Former England international Ugo Monye has named his world team of 2021 based on players’ performances so far this year.
Monye has used both club and international games to colour his opinion for his team, as countries from the southern hemisphere have yet to play any test matches this year.
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) June 3, 2021
New Zealand have the largest contingent of players in Monye’s team, with five Kiwis selected in the Englishman’s team of the year so far.
Two of those New Zealanders – Leicester Fainga’anuku and Pita Ahki – have never been capped by the All Blacks, and won their place on Monye’s teams through their performances with the Crusaders and Toulouse, respectively.
The pair of New Zealanders are the only uncapped players on Monye’s team, but the former Harlequins winger has also included England outcast Sam Simmonds based on his try-scoring exploits for Exeter Chiefs. Australian outcast Will Skelton has also been included based on his performances for La Rochelle.
Eight Six Nations stars included.
Eight of the players selected impressed for their countries in this year’s Six Nations, while the other seven have yet to play any international rugby this year.
Irish and Leinster duo Tadhg Furlong and Robbie Henshaw have both made the cut after their impressive performances for club and country, while three Welsh players – Wyn Jones, Alun Wyn Jones and Louis Rees-Zammit – have gotten the nod.
France have two players in the team, while England, Scotland and Australia have all had one player included.
Check out Ugo Monye’s world team of the year (so far) below.
15. Damien McKenzie (New Zealand)
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
12. Pita Ahki (New Zealand)
11. Leicester Fainga’anuku (New Zealand)
10. Richie Mo’unga (New Zealand)
9. Antoine Dupont (France)
8. Sam Simmonds (England)
7. Hamish Watson (Scotland)
6. Gregory Alldrit (France)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
4. Will Skelton (Australia)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
2. Codie Taylor (New Zealand)
1. Wyn Jones (Wales)