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The Fast XV: Picking The Quickest Team In World Rugby

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: Jonathan Joseph of England scores his sides second try during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium on March 11, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

The main difference between England and Scotland in this year’s Six Nations was not power but speed. Jonathan Joseph’s impeccable timing and blazing pace saw him blast through the Scottish backline seemingly at will. But would the Bath flier make a World Fastest XV?

15  Israel Dagg  (New Zealand) A very tough one to pick but the way Israel Dagg seems to almost jog up outside his All Black teammates waiting for an offload, indicates some serious pace. Top try scorer for the All Blacks last year, he edges out Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Ben Smith (NZ), Tim Nai Nai Williams (Samoa) and Israel Folau (Australia).

14 Jonny May  (England) Another close call but May’s scorching pace ( he can run a 10.71 100m) sees off the pocket rocket Puma, Santiago Cordero, All Blacks Waisake Naholo and Nehe Milner Skudder, teammate Marlon Yarde and Irish right winger Tommy Bowe.

13 Jonathan Joseph (England) Joseph wins this position quite easily as other candidates in midfield rely more on power than pace. Up and coming French centre Gael Fickou and Wallaby Samu Kerevi show some zip for a big men and watch out for 19 year old Rieko Ioane who debuted for the All Blacks last year.

12 Wesley Fofana (France) Struck down by injury this season, Fofana is a world class midfielder with sizzling pace. Gary Ringrose (Ireland) has all the qualities including speed, to become another legend in midfield for Ireland. All Black Anton Lienert-Brown is another pacy midfielder on the rise.

11 Anthony Watson  (England) A top British athletics coach, Jonas Dodoo, has stated that he would love to see what Watson could do if he swapped the green fields of Twickenham for the athletics track. He keeps the Bus, Julian Savea in the parking lot as well as his jet-heeled teammate, Elliot Daly and South African legend, Bryan Habana.

10 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)  No surprises here. Barrett’s express pace and skills saw him capture 2016 IRB Player of the Year. Ben Volavola (Fiji) is another young pacy flyhalf.

9 Ben Youngs (England) Youngs’ jack in a box pace off the mark edges teammate Danny Care, All Black flyer TJ Perenara and Welsh scrumhalf, Rhys Webb.

8 Facundo Isa (Argentina) Italian gladiator Sergio Parisse runs young buck Isa very close, and All Black captain Kieran Read still has some zip. Ireland’s CJ Stander also can get some steam up if given time and space.

7 Ardie Savea (New Zealand) A position with serious competition. All Black Ardie Savea and Tipuric have the pace of midfielders and as does Irish pyro Josh Van Flier. Aussie Michael Hooper and James Haskell also have some real pace.

6 Liam Squire (New Zealand) Long striding Squire has deceptive speed and he became a fixture in the All Black test side last year.

5 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales) Wyn Jones still has explosive pace off the mark while Leone Nakarawa (Fiji) was a star of the 2015 World Cup and has all the skills, pace and power you’d expect from a Fijian forward.

4 Joe Launchbury (England) Launchbury has a surprising turn of pace for a giant of a man and he squeaks it ahead of All Black great Brodie Retallick, Scotland’s Richie Gray and Spring Bok star Eden Elsbeth.

3 Ramiro Herrera (Argentina) Herrera is a busy, powerful prop who often makes line breaks with his speed off the mark. He holds off Wallaby Sekope Kepu and Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong.

2 Dane Coles (New Zealand) Coles has redefined the role of hooker with his pace and skills. Often mistaken for a midfielder, he outpaces classy Puma captain Agustin Creevy and Springbok battering ram Adriaan Strauss.

1 Francisco Chaparro (Argentina) Not a position associated with greyhounds, but Chaparro is the quickest of the steamrollers. Scott Sio also displays good pace for Australia as does Mako Vunipola for England.


Nation tally: England 5 players, New Zealand 5 players, Argentina 3, Wales 1, France 1.

Kaal Kaczmarek, Pundit Arena


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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.