Yet amongst the manure some flowers grew. But who cares about them? This team of the year is about the moss and mould and mushrooms which grew in the swamps of another Australian Super Rugby landscape:
The other Al - Iowa wrestling hall of famer Al Baxter
The missus still thinks that Faingaa is the prettiest Rugby player on the planet so insists that he goes in the team of the year. Success though has slightly diminished the attraction and with three brothers (if you include Sydney Club Rugby) going around she is thinking of upgrading to newer models.
A Faingaa brother - Bit hard to tell which from this angle but doesn't matter as they all look the same anyway
SECOND ROWERS / LOCKS
The fairy tale that wasn't. Leave Australia at peak of career, playing for Bath, done for snorting coke and fighting a teammate and an after-season party, retiring in ignominy, serving a suspension, out of retirement and drafted back into the Brumbies with a host of other legends, injuries, poor form, dropped. Oh well.
South African schoolboy Rugby star Roodt got injured before the season started and didn't play a match. While that might normally qualify him for this Team of the Year, in this instance he qualifies because he has the best nickname in the game. Within days of his first training session for the 'Tahs they gave him the moniker 'Dud'. The real question is why no-one in South Africa thought to give him that nickname.
BREAKAWAYS / FLANKERS
Who is Ted Postal? If you believe the Western Force he is a former schoolboy Rugby star who played alongside James O'Connor, yet why is he the only Western Force player who doesn't have his photograph in his player profile? He even supposedly earned his one and only Super 14 cap this year yet no-one noticed. While the Rolling Maul always celebrates anonymity (and bench warming) this is ridiculous.
Sosene Anesi's residence when in Sydney