Welsh rugby commentators 'fix' team of the decade with addition of five All Blacks

Source: 1News

Despite the All Blacks dominating yesterday's World Rugby Awards, a leading Welsh news website has argued the team of the decade doesn't reflect New Zealand's supremacy over the last 10 years.

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 25:  Alun Wyn Jones of Wales tackled by Prir Weepu (L) and Richie McCaw of the All Blacks during the international rugby match between Wales and New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium on November 25, 2006 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Ross Land/Getty Images)

Ben Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Dan Carter, Richie McCaw, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick and Owen Franks all made the cut in the squad announced yesterday however Wales Online believes a further five should've made the side - and two All Blacks shouldn't have.

"World Rugby named their team of the decade at their annual awards ceremony on Monday night and, as you might expect, it didn't go down that well," Ben James wrote on behalf of the Wales Online team.

"So, we thought we'd try fix things by adjusting the selection a little - looking at the most contentious decisions and changing accordingly.

"Given the All Blacks' dominance through the decade - losing just 13 matches - it's hard to not let them dominate this side."

In Wales Online's selections, Julian Savea, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Jerome Kaino and Dane Coles all make the cut as well while Nonu and Whitelock were omitted.

The biggest change gave the team of the decade an all-All Blacks loose forwards trio with Kaino and Read joining McCaw in place of Wallaby David Pocock and Italy's Sergio Parisse.

"[Parisse is] a fine player and servant to the game, but did he have a better decade than Kieran Read? No, I'd say not," James wrote.

"As for blindside flanker, Jerome Kaino has been the best out-and-out No. 6 of the last 10 years and deserves his place."

James gave the same reasoning for selecting Coles ahead of Springbok Bismarck du Plessis at hooker, saying Coles "largely redefined the role during the decade".

In the backline, James kept things simple in naming Smith over Ireland's Conor Murray, saying the Highlanders stalwart is "the best in the world" while Savea was chosen ahead of Brian Habana for his impressive scoring record of 46 tries in 54 Tests.

Regarding the All Blacks omitted, James' reasoning for cutting Nonu was because he "bowed out" of international rugby in 2015 while they felt Wales legend Alun Wyn Jones had to "be in there somehow" and opted to cull Whitelock.

World Rugby's team of the decade:  Ben Smith (NZL); George North (WAL), Brian O’Driscoll (IRE), Ma’a Nonu (NZL), Bryan Habana (RSA); Dan Carter (NZL), Conor Murray (IRE); Tendai Mtawarira (RSA), Bismarck du Plessis (RSA), Owen Franks (NZL), Brodie Retallick (NZL), Sam Whitelock (NZL), David Pocock (AUS), Richie McCaw (NZL), Sergio Parisse (ITA)

Wales Online's team of the decade:  Ben Smith (NZL); George North (WAL), Jonathan Davies (WAL), Owen Farrell (ENG), Julian Savea (NZL); Dan Carter (NZL), Aaron Smith (NZL); Tendai Mtawarira (RSA), Dane Coles (NZL), Owen Franks (NZL), Brodie Retallick (NZL), Alun Wyn Jones (WAL), Jerome Kaino (NZL), Richie McCaw (NZL), Kieran Read (NZL)