Team of the Week: Shades of blue
We have various shades of blue in our famous weekly selection – the Waratahs, Bulls, Blues and Rebels all well represented.
The Waratahs top the list in our starting XV, with four players starting.
The Bulls (three), Blues, Rebels and not so blue Chiefs (two each) are next best.
The Hurricanes and Lions, with one each, make up the numbers.
Another team with plenty of blue in their playing kit, the Brumbies, top our back-up squad.
There are five Brumbies bubbling under, with the Highlanders (three), Stormers, Rebels and Chiefs (two each) next best, while the Blues with one player also get a look-in.
Only two players return from last week – fullback Israel Folau (Waratahs) and flank Jaco Kriel (Lions).
Team of the Week – Round Three:
15 – Israel Folau (Waratahs):
His reputation as a devastating finisher is growing by the week. Certainly a good buy for the Waratahs and Australia.
Bubbling under: Ben Smith (Highlanders)
14 – Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs):
May not be the most consistent, but when he is on form he is a sight to behold.
Bubbling under: Kobus van Wyk (Stormers)
13 – Conrad Smith (Hurricanes):
Easily won his head-to-head battle with Springbok captain Jean de Villiers.
Bubbling under: Tamati Ellison (Rebels)
12 – Kurtley Beale (Waratahs):
His ability as a play-maker means he is now the perfect man to be outside Bernard Foley.
Bubbling under: Damian de Allende (Stormers)
11 – Bjorn Basson (Bulls):
It may not be everybody's cup of tea, but when it comes to executing a gameplan that works for his team there is none better than Basson. And he's not half bad with ball in hand either – should be used more often.
Bubbling under: Robbie Coleman (Brumbies)
10 – Jacques-Louis Potgieter (Bulls):
Showed the value of a quality flyhalf that can execute the game plan.
Bubbling under: Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders)
9 – Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs):
For any backline to function there needs to be a scrumhalf with a crisp service and good decision-making ability.
Bubbling under: Nic White (Brumbies)
8 – Scott Higginbotham (Rebels):
Lead from the front, including scoring the final try to seal the win.
Bubbling under: Liam Messam (Chiefs)
7 – Jacques du Plessis (Bulls):
Bulls needed someone to throw his body around and he did so with reckless abandon.
Bubbling under: David Pocock (Brumbies)
6 – Jaco Kriel (Lions):
He is a 100-km/h player if ever there was one.
Bubbling under: Steven Luatua (Blues)
5 – Tom Donnelly (Blues):
His physical presence and work on defence is what makes him so valuable to the Blues.
Bubbling under: Sam Carter (Brumbies)
4 – Hugh Pyle (Rebels):
He is so much more than just a physical specimen. His huge workrate is where his real value is.
Bubbling under: Scott Fardy (Brumbies)
3 – Charlie Faumuina (Blues):
He did so much more than just his work in the set pieces.
Bubbling under: Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs)
2 – Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs):
His energy made a huge contribution to a convincing win.
Bubbling under: Liam Coltman (Highlanders)
1 – Benn Robinson (Waratahs):
Slowly working his way back to the kind of form that can earn him a Wallaby starting spot.
Bubbling under: Toby Smith (Rebels)
Our individual selections!
Michael de Vries XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 David Pocock, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio.
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Darryn Pollock XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Frank Halai, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Nic White, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Messam, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Tom Donnelly, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Toby Smith.
Matthew Riches XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter , 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Fourie , 5 Sam Carter, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames.
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Team of the Week – Round Two: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Lachie Turner (Reds), 13 Robbie Fruean (Chiefs), 12 Frances Saili (Blues), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Marnitz Boshoff (Lions), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Nasi Manu (Highlanders), 7 Pieter Labuschagne (Cheetahs), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Sam Whitelock (Crusaders), 3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).
Team of the Week – Round One: 15 SP Marais (Sharks), 14 Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs), 13 Paul Jordaan (Sharks), 12 Frans Steyn (Sharks), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Marnitz Boshoff (Lions), 9 Cobus Reinach (Sharks), 8 Ryan Kankowski (Sharks), 7 Derick Minnie (Lions), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Sharks), 4 Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).