We select a XV based on the players heading into the 2015 Rugby World Cup in the best form of their lives…

15.Stuart Hogg

The Scotland full back is absolutely vital to his side’s hopes at the World Cup, and will be buzzing after Glasgow claimed a maiden Pro12 title at the end of last season.

14.Yoann Huget

The French winger probably shouldn’t even be playing after a nasty stamp last season, however there is no denying the fact that he is looking absolutely deadly right now.

13.Ma’a Nonu

Out of position slightly here, but Nonu proved during the Rugby Championship that he can be just as deadly in the 13 shirt as he can when playing at inside centre.

12.Matt Giteau

Giteau seems to have gotten better with age and a sting in France as done him no harm resulting in a recall for the Wallabies just in time for the World Cup.

11.Ben Smith

It doesn’t seem to matter which position you play Smith in right now, he is having a profound impact all round the pitch and is possibly the All Blacks most vital player.


10.Johnny Sexton

The Ireland fly half is absolutely critical to his side’s hopes at the World Cup, having helped them to successive Six Nations titles.

9.Aaron Smith

Arguable the best player in the world right now, Smith has had a sublime Super Rugby season and looks to be carrying that form onto the international stage.

8.Louis Picamoles

Having slimmed down slightly during training camp, Picamoles is looking more deadly than ever and has been France’s best player by some way during recent games.

7.David Pocock

After a tough couple of seasons plagued by injuries, Pocock has bounced back and is looking like just about the best openside in the world right now.

6.Schalk Burger

Despite being at the tail end of his career, Burger has been the Springboks best player in recent months and his experience will be vital at the World Cup.


5.Samu Manoa

Manoa’s big money move to Toulon over the summer tells you everything you need to know about how highly regarded the giant American is in Europe.

4.Brodie Rettalick

The current World Rugby player of the year, and best lock in the world is proving to be one of the most important players in the All Blacks pack.

3.Sekope Kepu

For years the Wallabies scrum has been much maligned, however this year’s Rugby Championship saw a huge imporvement in this area, with Kepu at the forefront.

2.Agustin Creevy

The Argentinian captain has been absolutely fantastic over the last 12 months, and will be hoping to inspire his team on to some big upsets at the World Cup.

1.Marcos Ayerza

Another Argentine front rower in fine form, Ayerza will be vital to helping ensure Los Pumas maintain the scrum dominance they usually enjoy.