Despite Australia going through the recent Rugby League World cup unbeaten, their dominance in the “team of the Tournament” isn’t a strong as what people have come to expect! Normally this team is saturated with Players form Australia and New Zealand, with the odd stand out from another team or two, however this time there are no less than five different nations represented with both Tonga (2) and Lebanon (1) getting their first ever nominations after a fantastic tournament from both teams. Fiji also have one player, while England have four players and Australia Five.
At Full Back is the sensational Billy Slater who after a nightmare 18 month of injury, he showed he was back to his best, causing havoc every time he touched the ball and taking his World cup try tally to a record 16 in what at 33 years of age will possible be his last tournament.
That record could be in danger from the one person who could possibly be Slaters long term replacement at the back, as Valentine Holmes takes on off the wing spots. The Cronulla Sharks speedster helped himself to a staggering 12 tries in his first World cup, twice breaking the record of most tries in a game with 5 against Samoa in the quarter Final and followed that up with 6 in the Semi Final against Fiji.
His centre Partner Josh Dugan, came of age in this tournament, showing everyone exactly why he was moved from Fullback, often supplying a sensational final pass to his wingman Holmes. The St George Illawarra man even crossed the white wash a few times himself, including a 90m effort against England in the opening game.
In the other Centre was another player who came of age as an International over the past 8 weeks and the first English Man on the list Kallum Watkins. For many years the Leeds Rhino’s centre has been noted as the best English Centre, but never really considered on par with those from the southern Hemisphere until now. His defence has been terrific throughout the tournament, but its his partnership with winger Jermiane McGillvary that as set the world of Rugby alight and if only for that Dugan Ankle tap he could have won it for England.
Players 5-8 will be in part two.