Sat 25 Jun 2022 | 09:00

URC Team of the Tournament

URC Team of the Tournament
Sat 25 Jun 2022 | 09:00
URC Team of the Tournament
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OPINION: Now that the dust has settled and we had time to reflect on the inaugural United Rugby Championship season, the @rugby365com selectors have penned their Team of the Tournament.

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It was not easy, as the season was interrupted by a couple of COVID breaks.

But we feel we have rewarded the most consistent performers over 18 rounds of league action and four rounds of knock-out rugby.

The two teams in the Final – the champion Stormers and runner-up Bulls – dominate our team.

There are seven Stormers in our starting XV and four Bulls. Ulster, Leinster, Munster and Sharks (one each) make up the numbers.

There is more reward for the men from Pretoria in our backup squad, with five Bulls bubbling under. Ulster (three), Stormers, Leinster (two each), Lions and Sharks (one each) complete the backup squad.

* (Continue below …)

Team of the Tournament

15 – Warrick Gelant (Stormers)
It is his creative play that won us over, especially a couple of match-winning tries he set up.
Bubbling under: Canan Moodie (Bulls)

14 – Madosh Tambwe (Bulls)
A finisher of note and a man that would have been in the Springbok frame if he had South African citizenship.
Bubbling under: Seabelo Senatla (Stormers)

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13 – James Hume (Ulster)
A mainstay in the Ulster backline, he featured near the top 10 in all attacking categories – carries, clean breaks, defenders beaten and metres gained.
Bubbling under: Cornel Hendricks (Bulls)

12 – Damian Willemse (Stormers)
He has finally found his best position, a creative inside centre – after several seasons of being shunted between flyhalf and fullback.
Bubbling under: Burger Odendaal (Lions)

11 – Leolin Zas (Stormers)
Another player who found his mojo as the Stormers gained form and finally made his critics eat their words.
Bubbling under: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls)

10 – Manie Libbok (Stormers)
Unwanted in Pretoria and Durban, he found a coach who finally backed him and repaid John Dobson with interest.
Bubbling under: Ross Byrne (Leinster)

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9 – Izak Burger (Bulls)
His inclusion in the starting XV ahead of Springbok Embrose Papier was at the heart of the Bulls victory march into the Final.
Bubbling under: John Cooney (Ulster)

8 – Evan Roos (Stormers )
The man of the moment, scooping up all the awards and accolades – with good reason.
Bubbling under: Elrigh Louw (Bulls)

7 – Josh van der Flier (Leinster)
He is going to be massive for Ireland in New Zealand next month. His work rate is from the top shelve.
Bubbling under: Nick Timoney (Ulster)

6 – Deon Fourie (Stormers)
He pushed the envelope at the breakdown and some would say he got away with a lot. However, there is no denying his value to the Stormers title-winning run.
Bubbling under: Marcell Coetzee (Bulls)

5 – Ruan Nortje (Bulls)
Another player with an enormous work rate and a bright future.
Bubbling under: James Ryan (Leinster)

4 – Jean Kleyn (Munster)
Having learnt his trade in the South African school of hard knocks, he put in some big, physical shifts for the Irish province.
Bubbling under: Walt Steenkamp (Bulls)

3 – Thomas du Toit (Sharks)
The leadership role suited his game and got his right back into the Springbok mix.
Bubbling under: Frans Malherbe (Stormers)

2 – Johan Grobbelaar (Bulls)
The biggest injustice is his absence from the Springbok squad.
Bubbling under: Rob Herring (Ulster)

1 – Steven Kitshoff (Stormers)
Another front row forward who thrives with the captaincy armband driving him on.
Bubbling under: Retshegofaditswe Nché (Sharks)

Our individual selections

Leezil Hendricks XV: 15 Warrick Gelant (Stormers), 14 Madosh Tambwe (Bulls), 13 Cornel Hendricks (Bulls), 12 Burger Odendaal (Lions), 11 Leolin Zas (Stormers), 10 Manie Libbok (Stormers), 9 Izak Burger (Bulls), 8 Evan Roos (Stormers ), 7 Josh van der Flier (Leinster), 6 Deon Fourie (Stormers), 5 Ruan Nortje (Bulls), 4 Jean Kleyn (Munster), 3 Thomas du Toit (Sharks), 2 Johan Grobbelaar (Bulls), 1 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).

Warren Fortune XV: 15 Warrick Gelant (Stormers), 14 Seabelo Senatla (Stormers), 13 James Hume (Ulster), 12 Damian Willemse (Stormers), 11 Leolin Zas (Stormers), 10 Manie Libbok (Stormers), 9 John Cooney (Ulster), 8 Evan Roos (Stormers), 7 Nick Timoney (Ulster), 6 Deon Fourie (Stormers), 5 Ruan Nortje (Bulls), 4 Jean Kleyn (Munster), 3 Thomas du Toit (Sharks), 2 Johan Grobbelaar (Bulls), 1 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Warrick Gelant (Stormers), 14 Madosh Tambwe (Bulls), 13 James Hume (Ulster), 12 Damian Willemse (Stormers), 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls), 10 Manie Libbok (Stormers), 9 Craig Casey (Munster), 8 Elrigh Louw (Bulls), 7 Josh van der Flier (Leinster), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Bulls), 5 Ruan Nortje (Bulls), 4 Jean Kleyn (Munster), 3 Thomas Du Toit (Sharks), 2 Johan Grobbelaar (Bulls), 1 Retshegofaditswe Nché (Sharks).

@rugby365com

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