2013 RLWC
2013 RLWC

By John Davidson, (RLP RLWC Correspondent) Date: 3/12/13

The World Cup has delighted and treated fans with some truly fantastic footy. Here is my World Cup XVII selected from the players of the 14 nations that have shone brightly during the tournament.

FULLBACK 1. Matt Russell, Scotland

Four tries and 23 tackle busts was an impressive haul for Scotland’s up-and-coming fullback. Just 20 years old, the World Cup was Russell’s coming out party and he is sure to be a hit at Warrington next season.

Notable mention: Billy Slater

WING 2. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, New Zealand

The final was disappointing end to an amazing tournament for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. The Kiwi was virtually unstoppable until that point, scoring eight tries and making 789 metres with the ball. He will recover and expect more from this exciting youngster in the future.

Notable mention: Akuila Uate

CENTRE 3. Greg Inglis, Australia

He terrorised the Americans, touched up England and tormented Fiji. Either at fullback or at centre, Greg Inglis was a handful both scoring and creating tries. A monster of a man who was key to the Kangaroos’ success.

Notable mention: Dean Whare

CENTRE 4. Jarryd Hayne, Australia

Inglis’ partner in crime is also not usually a centre and also had a sensational World Cup like the Souths fullback. Hayne was virtually unplayable at times, topping the try-scoring charts with nine tries and breaking open defences at will.

Notable mention: Konrad Hurrell

WING 5. Brett Morris, Australia

Two tries in the final, nine in total, Brett Morris was a revelation. Morris scored some four-pointers that will live long in the memory and was one of Australia’s best when the pressure was on at Old Trafford.

Notable mention: Ryan Hall

FIVE-EIGHTH 6. Joseph Paulo, USA

The Parramatta five-eighth did everything for the Tomahawks – goal-kicking, scoring tries, captain, setting up tries, kicking in general play – I wouldn’t be surprised if he drove the team bus as well. Paulo was an instrumental part in the USA’s surprising tun and made people sit up and take notice.

Notable mention: Jonathan Thurston

HALFBACK 7. Danny Brough, Scotland

The Bravehearts’ skipper capped off a terrific Super League season by leading Scotland to the quarter-finals. Fiesty, flashy and effective, the 2013 Man of Steel winner was one of this World Cup’s great entertainers.

Notable mention: Cooper Cronk

PROP 8. FuiFui MoiMoi, Tonga

A fan favourite, Fui rattled the defence of every team he played against. The big-haired Tongan broke the line 18 times, made 370 metres from his 42 carries and never took a backward step, easily one of his side’s best in the special final group win over Italy.

Notable mention: Andrew Fifita

HOOKER 9. Cameron Smith, Australia

Captained his country to a World Cup win and demonstrated to all that he is the best rake on the planet. Tough, smart and talented, Smith is the complete footballer.

Notable mention: Isaac Luke

PROP 10. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, New Zealand

Carried his special NRL form into the international arena. Racked up 533 metres and 117 tackles, cementing his status as one of rugby league’s most devastating forwards.

Notable mention: James Graham

SECOND-ROW 11. Sonny Bill Williams, New Zealand

He might not have walked away with the ultimate prize but SBW was a highlight of the World Cup who demonstrated his class. Apart from his three tries, three try assists and 118 tackles, Williams was a crowd pleaser and helped drew in new fans to the tournament.

Notable mention: Brett Ferres

SECOND-ROW 12. Sam Burgess, England

Another NRL star who took great club form into the tournament. Apart from his high shot against Australia in the first game, Sam Burgess was an inspirational leader for England who individually carried his team in the semi-final with a fantastic performance.

Notable mention: Tariq Sims

LOCK 13. LOCK Paul Gallen, Australia

The under-sized workhorse never stopped tackling or working. All up he made 854 metres, more than any other player in the tournament, and made 148 tackles, which ranked him sixth overall. A worthy World Cup winner.

Notable mention: Corey Parker

BENCH

14. Anthony Milford, Samoa

The standout in Samoa’s journey to the quarter-finals. Hard to tackle and often the spark that set the Samoans alight, Milford has huge potential.

15. Ray Nasso, Italy

An interchange weapon for the Azzurri, Nasso certainly caught the eye. If he wasn’t scoring tries he was prising open defences and giving his halves great service.

16. Mose Masoe, Samoa

A one-man wrecking ball. Shocked the French, delivering big hits and ran the ball with venom. Destined to be a superstar at St Helens.

17. Petero Civoniceva, Fiji

May be 37 years old but can still handle himself with the best. The ageless prop made more metres than any other Fijian player and made the third-highest amount of tackles for the Bati. Finished his fantastic career in style and in the acclaim that he richly deserves with a semi-final spot.

Fite