(c) IRPA. I copied and pasted from their site. Hope there's no copyright infraction. MEDIA RELEASEDecember19,2013 Fans have their say on IRPA Ultimate Rugby World XV of the Year Rugby fans have spoken â€“ and their Ultimate Rugby World XV of the Year differs dramatically from the combination picked last week by the codeâ€™s international players. While fans mirrored the players in voting New Zealandâ€™s Kieran Read their â€œPlayer of the Yearâ€, they made as many as six changes when it came to their overall XV, most noticeably in the backline, where they pumped for a different halfback, first five - eighth, inside centreand wing. The fansâ€™ opted for Australian halfback Will Genia ahead of the Playersâ€™ pick, All Black Aaron Smith; first five- eighth Dan Carter over countryman Aaron Cruden, South Africaâ€™s Jean de Villiers over Wesley Fofana at inside centre, and Folau ahead of New Zealandâ€™s Ben Smith. However, the fans were at one with the players when it came to hailing three of the stand - out performers on the world stage in 2013 â€“ England prop Alex Corbisiero, South African lock Eben Etzebeth and Welsh wing George North. Corbisiero played a vital role in the British and Irish Lionsâ€™ series win over Australia ; Etzebeth enjoyed a stellar second international season with South Africa, and North scored one of the tries of the season in the opening Lionsâ€™ test, before dotting down again in the series decider . Read narrowly won the vote for theUltimate Rugby Fansâ€™ â€˜Player of the Yearâ€™ ahead of Wales and Lionsâ€™ star Leigh Halfpenny, with Folau, Ireland flanker Sean Oâ€™Brien, and North the next most heavily supported. Genia said yesterday he was thrilled to be recognised by the fans . â€œtâ€™s great the fans have been invited to participate in these awards,â€ he said. â€œTheyâ€™re such a vital part of the international rugby machinery; itâ€™s good to see they have a chance to have their say. â€œAnd, of course, Iâ€™m doubly pleased theyâ€™ve included me in their World XV.â€ Corbisiero said inclusion in the fansâ€™ team capped off for him a memorable year. â€œBeing part of the first Lionâ€™s series win since 1997 was always going to make this year very special, but to then be named in the Players World XV and also the Fansâ€™ World XV has topped it all off, really. I thank the fans for voting for me, and congratulate IRPA and Ultimate Rugby for coming up with such a worthy concept.â€ Etzebeth, also named last week in the Playersâ€™ World XV of the Year, echoed those sentiments, saying it was humbling to be honoured by the people who made rugby such a successful productâ€“the players and the fans. â€œIâ€™ve really enjoyed my rugby through 2013,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s been a fantastic experience and this makes it all the sweeter.â€œ To the organisers of theUltimate Rugby IRPA awards, and to the fans who voted for me-may I just say, â€˜many thanksâ€™.â€ North was another favourite of both the fans and players alike; his eye for the line balanced by a strong defensive performanceâ€“including a memorable tackle on Folau during the second Lions test. â€œThis has been a fabulous year for the Lions and Wales and Iâ€™ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of it,â€ he said. â€œI felt honoured to be picked in the Playersâ€™ World XV and feel similarly about beingrecognised in the fanâ€™s team. Itâ€™s a lovely book-end for the year.â€ IRPA officials reported tens of thousands of rugby fans voted for their Player of the Year and World XV of the Year via the Ultimate Rugby free downloadable app, as part of IRPAâ€™s first annual awards ceremony. â€œThe Ultimate Rugby application is a must have for rugby fans and players alikeâ€ IRPA Executive Director Rob Nichol said â€œNot only are we impressed by the extent of live rugby updates and player profiles it provides but the platform created that allowed both players and so many fans to recognise the outstanding achievements of the worldâ€™s best for 2013 was fundamental to the success of the inaugural IRPAsâ€ Ultimate Rugby IRPA Fansâ€™Awards. Category winners. Fansâ€™ Player of the Year: Kieran Read Fansâ€™ World XV of the Year: Alex Corbisiero(ENG), Bismarck Du Plessis (SA), AdamJones (WAL), Eben Etzebeth(SA), Alun-Wyn Jones(WAL) Liam Messam(NZ) RichieMcCaw(NZ) Kieran Read(NZ) Will Genia(AUS) Dan Carter(NZ) George North(WAL) Jean deVilliers(SA), Conrad Smith(NZ), Israel Folau(AUS), Leigh Halfpenny(WAL).