Rugby World Cup 2019 team of the tournament

England and South Africa will meet this weekend in the Rugby World Cup final and ahead of the showpiece in Yokohama, the PA News agency takes a look at the players who have excelled in the tournament so far.

15 – Beauden Barrett (Nzl)

Beuden Barrett
Beauden Barrett starred for New Zealand (David Davies/PA)

Barrett’s speedy and efficient performances saw the All Blacks ease into the semi-finals, where despite his best efforts they came up short.

14 – Kotaro Matsushima (Jpn)

Japan v Russia – Pool A – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Tokyo Stadium
Kotaro Matsushima was one of the host nation’s stars (Ashley Western/PA)

Star of the Cherry Blossoms’ World Cup odyssey, Matushima started with a hat-trick against Russia and continued to flower in his side’s march to the last eight.

13 – Manu Tuilagi (Eng)

England Captain’s Run and Press Conference – International Stadium
Manu Tuilagi stood out in a strong England team (David Davies/PA)

Tuilagi was one of England’s stand-out performers throughout, never more so than when he barged over for the crucial early try in the semi-final.

12 – Damien De Allende (Rsa)

South Africa v Italy – Pool B – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa
Damian De Allende was a star of the Springboks’ run (Adam Davy/PA)

De Allende’s muscular qualities were one of the chief reasons why South Africa shrugged off their embarrassing campaign in England four years ago.

11 – Semi Radradra (Fij)

Australia v Fiji – Pool D – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Sapporo Dome
Semi Radradra was an exhilarating presence for Fiji (David Davies/PA)

Fiji’s tournament might have started in low-key fashion but Radradra’s lung-bursting exploits drew gasps of admiration from the Japanese fans.

10  – George Ford (Eng)

England v New Zealand – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Semi Final – International Stadium Yokohama
George Ford proved Mr Dependable for England (David Davies/PA)

Ford’s role might not have been clearly defined by England coach Eddie Jones but he rose to the occasion when required to steer his team all the way to the final.

9 – Faf De Klerk (Rsa)

Japan v South Africa – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Quarter Final – Tokyo Stadium
Faf de Klerk walked tall for the Springboks (Adam Davy/PA)

He stands only five foot seven but the South African scrum-half has walked tall throughout the tournament and defied plenty of other much more weighty opponents.

1 – Keita Inagaki (Jpn)

Japan v Scotland – Pool A – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Yokohama Stadium
Keita Inagaki flowered in the Cherry Blossoms’ line-up (Ashley Western/PA)

The Japanese prop lifted his side to new heights and was integral in orchestrating their route to the quarter-finals.

2 – Jamie George (Eng)

Wales v England – International Friendly – Principality Stadium
Jamie George was tough and uncompromising for England (David Davies/PA)

George grappled England through the tournament with a series of typically uncompromising performances.

3 – Kyle Sinckler (Eng)

England v Australia – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Quarter Final – Oita Stadium
Kyle Sinckler continued to emerge as a star (David Davies/PA)

Relishing his arrival on the big stage, Sinckler has continued to emerge as one of the potential stars of the future for Eddie Jones’ England team.

4 – Maro Itoje (Eng)

Mauro Itoje
Mauro Itoje did more than most to ensure England’s final berth (David Davies/PA)

Itoje was a cut above the rest in England’s exhilarating semi-final win over the All-Blacks and is bound to be recalled as one of the players of the tournament.

5 – James Moore (Jpn)

Japan v Russia – Pool A – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Tokyo Stadium
James Moore is growing accustomed to life in Japan (Adam Davy/PA)

The Australian-born Moore was an aggressive presence in the heart of the Japanese defence, leading from the front into uncharted territory.

6  – Aaron Wainwright (Wal)

Wales v South Africa – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Semi Final – International Stadium Yokohama
Aaron Wainwright could not quite steer Wales into the World Cup final (David Davies/PA)

The Wales flanker battled throughout but could not quite help lead his nation into their first World Cup final.

7 – Tom Curry (Eng)

England v Australia – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Quarter Final – Oita Stadium
Tom Curry repeatedly rose to the occasion (David Davies/PA)

The red-hot flanker has continued to grow into his role as the tournament progresses and challenged for a series of man-of-the-match awards.

8 – Duane Vermeulen (Rsa)

Wales v South Africa – Autumn International – Principality Stadium
Duane Vermeulen was a star for South Africa (David Davies/PA)

Vermeulen allied an aggressive approach with a calming manner among his team-mates to play an integral role in the Springboks’ march through the tournament.

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