cent)

A staggering 64 per cent of the vote was awarded to Bryan Habana to take up the left-wing – he takes the number 11 shirt in the Rugby Union’s team of the decade.

10. Dan Carter (78 per cent)

• Beauden Barrett (11 per cent)
• Johnny Sexton (10 per cent)
• Handre Pollard (1 per cent)

England v New Zealand - QBE International

Having missed out on sweet victory during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, on home soil no less due to a groin injury, he was able to redeem his absence four years on to help guide the All Blacks to the 2015 World Cup as well as being named World Player of the Year!

9. Aaron Smith (47 per cent)

• Conor Murray (26 per cent)
• Will Genia (17 per cent)
• Fourie du Preez (10 per cent)

All Black Aaron Smith snatches the fans’ vote for a place in the best XV; since debuting in 2012, he has earned a total of 87 caps and 97 points, accredited by many fans as the best scrum-half of the decade.

1.Tendai Mtawarira (39 per cent)

• Mako Vunipola (24 per cent)
• Cian Healy (19 per cent)
• Gethin Jenkins (18 per cent)

Another Rugby World Cup winner (2019); loosehead prop of the decade goes to non other than Tendai Mtawarira!

2. Dane Coles (36 per cent)

• Rory Best (31 per cent)
• Bismark du Plessis (25 per cent)
• Agustin Creevy (8 per cent)

New Zealand v Wales - Rugby World Cup 2019: Bronze Final

Riddled with injury during recent years, Dane Coles still wins the fan vote to his credit.

As a player, on his day, is the full package, he redefined the role of hooker for the All Blacks.

3. Tadhg Furlong (46 per cent)

• Owen Franks (38 per cent)
• Jannie du Plessis (14 per cent)
• Ramiro Herrera (2 per cent)

Making the tighthead prop position his own and holding it down is no easy feat, however, Furlong did just that and more.

4. Brodie Retallick (57 per cent)

• Maro Itoje (24 per cent)
• Bakkies Botha(16 per cent)
• Leone Nakarawa (3 per cent)

The 2014 World Player of the Year plays a pivotal role for the All Blacks and demonstrates his importance to the team in pretty much every Test match he plays. He is your lock of the decade.

5. Alun Wyn Jones (46 per cent)

• Paul O'Connell (31 per cent)
• Sam Whitelock (14 per cent)
• Eben Etzebeth (9 per cent)

New Zealand v Wales - Rugby World Cup 2019: Bronze Final

A legend for his country, he is the only Welshman to make your XV of the decade.

At 34 years old his has amassed a grand total of 134 Tests caps with no implication that he is going anywhere any time soon.

With Wales, he has lifted Six Nations titles in 2012, 2013 and 2019.

6. David Pocock (59 per cent)

• Jerome Kaino (19 per cent)
• Thierry Dusautoir (14 per cent)
• Pieter-Steph du Toit (8 per cent)

Recently retired but well-worthy of his place in the best XV of the decade and the only Australian international to do so.

7. Richie McCaw (78 per cent)

• Sam Warburton (10 per cent)
• Sean O'Brien (6 per cent)
• Michael Hooper (6 per cent)

With a staggering 78 per cent of your vote; Richie McCaw claims your openside flanker spot.

The past decade, McCaw has become the only player in history to captain his country to two Rugby World Cup victories!


Upon retirement, he is also accredited as the most capped player of all time with a staggering 148 appearances to his name for the All Blacks.

8. Kieran Read (52 per cent)

• Sergio Parisse (29 per cent)
• Billy Vunipola (13 per cent)
• Duane Vermeulen (6 per cent)

And finally, but by no means least, nor less important, Kieran Read takes your No 8 position as voted by the fans.

Read is one of a very unique group of players to have won more than one World Cup, having received medals in 2011 and 2015 respectively.

And there we have it, your Rugby Union team of the decade (2010-2019) as voted for by YOU – the fans…


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