The autumn internationals have come and gone and while there were wins for both the northern and southern hemisphere, there are as many as five team who will head to the Rugby World Cup with genuine belief that they can win the Webb Ellis Cup.
Not so long ago it seemed that New Zealand were the unrivalled favourites to claim a third straight world title, so much so that their own media were writing headlines that claimed “Just give us the World Cup now” more than a year out from the tournament.
But a defeat by Ireland and near-miss against England has seen the top of the tree bunch up considerably, and with South Africa and Wales both looking in good shape too, it is anyone’s guess who will come out on top next year in Japan.
Somewhat under the radar, Wales went four from four to stretch their winning run to nine tests while Ireland followed suit with their emphatic 16-9 win over New Zealand. England were not far off either, with three wins from four and a one-point defeat against New Zealand, while Scotland suffered an agonising defeat by the Springboks to join a loss against Wales and victories over Argentina and Fiji in what proved a mixed bag of an autumn campaign.
But here we focus on the players who did light up the autumn internationals as they take their place in our team of the campaign.
Click on the gallery above to see who makes the cut.
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