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Team of the Week: Lone Bok

Australia and New Zealand will contest the Final on Saturday, so it makes sense that they dominate our selection with seven All Blacks and five Wallabies in our starting side.

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The numbers were made up by two Pumas and the only Bok – Francois Louw who finds himself in a loose trio made up of three openside flanks alongside Richie McCaw and David Pocock.

Things were more evenly spread in the 'Bubbling Under' side which features five Springboks, four Wallabies, three All Blacks and three Pumas.

Here is our team:

15 Ben Smith (New Zealand)

He has no peer at the moment and was picked by every member of our panel, another masterful display on attack and defence.

Bubbling under: Joaquin Tuculet (Argentina)

14 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Australia)Team of the Week: Lone Bok

Not much arguing with a hat-trick in a World Cup semifinal, he has been one of the most consistent performers for the Wallabies for some time.

Bubbling under: Nehe Milner-Skudder (New Zealand)

13 Tevita Kuridrani (Australia)

Another powerful display from the outside centre who gets his big frame over the gainline and also makes some big hits in midfield.

Bubbling under: Marcelo Bosch (Argentina)

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12 Ma'a Nonu (New Zealand)

He will surely go down as one of the greats when he decides to call it a day. A recent Test centurion but possibly in the best form of his career.

Bubbling under: Juan Martin Hernandez (Argentina)

11 Drew Mitchell (Australia)

The saying goes that you can't buy experience, and he showed the value of that to set up the decisive try at the death. To think that he was not eligible for selection last year.

Bubbling under: Julian Savea (New Zealand)

10 Dan Carter (New Zealand)

Held his nerve incredibly well under pressure to book his place in what will be his first World Cup Final, still as sharp as ever.

Bubbling under: Bernard Foley (Australia)

9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand)

His speed, urgency and decision-making help make this All Black team tick, his bullet-pass certainly does not hurt either.

Bubbling under: Fourie du Preez (South Africa)

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8 David Pocock (Australia)

Has been one of the stand-out performers of this World Cup, and the semifinal was no different as he caused all sorts of headaches for the Pumas on the floor to end bloodied but unbowed once again.

Bubbling under: Duane Vermeulen (South Africa)

7 Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

The record-breaking All Blacks skipper led from the front as is expected and will have a chance to make more history in what will be his last Test match.

Bubbling under: Michael Hooper (Australia)

6 Francois Louw (South Africa)

A menace in the tackle for the All Blacks in what was a staggering defensive effort from the Boks. 

Bubbling under: Scott Fardy (Australia)

5 Rob Simmons (Australia)

Apart from his early gifted intercept try he worked hard throughout and proved a thorn in the Pumas side.

Bubbling under: Sam Whitelock (New Zealand)

4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)Team of the Week: Lone Bok

Is there anything he can't do? Powerful in the tight phases, runs like a loose forward and passes like an inside back, the complete rugby player.

Bubbling under: Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)

3 Ramiro Herrera (Argentina)

The Pumas scrum he anchored was impressive, but his work-rate around the park really stood out as he took the fight to the Wallabies in the loose as well. 

Bubbling under: Frans Malherbe (South Africa)

2 Dane Coles (New Zealand)

Managed to hit his line-out jumpers regularly and provided a threat in the wide areas as well.

Bubbling under: Stephen Moore (Australia)

1 Marcos Ayerza (Argentina)

The veteran loosehead was inspirational once again as the Pumas scrum stamped their authority on the Wallabies.

Bubbling under: Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa)

Our individual selections: 

Andrew Howitt XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 David Pocock, 7 Richie Mccaw, 6 Francois Louw,  5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 David Pocock, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Warren Fortune XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 David Pocock, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 David Pocock, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Previous selections:

Team of the Week – World Cup, Week Five: 15 Ben Smith (New Zealand), 14 Santiago Cordero (Argentina), 13 Tevita Kuridrani (Australia), 12 Ma'a Nonu (New Zealand), 11 Julian Savea (New Zealand), 10 Dan Carter (New Zealand), 9 Fourie du Preez (South Africa), 8 Duane Vermeulen (South Africa), 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (Argentina), 6 Dan Lydiate (Wales), 5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), 3 WP Nel (Scotland), 2 Agustin Creevy (Argentina), 1 Marcos Ayerza (Argentina).

Team of the Week – World Cup, Week Four: 15 Scott Spedding (France), 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder (New Zealand), 13 Conrad Smith (New Zealand), 12 Rey Lee-Lo (Samoa), 11 Horacio Agulla (Argentina), 10 Dan Carter (New Zealand), 9 Conor Murray (Ireland), 8 David Pocock (Australia), 7 Sean O'Brien (Ireland), 6 Pablo Matera (Argentina), 5 Alun Wyn-Jones (Wales), 4 Richie Gray (Scotland), 3 Willem Nel (Scotland), 2 Rory Best (Ireland), 1 Scott Sio (Australia).

Team of the Week – World Cup, Week Three: 15 Ayumu Goromaru (Japan), 14 Santiago Cordero (Argentina), 13 Keith Earls (Ireland), 12 Wesley Fofana (France), 11 DTH van der Merwe (Canada), 10 Bernard Foley (Australia), 9 Fourie du Preez (South Africa), 8 David Pocock (Australia), 7 Mamuka Gorgodze (Georgia), 6 Michael Leitch (Japan), 5 Lodewyk de Jager (South Africa), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Sekope Kepu (Australia), 2 Agustín Creevy (Argentina), 1 Scott Sio (Australia).

Team of the Week – World Cup, Week Two: 15 Liam Williams (Wales), 14 JP Pietersen (South Africa), 13  Mark Bennett (Scotland), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand), 11 DTH van der Merwe (Canada), 10 Dan Biggar (Wales), 9 Fourie du Preez (South Africa), 8 David Pocock (Australia), 7 Schalk Burger (South Africa), 6 Ben McCalman (Australia), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Charlie Faumuina (New Zealand), 2 Augustin Creevy (Argentina),  1- Scott Sio (Australia).

Team of the Week – World Cup, Week One: 15 Ayumu Goromaru (Japan),  14 David Kearney (Ireland),  13 Marcelo Bosch (Argentina),  12 Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand),  11 Nemani Nadolo (Fiji),  10 Jonathan Sexton (Ireland),  9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand),  8 Mamuka Gorgodze (Georgia),  7 Michael Broadhurst (Japan),  6 Michael Leitch (Japan),  5 Konstantine Mikautadze (Georgia),  4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand),  3 Rabah Slimani (France),  2 Agustín Creevy (Argentina),  1 Ben Arous (France).

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