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Rugby's ultimate XI that could play at the 2024 Euros

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Monday Jun 17, 2024

โ€˜Rugby is brilliant in rugby, you get the ball, you run towards the man, you draw him in and you passโ€™ – Pep Guardiola.

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Like a bull in a china shop, the 2024 UEFA Euro has barged into the sporting public’s consciousness. Reducing grown men to tears whilst the words ‘I could’ve gone pro’ echo around pubs all over Europe. European football’s biggest event captures the imagination like few other sporting competitions.

The above quote from arguably the greatest manager in football history is an interesting insight into how each sport takes transferable skillsets from one to the other.

As the action gets into full swing in Germany, we had to think about which current professional rugby players would be capable of doing a decent job on the football pitch.

Here is our 2024 RugbyDump XI; let us know who you would pick in your squad.

Goalkeeper – RG Snyman
The nearly 7ft tall Springbok is our commanding presence in goal. Freakishly athletic for a man his size, Snyman will handle corners with authority and has the range to cover just about all of the goal.

Left-back – Damian Willemse
With bundles of pace and power and the sporting intelligence to create opportunities, the Springbok fullback is anchoring the left side of our backline. Throw into the mix his exceptional kicking game and Willemse will be key to our long ball game.

@mapantsulaarugbyBok player Faf de Klerk, Damian Willemse, Jesse Kriel and Steven Kitshoff take to some street footie with a rugby ball. 📹 Alex Loweโ™ฌ original sound – mapantsulaarugbyshow

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Centre back – Hugo Keenan
Our field general at the back, Ireland’s silky smooth operator, has all of the skills needed to handle opposition strikers. Keenan will control our defensive shape like he manages the Irish and Leinster backfield with supreme authority.

Centre back – Emiliano Boffelli
Argentina’s sharpshooter has an educated boot that will help our team spread the ball around the park whenever an opportunity arises. Mixing in his pace will ensure that he covers any long balls masterfully.

Right back – Antoine Dupont
Matching Willemse’s creativity on the left with Dupont’s free-roaming playmaking on the right gives this side an ability to get upfield quickly. Defensively, Dupont is more than capable of tracking back at a rapid rate and has the physicality to win the ball back.

Left midfield – Marcus Smith
The Phil Foden figure of our team, Smith brings energy, pace and playmaking ability to our side and will likely operate between midfield and the left wing. Shifting between creating opportunities for others and taking shots of his own, Smith will be a danger man in our team.

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Midfielder – Garry Ringrose
Dropping back as a defensive midfield when necessary, Ringrose glides over the pitch in rugby and will do the same in football as a hard-working playmaker.

Midfielder – Paolo Garbisi
Bringing flare, skill and a dogged edge to our midfield, Garbisi will push forward frequently in this team and will scrap for contestable balls in the middle of the pitch.

Right midfield – Danny Care
As a member of the Sheffield Wednesday Academy growing up, Care is a serious footballer who remains one of the most skilful players in the English Premiership. His instincts, creativity and pace as a more of a right winger will see him get behind defenders regularly.

Left striker – Blair Kinghorn
Scotland and Toulouse’s rangy fullback is regarded as one of the most skillful operators in professional rugby. Blessed with exceptional pace and footwork, Kinghorn brings some extra physicality and height up front for our team.

Right striker – Romain Ntamack
A visionary player, Ntamack will time his runs perfectly as he plays to space, offering a target to his midfield playmakers. A cool, calm and composed operator, Ntamack will relish the opportunity to be in one-on-one situations with goalkeepers.

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