An incredible XV of players who WON’T be at the World Cup

Fly-half: Dan Carter, New Zealand

There were murmurs of a shock recall to the All Blacks squad. Carter was mentioned by his former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry as a possibility, but the three-times World Player of the Year said a recent neck surgery would rule him out anyway.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 31: Dan Carter of New Zealand takes a penalty during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Scrum-half: Rhys Webb, Wales

Webb’s move to French club Toulon last summer means he is unavailable for selection by Warren Gatland as his collection of 33 caps is below the mark of 60 required for overseas-based players to be considered.

Prop: Owen Franks, New Zealand

Hooker: Bismarck du Plessis, South Africa

The 34-year-old Springbok with 79-caps has all the experience needed to anchor this pack. However, with Schalk Brits returning to the international fold a recall for du Plessis looks unlikely.

Prop: Ben Franks, New Zealand

Still one of the world finest scrum operators, he hasn’t played for the All Blacks since making his move to London Irish in 2015. Despite now being 35, Franks could definitely still cut it at the highest level.