Aussies miss Zurich XV rugby side - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies miss Zurich XV rugby side

LONDON, Dec 21 AFP - 21/12/2002 08:48:49 PM Comments (0)

Australia's woeful rugby union year was reflected in the fact no Wallabies made rugby union's Zurich World XV for 2002.

Northern hemisphere players made up 11 of the 15-man team.

Only All Blacks - winger Doug Howlett, No.8 Scott Robertson and lock Chris Jack - along with Springbok flanker Joe Van Niekerk made the final cut.

The world champion Aussies failed to have a single player chosen reflecting a poor season for them which ended in defeat to Ireland and England on their November tour of Europe.

They also lost their Tri Nations title to New Zealand.

Resurgent England have five players in the side and Six Nations champions France provide three.

Fullback Jason Robinson, winger Ben Cohen, centre Will Greenwood and backrowers Lewis Moody and Ben Kay all came out top in their respective positions.

Stand-off Jonny Wilkinson does not figure, however, as Frenchman Gerald Merceron became the only survivor from the 2001 side.

Scotland provides two of the front-row trio in the form of prop Tom Smith and hooker Gordon Bulloch.

The Zurich World Player Rankings are based on detailed statistical analysis of all 2002 games involving countries from the Six Nations and Tri Nations.

The system uses detailed video analysis of individual performances to produce the rankings based on how well players perform their core skills required for that position.

2002 World XV: Jason Robinson (England); Doug Howlett (New Zealand), Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), Will Greenwood (England), Ben Cohen (England); Gerald Merceron (France), Fabien Galthie (France); Scott Robertson (New Zealand), Joe Van Niekerk (South Africa), Lewis Moody (England); Ben Kay (England), Chris Jack (New Zealand), Pieter De Villiers (France), Gordon Bulloch (Scotland), Tom Smith (Scotland).

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