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Team of the Week: South's superior

The Southern Hemisphere's giants won three of their four encounters with their Northern Hemisphere rivals at the weekend.

Wales's 40-6 demolition of the hapless Argentina was the only triumph for a Six Nations team against a Rugby Championship (SANZAR) opponent.

And these results are reflected in our famous weekly selection.

New Zealand and Australia provide the bulk of our starting XV with five players each, after they beat England and Ireland respectively.

South African, following their impressive shut-out of Scotland, provide three players of our first-choice squad – while Wales and England make up the numbers with one each.

The Springboks are further rewarded for their fine performance in our back-up squad with six members 'bubbling under'.

Australia, France, England (two each), New Zealand, Ireland and Tonga (one each) make up the numbers.

Three players return from last week – centre Jean de Villiers (South Africa), flyhalf Quade Cooper (Australia) and No.8 Kieran Read (New Zealand).

Team of the Week – November, Round Three:

15 – Willie le Roux (South Africa):

There were two sublime moments of magic, but what won our vote was the vision he showed in setting up JP Pietersen's try.

Bubbling under: Israel Folau (Australia)

14 – Charles Piutau (New Zealand):

Won a crucial penalty turnover and produced a number of promising and incisive runs.

Bubbling under: JP Pietersen (South Africa)

13 – Ben Smith (New Zealand):

Was very active on attack and making great strides as an outside centre, even though he is not the finished article yet.

Bubbling under: Gaël Fickou (France)

12 – Jean de Villiers (South Africa):

Amazing that he still has so many critics, given the form he is in.

Bubbling under: Matt Toomua (Australia)

11 – Julian Savea (New Zealand):

His defence may have been below par (three missed tackles), but it was on attack where he was at his most destructive.

Bubbling under: Fergus McFadden (Ireland)

10 – Quade Cooper (Australia):

He is repaying the faith shown in him by Ewen McKenzie.

Bubbling under: Pat Lambie (South Africa)

9 – Mike Phillips (Wales):

Not the most consistent player, but when he is on form he can be pretty devastating.

Bubbling under: Fourie du Preez (South Africa)

8 – Kieran Read (New Zealand):

Simply the best … player in the world!

Bubbling under: Duane Vermeulen (South Africa)

7 – Michael Hooper (Australia):

Received a yellow card and missed a few tackles, but still the most influential openside flank at the weekend.

Bubbling under: Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

6 – Francois Louw (South Africa);

Made a real nuisance of himself at the breakdown, won a line-out and had a few decent carries. However, it was on defence where he was most effective.

Bubbling under: Tom Wood (England)

5 – Sam Whitelock (New Zealand):

Anytime a lock makes 19 tackles, take five line-outs and touch the ball seven times in open play you can write his name down for our team.

Bubbling under: Flip van der Merwe (South Africa)

4 – Rob Simmons (Australia):

He provided the physical presence that the Wallabies needed against the Irish bruisers.

Bubbling under: Tukulua Lokotui (Tonga)

3 – Dan Cole (England):

Probably not the most mobile prop, but does the basics so well.

Bubbling under: Nicolas Mas (France)

2 – Stephen Moore (Australia):

Had one of his better days at the office and the Wallabies reaped the rewards.

Bubbling under: Adriaan Strauss (South Africa)

1 – James Slipper (Australia):

You would not expect to see an Aussie prop here, but it was his work outside the scrums that saw him edge Cian Healy, Marcos Ayerza and Joe Marler.

Bubbling under: Joe Marler (England)

Our individual selections:

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Charles Piutau, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Tukulua Lokotui, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Cian Healy.

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Quintin van Jaarsveld XV: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 George North, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Fergus McFadden, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Charles Piutau, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Joe Marler.

Previous selection:

Team of the Week – November, Round Two: 15 Brice Dulin (France), 14 Cory Jane (New Zealand), 13 Tevita Kuridrani (Australia), 12 Jean de Villiers (South Africa), 11 Nick Cummins (Australia), 10 Quade Cooper (Australia), 9 Fourie du Preez (South Africa), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 Willem Alberts (South Africa), 6 Thierry Dusautoir (France), 5 Courtney Lawes (England), 4 Joe Launchbury (England), 3 Nicolas Mas (France), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), 1 Marcos Ayerza (Argentina).

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).


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