O’Gara only Munster man in Dream Team

DESPITE leading the Magners League, just one Munster player has been selected for this season’s Dream Team.

Ronan O’Gara is the only player to have been picked by the selection committee of 19 journalists from the four participating countries while five Leinster players made the team.

It’s the second year in a row that just one Munster player was picked with Tomás O’Leary getting the nod for the 2009/’10 campaign.

But this season’s snub has been particularly unusual given Munster’s 18 victories from 21 league games this year.

Ruan Pienaar was the only Ulster player picked despite their 14 victories while ninth placed Connacht’s Fionn Carr, who is joining Leinster at the end of the season, also made it.

Leinster players were the majority choice of the selection committee with five included on the team.

Jamie Heaslip, for the second year in a row, Mike Ross, Isa Nacewa, Richardt Strauss and Sean O’Brien were lauded for their heroics this season.

O’Brien received votes in all three back row positions and polled twice as many votes overall as any of the other 20 players nominated for the three positions.

In the end, O’Brien led the way for the blindside flanker’s role, with Cardiff Blues rising star Sam Warburton taking the No 7 openside shirt.

Glasgow lock Richie Gray won most votes in the second row, with Alun Wyn Jones in second place.

Leinster’s rising front row reputation is reflected in the selection of tight head Mike Ross ahead of the choice for the past two seasons, Wales and Lions ace Adam Jones.

Brian O’Driscoll was close to joining his team mates on the side but was pipped by Cardiff Blues Casey Laulala. Both centres received five votes but O’Driscoll, named on the team for the past two seasons, lost out on a head-to-head. Scarlets’ Welsh centre Jonathan Davies was the clear choice for the number 12 shirt with 14 votes.

At scrum half, Pienaar was a runaway winner with 13 votes - ten more than the man he replaced, Leinster’s Isaac Boss.


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