We take a look at the 10 best club and/or country backlines in world rugby at the beginning of 2015…
Although not quite the side they once were, Toulouse still possess one of the most potent backlines in the world, and if the likes of Gael Fickou can re-find their form they will be a match for anyone.
15. Maxime Medard 14. Yoann Huget 13. Florian Fritz 12. Luke Mcalister 11. Vincent Clerc 10. Toby Flood 9. Jean Marc-Doussain
This young Bath back division has huge amounts of potential for the future and is already showing what it can do as they have already made a mark in both domestic and European competitions.
15. Anthony Watson 14. Semesa Rokoduguni 13. Jonathan Joseph 12. Kyle Eastmond 11. Matt Banahan 10. George Ford 9. Chris Cook
It seems not having the Boks in the top three of four spots given they are the second ranked side in the world, however much of their dominance comes from the forward pack, although the backs aren’t bad.
15. Willie le Roux 14. JP Pietersen 13. Jan Serfontein 12. Jean de Villiers 11. Bryan Habana 10. Pat Lambie 9. Fourie Du Preez
The French national side have been somewhat struggling of late, however they put in a series of quality performances during the Autumn Internationals after a settled backline finally began to gel at the right time.
15. Scott Spedding 14. Yoann Huget 13. Mathieu Bastareaud 12. Wesley Fofana 11. Teddy Thomas 10. Camille Lopez 9. Rory Kockott
The Chiefs backline has been hit by a number of key departures over the last 12 months, however the return of Sonny Bill Williams and Hosea Gear will put them in contention for another Super Rugby title.
15. Tim Nanai-Williams 14. James Lowe 13. Charlie Ngatai 12. Sonny Bill Williams 11. Hosea Gear 10. Aaron Cruden 9. Augustine Pulu
Clermont have long been known for their exciting brand of rugby that never quite won them anything. This year that could be set to change with the side as a whole looking more impressive than ever.
15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra
It seems a number of Ireland’s key players are coming into form at just the right time, with the half back combination particularly beginning to impress during the Autumn Internationals.
15. Dave Kearney 14. Tommy Bowe 13. Robbie Henshaw 12. Ian Madigan 11. Simon Zebo 10. Johnny Sexton 9. Conor Murray
The current Toulon backline looks capable of taking on all but the very top international sides, with the scary prospect of a number of other world class players set to join them after the World Cup.
15. Leigh Halfpenny 14. Drew Mitchell 13. Mathieu Bastareaud 12. Maxime Mermoz 11. Bryan Habana 10. Matt Giteau 9. Sebastien Tillous-Borde
The Wallabies may not quite be the team they once were, but this is in large part down to a poor pack. What cannot be denied is the fact that they possess some of the most devastating backs in the world.
15. Israel Folau 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper 13. Tevita Kuridrani 12. Matt Toomua 11. James O’Connor 10. Bernard Foley 9. Will Genia
There’s a reason the All Blacks are the number one side in the world. This backline would be a match for any side in the world, and combines a perfect blend of experience and talent to devastating effect.
15. Israel Dagg 14. Ben Smith 13. Conrad Smith 12. Ma’a Nonu 11. Julian Savea 10. Dan Carter 9. Aaron Smith
Which do you think is the best backline in world rugby right now?