Tri-Nations decider: You be the judge
READERS’ FORUM: The @rugby365com team came up with a novel idea of a ‘fantasy’ tournament to entertain the readers – a Tri-Nations series.
Each of us selected a team from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
You, the readers, get to decide who will win this competition – played over six rounds at a neutral venue (so there is no travel factor).
Argentina, because the Jaguares are effectively Los Pumas anyway, did not qualify.
(Continue reading below video …)
We based our selections purely on the first seven rounds of Super Rugby – meaning no overseas-based or injured players were considered.
Only those playing in Super Rugby and currently available were considered.
This has ruled out a host of the Stormers’ stars – Pieter-Steph du Toit (haematoma that developed into an acute compartment syndrome), Siyamthanda Kolisi (Grade Three medial collateral ligament tear), Mbongeni Mbonambi (torn hamstring), Herschel Jantjies (fractured fibula), John Schickerling (torn arm muscle) and Steven Kitshoff (torn pectoral muscle).
The Sharks have escaped the dreaded injury bogey.
Other South African players not considered include Burger Odendaal (ankle), Cornal Hendricks (knee), Hacjivah Dayimani (grade two MCL tear), Manuel Rass (ankle sprain) and Wandisile Simelane (Grade I MCL tear).
The Australian injury list is also substantially shorter than that of the Stormers – Allan Alaalatoa (fractured arm), Kurtley Beale (hamstring) and Karmichael Hunt (calf).
New Zealand is in the same boat – Nathan Harris (rotator cuff), Ardie Savea (knee) and Beauden Barrett (not back from his sabbatical yet).
Leezil Hendricks’ Australian XV: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Henry Speight, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Matt Gibbon.
Warren Fortune’s New Zealand XV: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Mitch Brown, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Jan de Koning’s South African XV: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
* So who would win?
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