Fans' World XV of the Decade: Who's your pick at 10?

International
by RUGBY.com.au staff

They're the architects of team attack and can determine how effectively their team is able to carry out the coach's vision.

It's time to vote for the flyhalf in the RUGBY.com.au World XV of the Decade.

The nominees below are the pick of the clear-thinking visionaries of the past decade, who have helped guide their teams to success.

Vote now for your pick of the best no.10 of the past decade.

Dan Carter (New Zealand)

Recently voted World Rugby player of the past decade in a fan poll, Carter's pedigree is unchallenged. The All Black legend is a three-time International Rugby Board player of the year and while he was injured during the Kiwis' 2011 World Cup campaign, returned to lead the All Blacks to victory over Australia in the 2015 final, to be named man of the match. his 1598 points from 112 Tests made him the leading point-scorer in Test rugby history.

Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)

The versatile Barrett can operate at either flyhalf, or fullback - as he did at the recent Rugby World Cup. But it is in the no.10 jersey that the All Blacks great has made the greatest impact, allowing the Kiwis to make a seamless transition after the international retirement of Dan Carter. Won back-to-back World Rugby player of the year awards in 2016 and 2017 and has made an indelible mark in his 83 Tests.

Johnny Sexton (Ireland)

Sexton burst on to the scene when making his international debut for Ireland just before the start of the decade, scoring 16 points and man-of-the-match honours in a 46-10 win against Fiji. He slowed down little in the 2010s, playing a key role in Ireland's rise, while also starring for the British and Irish Lions in their series win over Australia in 2013 and tour of New Zealand in 2017. Has played 84 Tests, scoring 796 points.

Bernard Foley (Australia)

Foley made his debut for Australia off the bench in 2013 and became first-choice flyhalf in 2014 but it was his showing at the 2015 Rugby World Cup that sealed his reputation as a world-class player, as he helped the Wallabies into the final with the precision and calm that earnt him the nickname the "iceman". A part of the Wallabies 2019 World Cup campaign, Foley was overlooked as first-choice five-eighth in favour of Christian Lealiifano and Matt Toomua.

George Ford (England)

After being named the world junior player of the year in 2011, Ford quickly transitioned to the senior ranks, making his debut in 2014 and helping England to become one of the leading teams in the world under Eddie Jones, culminating in a Rugby World Cup finals appearance this year, despite having a game he would rather forget. His combination with Owen Farrell at inside centre allowed him to concentrate on being a world-class distributor and wily attacker, with Farrell often left the tactical kicking duties. Will continue to build on his influence after playing 65 Tests,scoring 300 points.

Quade Cooper (Australia)

While Cooper has not had the influence in the international sphere of some of his contemporaries listed here, there is no doubt he had a massive impact at the provincial level, guiding the Queensland Reds to a Super Rugby title in 2011, his combination with Will Genia a game-changer that flowed on to the international arena as the Wallabies sealed the TRi-Nations title. Under enormous pressure at the 2011 World Cup, Cooper helped Australia to the semi-finals but was not at his best against New Zealand, while he played second fiddle to Bernard Foley at the 2015 World Cup in England.

Handre Pollard (South Africa)

A junior prodigy, Pollard quickly made his mark with the senior Springboks, making his debut in 2014 and helping South Africa into the semi-finals at the 2015 World Cup, where they fell just two points short of eventual title winners New Zealand. Despite a knee injury keeping him out for almost the entire 2016 season, he fought back to be at his best in the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup before helping the Springboks to a third world title, scoring a massive 22 points in the final against the All Blacks.

Finn Russell (Scotland)

After a meteoric rise in 2014, Russell became Scotland's first-choice no.10 in 2015, becoming a pivotal part of their Rugby World Cup campaign which ended in a controversial quarter-final loss to Australia. Represented the British and Irish Lions in their 2017 tour of New Zealand, earning a mid-week call-up and played the last of his 49 Tests in the pool stages of the 2019 World Cup, with Scotland going down to Japan.