Naisarani gets the nod in Players' Choice Team of the Year, Pocock edges Hooper

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Isi Naisarani should be gunning for a Wallabies spot when he becomes eligible, if the votes are any indication of his standing in the Aussie game.

The Fijian-born no. 8 will become Wallabies eligible in March next year and has already been widely tipped to be part of the Wallabies' 2019 Rugby World Cup squad.

Naisarani was the only non-Wallabies eligible player picked in the first Australian Players' Choice Super Rugby team of the year.

He was one of two players who have never played Test rugby, along with Rebels backrower Angus Cottrell.

Cottrell often goes under the radar but it's clear his peers have noticed his efforts in 2018, picking him at no. 6.

David Pocock edged out Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper for a spot in the team, with no option for dual opensides in the voting system.

Players from the Aussie franchises voted for their best XV and with just one of Hooper or Pocock able to be picked at no. 7 in the side, Pocock got the nod.

Rebels halfback Will Genia was the player picked with the fewest games under his belt, having played just nine of a possible 16 matches.

Hooper wasn't the only starting Wallaby overlooked with Allan Alaalatoa, Izack Rodda, Lukhan Tui, Marika Koroibete and Dane Haylett-Petty all missing out.

TEAM

2018 Volvo Players’ Choice Super Rugby Team of the Year

1. Scott Sio (26 years old, Brumbies – 12 appearances)

2. Folau Fainga’a (23 years old, Brumbies – 13 appearances, 3 tries)

3. Taniela Tupou (23 years old, Reds – 15 appearances, 4 tries)

4. Rory Arnold (28 years old, Brumbies – 13 appearances, 2 tries)

5. Rob Simmons (29 years old, Waratahs – 16 appearances, 1 try)

6. Angus Cottrell (28 years old Rebels – 14 appearances, 1 try)

7. David Pocock (30 years old, Brumbies – 10 appearances, 2 tries)

8. Isi Naisarani (23 years old, Brumbies – 15 appearances, 5 tries)

9. Will Genia (30 years old, Rebels – 9 appearances, 1 try)

10. Bernard Foley (28 years old, Waratahs– 18 appearances, 223 points)

11. Taqele Naiyaravoro (26 years old, Waratahs – 16 appearances, 15 tries)

12. Kurtley Beale (29 years old, Waratahs – 18 appearances, 2 tries)

13. Tevita Kuridrani (27 years old, Brumbies – 16 appearances, 2 tries)

14. Jack Maddocks (21 years old, Rebels – 15 appearances, 9 tries)

15. Israel Folau (29 years old, Waratahs – 14 appearances, 11 tries)