After 15 days of intense banter and lobbying the Rugby Rugby Readers dream team of 2011 has been decided and it is time to take a look at who made the cut after you had the chance to make your voices heard.
Although some positions were sealed with overwhelming landslides there were others that were decided by the smallest of margins with opinion clearly divided over crucial positions such as fullback and openside flank.
So without further ado it is time to unveil the outfit that the learned readers of Rugby Rugby believe represent the best of the best from 2011 which we will be able to compare with the official RugbyRugby Team of the Year which will be announced on Monday.
15 - Andrea Masi (Italy): The first position produced something of a surprise result as the Italian dynamo came from behind thanks to some passionate support from plenty of his countrymen. New Zealand's Israel Dagg made the early running and looked to be taking it at a canter before rugby365.com's army of Italian readers came out of the woodwork and catapulted their man to a narrow victory. Masi garnered 39% of the votes (although some of his supporters sneakily tried to vote more than once) to beat off Dagg who suffered a bit of a heartbreaker with 36%. Kurtley Beale also had his fair share of support at 27%, but perhaps his fans are not as committed to the cause as Masi's fan club.
14 - James O'Connor (Australia): The Wallaby wunderkind left the two other candidates eating his dust as he claimed an overwhelming 86% of the votes to secure the right wing berth. England's swallow-diving flyer Chris Ashton managed the remaining 14% while rockin Rod Davies failed to trouble the scorers.
13 - Jaque Fourie (South Africa): The Springbok midfielder proved a popular choice even though he was up against two of the best in the business. Fourie managed 56% of the votes cast while World Cup-winning All Blacks centre Conrad Smith was also well represented with 29%. Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll got a few sentimental votes but was never a serious contender ending with 15%.
12 - Ma'a Nonu (New Zealand): The All Blacks ace brushed off the challenge of burly Jamie Roberts and claimed a massive 82% of the votes cast, while the Welsh battering ram managed 15% leaving Sonny Bill Williams to make up the numbers with just 3% of the votes.
11 - Digby Ioane (Australia): The break-dancing bullet came desperately close to a clean sweep of all the votes after a sensational year which saw him shine in every tournament he competed in. Up against the Welsh wizard Shane Williams Ioane cruised home with 97% of the votes.
10 - Dan Carter (New Zealand): Although he spent a large portion of the year on the sidelines and he was up against Quade Cooper who won the Super Rugby and Tri-Nations titles the All Blacks playmaker waltzed to victory with an overwhelming 97%. Interestingly Cooper, who had a World Cup howler, won less votes than young Welshman Rhys Priestland who got twice as many votes as the controversial Wallaby.
9 - Will Genia (Australia): The scrumhalf position also saw something of a landslide with the Wallaby general winning 78% of the votes. Welsh scrumhalf Mike Phillips garnerd the remaining 12% thanks to his strong showing at the World Cup while France's Morgan Parra did not feature.
8 - Kieran Read (New Zealand): This was another competitive position with Read's main challenger coming in the form of Azzurri skipper Sergio Parisse. However, the All Blacks hard man came out on top with 55% of the votes while Parisse, who is clearly admired for his quality performances in a battling cause, won 36%. France's Imanol Harinordoquy claimed the remaining 9% while Australia's Radike Samo trudged off with a duck.
7 - David Poock (Australia): The Wallaby jackal claimed the narrowest of victories from legendary All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw in what was, as usual, a fierce contest between the two. In the end Pocock edged it by getting 51% of the votes while McCaw impressed 49% of you, perhaps the All Blacks captain can console himself by shining the Webb Ellis Cup.
6 - Jerome Kaino (New Zealand): The powerful Kaino steamrollered his opposition one more time in 2011, claiming 74% of your votes while Ireland's Sean O'Brien and Springbok No.6 Heinrich Brussow shared the rest of the spoils.
5 - Victor Matfield (South Africa): The Springbok line-out king managed one final accolade (one of the more prestigious?) as he was clearly admired for his dominant performance over rival James Horwill in the World Cup quarterfinal. Horwill, who skippered the Reds to Super Rugby glory and led the Wallabies in their victorious Tri-Nations campaign will probably be quite relieved to see the back of Matfield who managed 69% of the votes to his 31%.
4 - Brad Thorn (New Zealand): The All Blacks veteran capped a glittering career with a World Cup victory and won particular admiration for the way he maintained his high standards right until the end. He is surely one of the hardest men to take the field in international rugby and this was reflected in his clean sweep, with his only rival Richie Gray walking away empty handed without even a sympathy vote.
3 - Martin Castrogiovanni (Italy): The hairy Italian beast who gives looseheads all over the world sleepless nights was the favourite, winning 56% of the votes while All Blacks rock Owen Franks also proved to be a popular choice (mainly amongst the Kiwi readers) and he got 31% while France's Nicolas Mas made up the difference with 13%.
2 - Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa): Despite the fact that he did not start regularly this year Bok rake Du Plessis still managed to march to victory with 88% of the votes. The two hookers that competed in the World Cup Final - Keven Mealamu and William Servat - won 6% each to round things out.
1 - Wyatt Crockett (New Zealand): He amy not have been good enough for Graham Henry's World Cup squad but he certainly did enough to impress our readers and powered his way into the front row with 61% of the votes. Springbok loosehead Gurthro Steenkamp garnered 30% despite spending long periods sidelined through injury.
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