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Ireland head into 2018 with high hopes after ending their 2017 calendar with a bang, as they beat South Africa, Fiji and Argentina to make it seven Test victories on the bounce.
All eyes are already turned towards a potential Six Nations decider against England on March 17th, a fixture which will see a number of heroes from last summer’s Lions tour become enemies once again.
Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray and Sean O’Brien were all pivotal in helping the Lions secure a 1-1 series draw against the All Blacks.
However only one Irishman - Tadhg Furlong - has been named in the world’s top 10 players by Rugby World magazine.
Leinster’s barnstorming prop Furlong has been voted the ninth best player in the world - Ireland’s sole representative on the list.
England’s Owen Farrell has been voted the game’s best player by the magazine, and he is joined in the top 10 by international colleague Maro Itoje. Fellow Lions tourists Stuart Hogg and Johnathan Davies were named sixth and seventh respectively.
New Zealand fly-half Beauden Barrett — the reigning world player of the year — is second and Fiji lock Leone Nakarawa third.
Top 10: 1) Owen Farrell, 2) Beauden Barrett, 3) Leone Nakarawa, 4) Maro Itoje, 5) Israel Folau, 6) Stuart Hogg, 7) Jonathan Davies, 8) Michael Hooper, 9) Tadhg Furlong, 10) Brodie Retallick.