Rugby World Cup
Top 10 players at Rugby World Cup 2015
ESPN Staff
November 1, 2015
Hansen: Fitting send off for 'greatest' McCaw

The Rugby World Cup drew to a close in fine style at Twickenham on Saturday evening -- so ESPN's team of writers at the tournament put their heads together to list the best 10 players at England 2015.

No. 10 - Dan Carter, Fly half, New Zealand

Dan Carter
Dan Carter© Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Nominated by: Greg Growden

The All Blacks icon was back to his scintillating best in England and put in the types of performances that backed head coach Steve Hansen's credence of him "enhancing" the famous New Zealand jersey. His showing against France in particular, was a joy to behold and, after missing out on injury four years ago, will get the send off he deserves. 

Matches: 6

Tries scored: 0 

Tackles: 40

Tackle success: 87%

Carries over gainline: 14

Carries metres: 205

Runs: 45

Clean breaks: 5

Defenders beaten: 7 

9. Santiago Cordero, Wing, Argentina

© Stu Forster/Getty Images

Nominated by: Rob Bartlett, Greg Growden

It is hard to believe Cordero almost gave up the sport only a few months before the tournament started -- now he leaves England the standout star of a pulsating Argentina side. Predominantly a sevens players, Cordero would've normally been fourth choice on the wing but his combination of exhilarating speed and brutal finishing has shown why Daniel Hourcade held high faith in him. 

Matches: 6

Tries scored: 3

Tackles: 27

Tackle success: 63%

Carries over gainline: 21

Carries metres: 514

Turnovers won: 6

Clean breaks: 13

Defenders beaten: 31

8. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Back Row, Argentina

© Stu Forster/Getty Images

Nominated by: Tom Hamilton

Personified Argentina's never say die attitude and was an instrumental figure in their World Cup campaign. His experience of playing in the 2007 bronze medal final held huge sway over the Pumas' younger stars. Lobbe's persona will be missed in the dressing room but there is no doubt he has left a legacy.

Matches: 7

Tries scored: 0

Tackles: 51

Tackle success: 85%

Carries over gainline: 24

Carries metres: 112

Turnovers won: 2

Lineout steals: 1

Defenders beaten: 5

7. Lood de Jager, Second Row, South Africa

© David Rogers/Getty Images

Nominated by: Tristan Barclay

After South Africa's tournament-opening defeat to Japan,Heyneke Meyer's side were in disarray. When many would have sunk back into their shells, De Jager stood tall and proved integral in their run to the semifinals, enjoying a tournament way beyond his years. It is hard to believe he is only 22.  

Matches: 7

Tries scored: 1

Tackles: 77

Tackle success: 94%

Carries over gainline: 27

Carries metres: 110

Turnovers won: 0

Clean breaks: 1

Defenders beaten: 0

6. Nehe Milner-Skudder, Wing, New Zealand

© Phil Walter/Getty Images

Nominated by: Tristan Barclay, Martyn Thomas

The smaller-framed player has been reviltalised at this World Cup. Samoa had Tim Nanai-Williams, Japan had the wonderful scrum-half Fumiaki Tanaka and New Zealand have Milner-Skudder. With neat footwork and a great eye for the tryline, Milner-Skudder gives New Zealand a wonderful complement to the bulldozing Julian Savea on the opposite wing. 

Matches: 6

Tries scored: 6

Tackles: 6

Tackle success: 60%

Carries over gainline: 23

Carries metres: 552

Turnovers won: 0

Clean breaks: 14

Defenders beaten: 26

5. Dan Biggar, Fly half, Wales

Dan Biggar
Dan Biggar© GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

Nominated by: Tristan Barclay, Martyn Thomas

It may look like he's attempting the Macarena in his pre-kick routine -- but boy, does it work. Kicked the winning penalty in Wales' historic victory over England at Twickenham and gave another beautiful performance with the boot in triumph over Fiji.  

Matches: 4

Tries scored: 0

Tackles: 29

Tackle success: 83%

Carries over gainline: 5

Carries metres: 84

Runs: 22

Clean breaks: 1

Defenders beaten: 4

4. Julian Savea, Wing, New Zealand

© Michael Steele/Getty Images

Nominated by: Rob Bartlett, Sam Bruce

Reminiscent, if incomparable, to Jonah Lomu. An astonishing prospect who scored two World Cup hat tricks in superb fashion. His second try in the quarterfinal win over France, in which he bulldozed his way through pretty much all of Les Bleus' backline, was one of the scores of the tournament. 

Matches: 6 

Tries scored: 8

Tackles: 7

Tackle success: 70%

Carries over gainline: 29

Carries metres: 433

Turnovers won: 0

Clean breaks: 10

Defenders beaten: 17

3. Ayumu Goromaru, Fullback, Japan

Japan's Ayumu Goromaru
Japan's Ayumu Goromaru© Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Nominated by: Tom Hamilton, Rob Bartlett, Martyn Thomas

Scored 58 points -- 24 of which came in Japan's historic victory over South Africa -- as the Brave Blossoms became the first nation to win three World Cup pool matches and not advance to the quarterfinals. Consistent and reliable from the tee, Goromaru epitomised Japan's heroic efforts and will no doubt be the posterboy in 2019.  

Matches: 4

Tries scored: 1

Tackles: 11

Tackle success: 85%

Carries over gainline: 12

Carries metres: 182

Turnovers won: 0

Clean breaks: 2

Defenders beaten: 3

2. Ben Smith, Fullback, New Zealand

© Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Nominated by: Tom Hamilton, Tristan Barclay, Sam Bruce, Greg Growden

A model of consistency and the ultimate team player at this World Cup, even making up for the blot on his copy book that was the yellow card in the final by setting up the tournament's last, breakaway try. Smith's clearance kicks set the benchmark, while his positional play in the counter attack was nothing short of spectacular. No surprise he finished top of the 'Metres Made' charts.

Matches: 7

Tries scored: 2

Tackles: 16 

Tackle success: 89%

Carries over gainline: 30

Carries metres: 521

Turnovers won: 0

Clean breaks: 12

Defenders beaten: 14

1. David Pocock, No.8, Australia

© Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Nominated by: Tom Hamilton, Rob Bartlett, Martyn Thomas, Sam Bruce, Greg Growden

Quite simply the player of the tournament. As teammate Michael Hooper stated, Pocock inspires others around him by putting his head where most would not. Incredible turnover rate and would only be right if he is named World Player of the Year. 

Matches: 5

Tries scored: 3

Tackles: 57

Tackle success: 86%

Carries over gainline: 15

Carries metres: 47

Turnovers won: 17

Defenders beaten: 5

© ESPN Staff

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