Rugby World Cup 2011: Tournament World XV

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Rugby World Cup 2011: Tournament World XV
Phil Walter/Getty Images

Another Rugby World Cup has come to an end. And what a tournament it has been. We've seen upsets, controversy, heartbreak and success. Yes, this tournament had it all.

And just like the previous six World Cups, there were some players who rose above all and stamped their authority on the Cup, those who will go down in history as legends of the Rugby World Cup.

This article honours those men by naming a World XV based on how the players played at the tournament.

Picking such a team is no easy task, particularly with the quality that was on display. So when reading, remember that this is just one man's opinion.

One of the key things to determine before we start this article is the criteria by which players were chosen, as this greatly influences who made the final cut.

The first thing to consider is that this was based purely on form at the World Cup. Not how good a player has been over his career, or how good he was leading up to the Cup. Pretend you've never seen any of these players play before and you're judging them based on the games they played at the World Cup; that helps remove any prejudices for and against certain players.

Obviously to be considered, good rugby was a prerequisite. But not just one good game; consistency is important in teams like this too. Although in saying this, the quality of opposition must also be taken into account, so a big game later in the tournament will have greater influence than one against a minnow in the pool stages.

Being on a winning side helps, but is not essential. While the teams that do better will naturally have more players in the team as there was a reason they did better in the tournament, players from all teams were considered.

And finally, due to some very hard decisions, a second team is named too, with the players in this team appearing at the bottom of each slide. 

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