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Scrumqueens 2011 team of the year

It's been another superb year of growth for women's rugby.

As the year draws to a close we've looked back at the games of 2011 and chosen our top players in our Team of the Year. The Scrumqueens team have watched as much footage of the 54 test games and many 7s competitions this year and also consulted a number of players and coaches before coming up with the final team!

Inevitably there will be some deserving players missing out given how tough it is to follow the game intently with the lack of TV and online coverage (it is particularly difficult in Asia) but we have done our best! Join in the debate over on our Facebook page here.

We've also picked our Team of the Year, 15s, 7s and Young Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, see HERE for those picks!

Scrumqueens team of the year

15 Niamh Briggs (Ireland)
The Irish fullback is a key player for her side and followed up an excellent World Cup campaign with another fine Six Nations effort. Her boot is also a real asset at fullback.
14 Renee Wickliffe (New Zealand)
The Kiwi speedster showed all of her turn of pace with a super try in the second test against England. Though her defence was tested in those games, her attacking threat was a real menace throughout.
13 Emily Scarratt (England)
The England centre is our pick for the leading player in test rugby this year. At such a young age, Scarratt, who also kicks goals for her club side, is set to be an international mainstay for years to come.
12 Mandy Marchak (Canada)
The Canada 7s captain has had a hectic year, leading her side to glory around the world, playing a key role at the Nations Cup and also playing her club rugby with Saracens in London. An excellent year.
11 Julia Pla (Spain)
The Spanish flier is one of her sides key players at both 15s and 7s level. Her eye for the tryline is second to none and she is one of the great finishers in the game.
10 Katy McLean (England) (captain)
Englands captain continues to be the lead fly-half in test rugby. With consistent goal kicking and superb passing ability, she has led her side to a superb run of victories this year.
9 Marie-Alice Yahe (France)
The French number 9 wears her heart on her sleeve and her passion and determination is a real driving force in the French side. A dangerous sniper, shes a tenacious out and out scrumhalf who has had a good season.
1 Mel Bosman (New Zealand)
Though her side didnt win any of their three games this year, Bosman was a vital cog in their strong scrum, particularly in the first test at Twickenham. A tough worker around the park, Bosman would be an asset to any side.
2 Galle Mignot (France)
The French number two has been Miss Consistency this season, playing an important role throughout the Six Nations and again being a leading player in the two tests against England later this year.
3 Jamie Burke (USA)
The USA captain has been one of the best props in world rugby for many years now, and this year was no different as her physicality and captaincy abilities saw her side make many improvements.
4 Flavia Severin (Italy)
A tenacious lock, Severin has a nose for the tryline despite most of her work being done in defence. As Italy continue to improve, she continues to be a key performer.
5 Stacey Bridges (USA)
A lock with an enormous appetite for the game, Bridges has had a fine year in USA colours. A young forward we are likely to see much more of.
6 Kelly Russell (Canada)
More at home at number 8, Russell warrants inclusion for another fine Nations Cup showing this year. A key player for her side goes about her work with quiet efficiency.
7 Maggie Alphonsi (England)
The games best known player rarely lets supporters down every game she plays is marked with at least one shuddering tackling. A backrow with a nose for the tryline, she continues to set new standards in the game.
8 Casey Robertson (New Zealand)
Despite her side struggling in the tests against England, Robertson was a shining light for her side in all three tests. Excellent ball carrying skills added to her strong defence make her the worlds best number 8 this year.

Replacements:
16 Victoria Fleetwood (England)
Fleetwood has risen through the England ranks to become one of the best young hookers in the game. Faces a lot of competition in her own country but hugely impressed throughout 2011.
17 Rochelle Clarke (England)
One of the best scrummagers in the game, Clarke is a powerhouse prop with a superb reputation in the front row.
18 Catrin Edwards (Wales)
The former Wales captain is sitting out 2012 but her country will hope she'll be back given her all round ability. Excellent in the loose and tight and a top scrummager.
19 Joy Neville (Ireland)
The Ireland number 8 is an expert positional player with an array of ball skills. Works well from the base even when under pressure.
20 Susie Brown (Scotland)
A key player for her side, even when they have struggled. Excellent all round skills and a real leader.
21 Kendra Cocksedge (New Zealand)
The sniping number 9 from Christchurch can sniff out a gap anywhere and keeps backrows honest with her pace and good feet.
22 Kelly Van Harskamp (Netherlands)
The brilliant Dutch winger is now more at home in 7s rugby but has the talent and gas to be a massive threat for any side.
23 Aurlie Bailon (France)
Absent from the French team for most of the year through injury, her importance to the team was shown when - in her first test back with the national team - her three penalties and a conversion were instrumental in France's win over England.