Sam’s the man in round one

MARK KEOHANE selects his all-star XV and match 22 after the first round of the World Cup and says none was better than Wales captain Sam Warburton. Only two Boks and one All Black make his team.

Keo’s RWC Form XV
15. Israel Dagg (NZ)
14. Vereniki Goneva (Fij)
13. Jaque Fourie (SA)
12. Jamie Roberts (Wal)
11. Digby Ioane (Aus)
10. Quade Cooper (Aus)
9. Ben Youngs (Eng)
8. Sergio Parisse (Ita)
7. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (Arg)
6. Sam Warburton (Wal)
5. Paul O’Connell (Ire)
4. James Horwill (Aus)
3. Ben Alexander (Aus)
2. Bismarck du Plessis (SA)
1. Andy Sheridan (Eng)

16 Marius Tincu (Rom)
17 Martin Castrogiovanni (Ita)
18 Brad Thorn (NZ)
19 Schalk Burger (SA)
20 Will Genia (Aus)
21 Sonny Bill Williams (NZ)
22 Richard Kahui (NZ)

The positions in which there was most competition definitely in the centres and at loose-forward. Wales’ Toby Faletau had a huge game against the Boks, but Sergio Parisse is the most complete No 8 at this tournament. It was hard to leave Schalk Burger out of the Form XV but Lobbe was immense against England. Jerome Kaino, David Pockock, Heinrich Brussouw and Radike Samo also had huge games in round 1.

Sonny Bill Williams was also very good, but Jamie Roberts get the nod because of the quality of the opposition and the intensity of the match.

A selection that may surprise many is Ben Alexander at tighthead. I was at that game and those first 40 minutes were brutal. He stood up to the Italian pack who couldn’t get parity in those first 40 minutes. There was one magnificent shove that should have resulted in a pushover try, but all-round I think Alexander will end this tournament as the most talked about tighthead.

Fill up the thread with your picks of round one.