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Dan Carter snubbed in English paper's XV of the decade

January 1, 2020 1:59 pm

There was no room for All Blacks greats Dan Carter or Beauden Barrett in the Daily Telegraph’s fictional XV of the decade, both snubbed by the British newspaper.

Despite a 10-year period that saw Carter win two Rugby World Cups as a player, and Barrett named as World Rugby’s player of the year twice, the duo have been overlooked, with Ireland’s Johnny Sexton getting the nod in the number 10 jersey.

Elsewhere, though, there was plenty of room for other All Blacks stars past and present, although there are also some glaring omissions.

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In the outside backs, Ben Smith takes his preferred fullback role, joined on the wings by compatriot Julian Savea – who scored the most tries of the decade – and former Springbok Bryan Habana.

British and Irish Lions duo Jonathan Davies and Owen Farrell were both included, having shone on the 2013 series win over Australia, and 2017 series draw with the All Blacks.

All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith has been given the role of halfback to partner Sexton, ahead of either Carter or Barrett.

To the loose forwards, where an all southern hemisphere trio of Kieran Read, Richie McCaw and David Pocock have all been selected on the flanks of the scrum.

The locking duo sees All Black Brodie Retallick alongside Wales’ now former captain Alun Wyn Jones, while the front row consists of Kiwi pair Owen Franks and Dane Coles, as well as England’s Mako Vunipola.

Shockingly, the All Blacks’ quartet of Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Sam Whitelock and Jerome Kaino have all been left out, despite featuring in successive World Cup victories in both 2011 and 2015.

Daily Telegraph’s XV of the decade: 15. Ben Smith (NZ), 14. Bryan Habana (SA), 13. Jonathan Davies (WAL), 12. Owen Farrell (ENG), 11. Julian Savea (NZ), 10. Johnny Sexton (IRE), 9. Aaron Smith (NZ), 8. Kieran Read (NZ), 7. Richie McCaw (NZ), 6. David Pocock (AUS), 5. Alun Wyn Jones (WAL), 4. Brodie Retallick (NZ), 3. Owen Franks (NZ), 2. Dane Coles (NZ), 1. Mako Vunipola (ENG).

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