5 Springboks crack nod in World Rugby's Dream Team of the Year

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Siya Kolisi. (David Rogers/Getty Images)
Siya Kolisi. (David Rogers/Getty Images)

Five Springboks - skipper Siya Kolisi, hooker Malcolm Marx, lock Eben Etzebeth, centre Lukhanyo Am and winger Makazole Mapimpi - have been named in World Rugby’s Dream Team of the Year.

The official team also features the four players nominated for the World Rugby Player of the year, namely England lock Maro Itoje, Australia captain Michael Hooper, France scrumhalf Antoine Dupont and Australia centre Samu Kerevi.

The Boks, who finished the year as the No 1-ranked Test team, boast the most number of players in the Dream Team.

The All Blacks have three and the Wallabies two, while Scotland, England, France, Ireland and Wales have one inclusion each.

World Rugby Dream Team of the Year:
15 Stuart Hogg (Scotland), 14 Will Jordan (New Zealand), 13 Lukhanyo Am (South Africa), 12 Samu Kerevi (Australia), 11 Makazole Mapimpi (South Africa), 10 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), 9 Antoine Dupont (France), 8 Ardie Savea (New Zealand), 7 Michael Hooper (Australia), 6 Siya Kolisi (South Africa), 5 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 4 Maro Itoje (England), 3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), 2 Malcolm Marx (South Africa), 1 Wyn Jones (Wales)

SA Rugby CEO Mark Alexander heaped praise on the Bok quintet.

"To contribute a third of the World Rugby Dream Team not only underlines how good the Springboks performed in a very difficult season, but also how our individual players rose to the occasion - and this is true for more than just these five," Alexander said in a statement.

"It's certainly a well-deserved accolade in what was an important season for the national team following a long absence from international rugby due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The competition for this award was tough, and for a handful of our players to be in the mix in a year in which they finished the season as the top team in the world makes this an even more notable achievement.

"A sincere congratulations to Siya, Eben, Malcolm, Lukhanyo and Makazole for this significant recognition," added Alexander.

Bok coach Jacques Nienaber also lauded the players.

"The entire Springbok team and coaching staff are delighted for the players.It is a fantastic achievement, and it shows the class and skill level of the players we have within our squad and in the country. We all share in their excitement," Nienaber said.

Another big day awaits South Africa's top rugby players on Friday when the SA Rugby Player of the Year nominees, along with the short-listed players for a cohort of other awards for the 2021 season, will be named by the governing body.

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