More than 100,000 teams picked – who made your rugby union team of the year?

BBC Sport users' team of the year

BBC Sport users selected more than 100,000 teams of the year between you using our interactive tool over the Christmas period – and we’ve combined them to produce your definitive 2017 XV.

In a year in which the British and Irish Lions and New Zealand fought out a thrilling series draw, there are 10 members of the touring party in your XV – including one player who was forced out of the Test series before it started by injury.

In total you picked five Englishmen, four New Zealanders and three Irishmen, and one Welshman, Scot and Australian apiece.

More than 100,000 teams picked – who made your rugby union team of the year?
More than 100,000 teams picked – who made your rugby union team of the year?

And who was the first name on the team-sheet? Find out below…

The BBC Sport website also teamed up with the Rugby Union Weekly podcast to get ex-Lions and England wing Ugo Monye and rugby reporter Chris Jones to each pick their team of the year.

You can listen here to find out how the experts’ choice differed to yours, and tune in to their next podcast on New Year’s Day to find out their reaction to the team you selected.

BBC Sport users’ 2017 team of the year

Full-back – Stuart Hogg

Stuart Hogg in action for the Lions

It was a year of mixed emotions for your choice as full-back, with some dazzling performances by the Scotland 15 countered by the agony of being forced out of the Lions tour with injury before the Test series had even kicked off.

The excellent counter-attacking of the Glasgow player sees him make over 50% of your selections and hold off the challenge of Australia superstar Israel Folau, who scored 12 tries in 10 Tests this year and was picked by just over a quarter of you.

Right wing – Elliot Daly

Elliot Daly in action for the Lions

This was the year the multi-talented England back arrived at the very highest level. Now 25, he nailed down his place on the wing for England and forced his way into the Test side for the Lions, producing a sublime in and out to help set up that try for Sean O’Brien in the first Test.

Outside centre – Jonathan Davies

Jonathan Davies in action for the Lions

Over 56% of you picked the Lions and Wales centre in your team – Jonathan Joseph was next most popular choice for the 13 shirt, making just over 15% of your teams.

Outstanding for the Lions – he was the official man of the series – Davies’ year ended with a blow as he was ruled out for six months by a foot injury sustained in November. By then though he had produced a year of all-round excellence in the 13 shirt, which included a Pro12 title with Scarlets.

Inside centre – Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell in action for the Lions

A tricky call this, and one reflected in your selections. In the end you decided you just had to have Farrell in your team – he made 48% of your selections at 12 to see off Sonny Bill Williams, who made 39% of teams and recorded the highest number of votes of any player not to make the XV.

Dead-eyed from the kicking tee, crisp with his distribution and refusing to take a step back in defence, Farrell’s ferocious will to win at either inside centre or fly-half has made the England man one of the most respected players in the world game.

Left wing – Rieko Ioane

Rieko Ioane attacks for New Zealand

New Zealand have unearthed yet another blockbusting winger. At just 20, Ioane burst onto the scene in 2017 with a combination of pace, power, balance and finishing ability that had both fans and experts falling over themselves to make comparisons with the legendary Jonah Lomu.

Two tries in the first Test against the Lions brought him to global attention, and he kept on crossing the whitewash for the rest of 2017 to make him the most popular choice for wing, with the likes of Daly, Liam Williams and Anthony Watson far behind in the voting.

Fly-half – Beauden Barrett

Beauden Barrett attacks for New Zealand

The third-most popular selection overall, world player of the year Barrett was picked by 68% of you. The New Zealand fly-half’s dazzling attacking game is unparalleled and, although the All Blacks were below their stellar best this season, the 26-year-old comfortably saw of the challenge of the likes of Farrell and Johnny Sexton to fill your 10 shirt.

Scrum-half – Conor Murray

Conor Murray in action for the Lions

After a brilliant season that saw him star for the Lions and help guide Ireland to the Six Nations title, Murray is the number nine for you – but it was not one-way traffic.

He edged out New Zealand’s Aaron Smith 44% to 37%, and in the end what probably proved decisive for many of you was his unparalleled box-kicking game, which was key to the success of both the Lions and Ireland in 2017.

