2019 Super Rugby Team of Year

Ardie Savea helped drive the Hurricanes to one game from the Super Rugby final Dianne Manson/Getty Images

The 2019 Super Rugby season will come to a conclusion in Christchurch on Saturday, when the Crusaders host the Jaguares at Orangetheory Stadium.

The two best sides have made the final, but how many individuals from those two sides have shone outside of the wider team performance?

We've selected our Team of the Year below.

[Note: A minimum of 10 games were needed to qualify for selection]

15. Semisi Masirewa [Sunwolves]

The Sunwolves fullback lit up Super Rugby this season with some breathtaking tries, cutting opposition defences apart with a brilliant mix of speed and footwork. A hat-trick of five-pointers in the win over the Waratahs in Newcastle was a highlight, so, too, his post-try celebration that we saw on 11 separate occasions. Masirewa barely touched the ball in his time with Western Force, but he clearly loved the Sunwolves' style in Japan. He did, however, earn a red card for two separate offences against the Reds, but it wasn't enough to deny him this honour.

Honourable mentions: David Havili [Crusaders], Melani Nanai [Blues]

14. Sevu Reece [Crusaders]

The Fijian-born winger burst onto the scene early in the season, and he was able to nail down a spot after fellow flyer Manasa Mataele saw his season ended by injury. Reece was almost unstoppable in open space, and he hit with brute force in defence; he needs one try in the final to equal Ben Lam's record of 16 five-pointers, which the Hurricanes powerhouse set last year. Reece's stellar form has seen him rewarded with a call-up for the All Blacks' Rugby Championship campaign, and thrust him into World Cup calculations.

Honourable mentions: Wes Goosen [Hurricanes]

13. Anton Lienert-Brown [Chiefs]

The All Blacks centre was a rock for the Chiefs at the start of the year, and only got better as the rest of his teammates found form towards the end of the regular season. He played more rugby at No. 12, but gets the nod at outside centre as he was too classy to omit. Lienert-Brown had strong attacking stats across the board but it was his 29 offloads -- level with the man below -- that really caught the eye. He is surely entrenched in the All Blacks squad for the World Cup.

Honourable mentions: Tevita Kuridrani [Brumbies], Matias Orlando [Jaguares]

12. Samu Kerevi [Reds]

Australian fans, Queenslanders in particular, are already lamenting the fact they've seen the last of Samu Kerevi in Super Rugby for at least the next three years. The Reds skipper was, alongside Ardie Savea, probably the standout player in the competition this year; his power-running in midfield was the catalyst for most of the Reds' six wins while he was dominant in an otherwise losing team throughout. Kerevi topped the charts for total runs, tackle busts and offloads [equal] in a season that has surely earned him the Wallabies No. 12 jersey.

Honourable mentions: Ngani Laumape [Hurricanes]

11. Rieko Ioane [Blues]

It was another tough season for the Blues, yet their All Blacks flyer again proved a cut above his left wing rivals. Ioane remains one of the toughest players to mark in the game, evidenced by his 23 clean breaks, which were the most of any winger in 2019. He also crossed for nine tries on the end of a Blues backline that saw much change across 2019. Ioane and fullback Melani Nanai provided the positives in yet another sorry Blues season.

Honourable mentions: Braydon Ennor [Crusaders], Marika Koroibete [Rebels]

10. Handre Pollard (Bulls)

Pivotal in the Bulls' mostly unexpected charge to the finals, and not just because his 188 points during the home-and-away was 63 more than the next best, Richie Mo'unga, as that tally reflects his team's game plan as much as his unerring accuracy from the tee. Has silky skills to attack the line and make play that are equal to the best in the game -- if only his teams played more to them -- and the Bulls simply would not have made the post-season without his career-best efforts. Probably also the one player the Springboks cannot afford to lose.

Honourable mentions: Richie Mo'unga [Crusaders], Josh Ioane [Highlanders], Beauden Barrett [Hurricanes]

9. Brad Weber

One of the smallest players to ever line up in Super Rugby, Brad Weber played well above his weight grade in 2019. The Chiefs scrum-half's superb year was confirmed on Tuesday evening with an All Blacks recall, his selection a reward for a brilliant season of running rugby that saw him top all halfbacks for total metres [463] and finish with the equal second-most tries [5]. As it was with Lienert-Brown, Weber was one of the few Chiefs to perform early in the year, and seemingly he only improved once his teammates caught up.

