2013 RaboDirect PRO12 Dream Team Has Lions Flavour
3 May 2013 16:21pm
Six of the 24 British & Irish Lions selected by Warren Gatland to tour Hong Kong and Australia later this month have earned places in the 2013 RaboDirect PRO12 Dream Team.
The two youngest members of the 125thanniversary tour party, Glasgow Warriors full back Stuart Hogg and Scarlets wing George North, join Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies in the three-quarter line, while three of the Ospreys' five Lions, Adam Jones, Alun-Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric.
Tipuric and Edinburgh Rugby wing Tim Visser are the only survivors from the 20112 RaboDirect PRO12 Dream Team and for the first time in the three seasons in which there have been Italian clubs represented in the tournament, two of their players have been chosen.
Benetton Treviso forwards Leonardo Ghiraldini and Alessandro Zanni both feature in the RaboDirect PRO12 Dream Team pack as the efforts of their club in finishing seventh overall is reflected in their selection.
Visser may have been pipped by Tommy Bowe to become the first player to score 50 tries in the RaboDirect PRO12, but he retains his place for the fourth successive year in the RaboDirect PRO12 Dream Team with the highest number of individual votes of any player, 12.
Once again the voting was carried out by the media from the four competing countries and no fewer than 81 players received nominations across the 15 positions. Players from all RaboDirect PRO12 clubs were nominated.
Joining Visser as clear-cut winners in their positions are Leinster outside half Ian Madigan, who polled 11 votes following his wonderful season, Scarlets wing George North (10), flanker Tipuric (8) and Ulster No 8 Nick Williams (7).
Last year's RaboDirect Young Player of the Year', Hogg, enjoyed a dramatic leap as he was selected for the first time in the RaboDirect PRO Dream Team, while Ospreys forwards Adam Jones and Alun-Wyn Jones returned for the third and fourth time respectively. Glasgow Warriors lock Al Kellock also made a return to the side having appeared once before in 2009/10.
The RaboDirect PRO12 Awards night is in Dublin on Sunday when the 'Player of the Year', 'Coach of the Year' and 'Young Player of the Year' will be announced.
RABODIRECT PRO12 DREAM TEAM 2012 / 13
Full Back Stuart Hogg Glasgow Warriors
Right Wing George North Scarlets
Centre Luke Marshall Ulster Rugby
Centre Jonathan Davies Scarlets
Left Wing Tim Visser Edinburgh Rugby
O/Half Ian Madigan Leinster Rugby
S/Half Nikola Matawalu Glasgow Warriors
LH Prop Ryan Grant Glasgow Warriors
Hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini Benetton Treviso
TH Prop Adam Jones Ospreys
Lock Alun Wyn Jones Ospreys
Lock Al Kellock Glasgow Warriors
Flanker Alessandro Zanni Benetton Treviso
Flanker Justin Tipuric Ospreys
No 8 Nick Williams Ulster Rugby
RABODIRECTPRO12 DREAM TEAM 2011/12
Isa Nacewa (Leinster); Tim Visser (Edinburgh), Casey Laulala (Cardiff Blues), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues); Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster); Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors), Richardt Strauss (Leinster), BJ Botha (Munster), Dan Tuohy (Ulster), Tom Ryder (Glasgow Warriors), Dave Denton (Edinburgh), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Ben Morgan (Scarlets)
Teams (8):Glasgow Warriors 3, Leinster 2, Cardiff Blues 2, Ospreys 2, Ulster 2, Edinburgh 2, Scarlets 1, Munster 1,
DREAM TEAM 2010/11
Isa Nacewa (Leinster), Fionn Carr (Connacht), Casey Laulala (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Tim Visser (Edinburgh); Ronan O'Gara (Munster), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster); Iestyn Thomas (Scarlets), Richardt Strauss (Leinster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Sean O'Brien (Leinster), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster)
DREAM TEAM 2009/10
Ben Blair (Cardiff Blues); Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster), James Hook (Ospreys), Tim Visser (Edinburgh); Dan Parks (Glasgow Warriors), Tomas O'Leary (Munster); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Leo Cullen (Leinster), Ali Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Jerry Collins (Ospreys), John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster)
Teams (7):Ospreys 4, Glasgow Warriors 3, Leinster 3, Blues 2, Edinburgh 1, Munster 1, Scarlets 1
DREAM TEAM 2008/09
Lee Byrne (Ospreys); Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster), Lifeimi Mafi (Munster), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); Ronan O'Gara (Munster), Mike Phillips (Ospreys); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Jerry Flannery (Munster), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Paul O'Connell (Munster), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Rocky Elsom (Leinster), Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster)
Teams (4):Ospreys 5, Munster 4, Leinster 3, Blues 3
DREAM TEAM 2007/08
Ben Blair (Cardiff Blues); Tommy Bowe (Ulster), Lifeimi Mafi (Munster), Nick de Luca (Edinburgh), Shane Williams (Ospreys); Felipe Contepomi (Leinster), Mike Blair (Edinburgh); Ollie Le Roux (Leinster), Bernard Jackman (Leinster), Stan Wright (Leinster), Malcolm O'Kelly (Leinster), Leo Cullen (Leinster), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster)
Teams (6):Leinster 7, Blues 2, Edinburgh 2, Ospreys 2, Munster 1, Ulster 1
DREAM TEAM 2006/07
Ben Blair (Cardiff Blues); Denis Hickie (Leinster), Regan King (Scarlets), Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), Shane Williams (Ospreys); Felipe Contepomi (Leinster), Mike Phillips (Cardiff Blues); Iestyn Thomas (Scarlets), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Euan Murray (Glasgow Warriors), Justin Harrison (Ulster), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Simon Easterby (Scarlets), Colin Charvis (Dragons), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster)
Teams (7):Leinster 4, Scarlets 4, Blues 2, Ospreys 2, Ulster 1, Dragons 1, Glasgow 1
As the 2014 RaboDirect PRO12 Masterclass approaches, we are catching up with the official ambassador from each of the competition's 12 clubs. Zebre winger Giovanbattista Venditti tells us what to expect from the day, how he got into rugby and importance to introducing youngsters to the sport.
Parma, 28 February 2014 - Zebre are back in action in Parma tomorrow hosting the welsh side Cardiff Blues in the RaboDirect PRO12. The Italian franchise returns at Stadio XXV Aprile in a back-to-back home encounter after the last Sunday game against Connacht.