The 50 best rugby players in the world 2008

We've watched the games and deliberated, cogitated and argued long into the night. It's a nigh on impossible task and we certainly don't expect you to agree with us, but here it is: our countdown of the best 50 players on the planet.

The exclusion of Danny Cipriani and Paul Sackey, or the fact we placed Juan-Martin Hernandez ahead of Dan Carter might seem a suprise, but after much discussion, that's what we thought.

We also resisted the temptation to flood the list with northern hemisphere names, but quite frankly, we'd have looked foolish in the extreme given the pasting the home unions took at the hands of the big three from down south last autumn.

We've also placed a lumbering 19st lock higher than a free-scoring wing, which might cause some uproar, but that's the idea of any good countdown - to provoke debate. Let us know what you think by commenting below.

For the full list of the 50 best rugby players in the world, click here.

This story was sourced from International Rugby News