Loose-head prop – Mako Vunipola

Mako Vunipola in action for the Lions

Outstanding round the park and with handling and distribution skills that more than a few centres over the years will have envied, your choice to fill the loose-head shirt is Lions, England and Saracens prop Vunipola.

His struggles in the scrum on occasion may have contributed to him making only 43% of your teams, but that was enough to see off Joe Moody and Jack McGrath, with 27% and 25% of the vote respectively.

Hooker – Jamie George

Jamie George in action for the Lions

He can’t force his way past Dylan Hartley for England, but the footballing Saracens hooker shone for the Lions and he was your choice 52% of the time.

On the podcast, Ugo and Chris went for the outstanding South Africa hooker Malcolm Marx, who had an astonishing season in a poor Springboks side, but he was chosen by only 22.5% of BBC Sport users.

Tight-head prop – Tadgh Furlong

Tadgh Furlong in action for the Lions

In the experts’ opinion, Furlong was nailed on as the outstanding tight-head of the year, and a thumping 58% of you agreed.

Powerful in the scrum, and a wrecking ball in the loose, over the past 12 months the Ireland and Lions prop has rapidly ascended to world class. New Zealand cornerstone Owen Franks had his backers too – the 95-cap veteran made nearly 30% of your selections.

Second row – Maro Itoje

Maro Itoje in action for the Lions

There was no doubt you wanted him in the team, the question was where. A massive 85,382 of you – the highest number of votes for a player – picked Itoje, the majority at lock, although there was a sizeable chunk who would have been happy with him at blind-side instead.

At the age of 23 – he was the youngest player in the Lions squad – the England and Saracens forward’s superb all-round game and leadership mean, whether he is playing in the second row (as he did for the Lions) or in the back row (where he won all his England caps in 2017), he is nailed on to play.

Second row – Brodie Retallick

Brodie Retallick in action for New Zealand

It was a pretty close-run thing between the giant Retallick and New Zealand second row partner Sam Whitelock – the All Blacks’ player of the year – but it was the former who secured the second lock slot in your team, making over 20% of the teams selected.

In an era featuring a number of outstanding second rows, the fact the likes of Joe Launchbury, Alyn Wyn Jones, Courtney Lawes and Eben Etzebeth all scored between 7% and 10% of the vote showed just how strong the competition is.

Blind-side – Sean O’Brien

Sean O'Brien in action for the Lions

Itoje, Jerome Kaino and Peter O’Mahony all had their backers but your leading choice at six, making 31% of the teams selected, is Ireland’s battleship flanker O’Brien.

The 30-year-old Leinsterman’s late-career renaissance continued with a starring role for the Lions, and his powerful ball-carrying and destructive tackling then helped Ireland to wins over South Africa and Argentina in November as they ended 2017 on a high.

Open-side – Michael Hooper

Michael Hooper in action for Australia

It is a measure of just how well he played that Australia captain Hooper is the only man not to have featured in the epic Lions tour this summer to make the BBC Sport users’ team of 2017.

Tiny by modern-day standards, the excellence at the breakdown, threat with ball in hand and fantastic leadership he demonstrated in Europe in November have propelled him into the team of the year, with 47% of you picking him at seven.

New Zealand’s defensive star Sam Cane had his backers, making 24% of your teams, but there was little support for Sam Warburton despite him leading the Lions to a series draw against the All Blacks – only 12% of you went for the Welshman.

Number eight – Kieran Read

Kieran Read in action for New Zealand

But, while you were largely unimpressed by the claims of Warburton – injury may have played its part here – you loved his New Zealand counterpart Read, who storms into the team of the year number eight shirt after making 61% of the sides selected.

He had more than three times as many votes as the Lions and Wales’ Taulupe Faleatu, while France’s Louis Picamoles and Italian Sergio Parisse also had their backers. How many votes would Read had got if the All Blacks had beaten the Lions…?

And who did the experts pick?

Rugby Union Weekly podcast

The Rugby Union Weekly podcast picked its team of the year just before Christmas – you can listen here as Ugo Monye and Chris Jones debate who to select.

And tune in to the next edition from New Year’s Day as they react to the wisdom of crowds and take a look at the team selected by you, the BBC Sport users.

Similar Posts