Honourable mentions: T.J. Perenara [Hurricanes], Will Genia [Rebels]

8. Daniel du Preez [Sharks]

Produced a stellar campaign that was key in his side squeezing into the playoffs. Made more runs, linebreaks and tackle busts that any other eightman in the competition, befitting his power-running game, and also scored more tries; only Brumbies hooker Folau Fainga'a scored more tries among forwards. Also strong in defence and at the the breakdown, while 5 handling errors in 16 games is unfeasibly low given his involvement with the ball around the edges. Strange to consider the lack of consideration for his Springboks claims.

Honourable mentions: Isi Naisarani [Rebels], Akira Ioane [Blues], Duane Vermeulen [Bulls]

7. Ardie Savea [Hurricanes]

While he split his time between No. 7 and 8 this season, Savea wins selection in our Team of the Year at openside flanker. Savea's 13 pilfers were five more than anyone else could muster, while he was just as lethal in attack; the All Blacks back-rower's numbers simply phenomenal across the board. Savea's ability to gain metres after contact is not recorded statistically but anyone who caught even a handful of Hurricanes games will be aware of just how damaging he was. A season to remember.

Honourable mentions: Matt Todd [Crusaders], Michael Hooper [Waratahs], Liam Wright [Reds]

6. Pablo Matera [Jaguares]

A one-man wrecking ball with a complete range of supreme skills who is equally damaging on either side of the ball, Pablo Matera is at home whether roaming out wide among the centres or in tight among the props. Pick a stats category for a back-rower, and he's top or all but -- and his numbers are impressive regardless of the position. And look at his face before the famous semifinal victory against the Brumbies: He doesn't wear the armband but he is the physical and spiritual leader of the Jaguares team. Star man.

Honourable mentions: Kwagga Smith [Lions]

5. R.G. Snyman [Bulls]

The epitome of the modern ball-playing second-rower, particularly in South Africa, and who knows what numbers he would have produced had he not missed the first half of the season with an ankle injury. Exceptional at the set-piece, and then combines stereotypical South African physicality and force with Pasifika ball skills in a package that tallied an average 8.5 runs per game [only Pieter-Steph du Toit was better] and the locks' competition-leading 2.8 offloads per game.

4. Rory Arnold [Brumbies]

A lineout monster -- 'Three-Storey Rory' won more than any other player in the competition, befitting his nickname -- but he's developed ball skills to the point that we saw him throwing inside balls and playing the link man as the Brumbies won the Australian conference and defeated the Sharks in the quarterfinals. A more "traditional" lock than Snyman, and the Honourable Mentions who are also comfortable playing on the flank, but there's none better at "the basics".

Honourable mentions: Scott Barrett [Crusaders], Lukhan Salakai-Loto [Reds], Marcos Kremer [Jaguares]

3. Allan Ala'alatoa [Brumbies]

The Brumbies' season came to an end at the weekend, but Allan Ala'alatoa can reflect with pride on a super effort up front. Ala'alatoa was a vital cog in the Brumbies' scrum throughout the year while also proving a workhorse in defence; his 177 tackles at 88% efficiency were a cut above his prop counterparts. He should be one of the first names on the Wallabies teamsheet.

Honourable mentions: Ofa Tu'ungafasi [Blues]

2. Malcolm Marx [Lions]

The Lions might have struggled this season, but Marx's form improved, if anything, and he remains an "all-court player" with all the skills who just happens to wear No. 2. He's stepped up his work on both sides of the ball, with 11 line breaks and 4 line-break assists to combine with 7 pilfers and 6 penalties forced at ruck and maul, but possibly most importantly he's improved his arrows. One of the best, if not the best, hookers in the world.

Honourable mens: Folau Fainga'a [Brumbies], Liam Coltman [Highlanders]

1. Lizo Gqoboka [Bulls]

He may not be a name overly familiar to anyone outside the Republic but Lizo Gqoboka might be a player we're about to see a bit more of, at Test level, after he was included in the Springboks' Rugby Championship squad. The Bulls prop played an incredible 1,038 minutes this season, leading all props for runs, run metres and clean breaks, while also making the top five for total tackles. The Bulls' scrum struggled at times, but Gqoboka gave away only seven penalties for the year.

Honourable mentions: Steven Kitshoff [Stormers]