Team of the Week: Different shades
Team of the Week: Different shadesSHARE
Selecting a team from 10 internationals, some games not so 'international', is always a tough task.
However, our 'selectors' put on their thinking caps and still managed to produce our famous weekly selection without too much fuss.
It is an interesting collection which mostly favours the winning teams, although France (three) have more than New Zealand (two) – who beat them in Paris at the weekend.
In the end South Africa's brutal victory over Wales in Cardiff saw the Springboks rewarded with four players in our starting XV. France and Australia (three each) followed next, with New Zealand, England (two each) and Italy (making up the numbers).
England (four) and New Zealand (three) received further award in our back-up squad – which also sees France, South Africa, Italy (two) each), Wales and Ireland (one each) represented.
No players return from last week.
Team of the Week – November, Round Two:
15 – Brice Dulin (France):
Showed some fine attacking form – including two clean breaks and five defenders beaten.
Bubbling under: Mike Brown (England)
14 – Cory Jane (New Zealand):
Not bad given the lack of game time he's had in the build-up to the year-end tour. Also didn't miss any tackles.
Bubbling under: Chris Ashton (England)
13 – Tevita Kuridrani (Australia):
He seems to have solved the Wallabies problems at outside centre and as a result Adam Ashley-Cooper can play on the wing, where he also looks more comfortable.
Bubbling under: Florian Fritz (France)
12 – Jean de Villiers (South Africa):
He will probably never convince all his detractors, but currently in the form of his life.
Bubbling under: Wesley Fofana (France):
11 – Nick Cummins (Australia):
He has developed into one of the game's most lethal finishers and is now guaranteed a regular starting spot. He scored two crucial tries.
Bubbling under: Bryan Habana (South Africa)
10 – Quade Cooper (Australia):
He certainly injected himself more into the game than in recent Tests.
Bubbling under: Dan Carter (New Zealand)
9 – Fourie du Preez (South Africa):
Pure class, especially that deft-touch with the left foot that set up the game-breaking try in the second half.
Bubbling under: Aaron Smith (New Zealand)
8 – Kieran Read (New Zealand):
He just gets through so much work, but it is in the crucial moments that he often makes the big hits.
Bubbling under: Sergio Parisse (Italy)
7 – Willem Alberts (South Africa):
It is not just his physicality and work on defence, but he also adds value in the line-outs, including a crucial steal.
Bubbling under: Sam Warburton (Wales)
6 – Thierry Dusautoir (France):
He imposed himself on the game at the breakdown and did not slip a single tackle.
Bubbling under: Tom Wood (England)
5 – Courtney Lawes (England):
Had his most influential game of the year.
Bubbling under: Sam Whitelock (New Zealand)
4 – Joe Launchbury (England):
His physicality and enormous workrate on defence set him apart from the rest. He did not miss a single tackle.
Bubbling under: Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)
3 – Nicolas Mas (France):
His workrate may not be the best and seldom makes the hour mark, but the 'old man' made the All Black props suffer.
Bubbling under: Martin Castrogiovanni (Italy)
2 – Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa):
Showed that he is so much more than just a brute – with a clean break, a defender beaten and two fine off-loads.
Bubbling under: Dylan Hartley (England)
1 – Marcos Ayerza (Argentina):
He did well in the basics and was one of his team's most effective defenders – recording one of the highest tackle counts in the game, one of the few props who went into double figures.
Bubbling under: Jack McGrath (Ireland)
Our individual selections:
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 George North, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Jack McGrath.
Michael de Vries XV: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Quintin van Jaarsveld XV: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 James Slipper.
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Team of the Week – November, Round One: 15 Mike Brown (England), 14 Charles Piutau (New Zealand), 13 Ben Smith (New Zealand), 12 Francis Saili (New Zealand), 11 Frank Halai (New Zealand), 10 Daniel Carter (New Zealand), 9 Fumiaki Tanaka (Japan), 8 Billy Vunipola (England), 7 Chris Robshaw (England), 6 Tom Wood (England), 5 James Horwill (Australia), 4 Jeremy Thrush (New Zealand), 3 Dan Cole (England), 2 Shota Horie (Japan), 1 Mako Vunipola (England).