Team of the Month: Pure Emerald
OPINION: It has been an interesting month, with some intriguing results – which is reflected in @rugby365‘s famous selection.
Ireland produced a clean sweep, including that famous with over New Zealand, and is rewarded with Seven players in our first-choice selection.
Scotland may not have been as consistent, but we still reserved three places for them.
France (two), New Zealand, South Africa and England (one each) make up the numbers.
There is further reward for Ireland in our back-up squad, with four players bubbling under – the same as South Africa.
New Zealand (three), England (two), Australia and Argentina (one each) make up the numbers.
Team of the Month – November:
15 – Stuart Hogg (Scotland):
Consistency personified, on attack and defence. Outstanding every time he ran out in Scotland colours.
Bubbling under: Damian McKenzie (New Zealand)
14 – Ben Smith (New Zealand):
Given New Zealand’s boundless talent on the wing, maybe his class would be better utilised at fullback.
Bubbling under: Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa)
13 – Huw Jones (Scotland):
The creative spark in the Scottish backline. Perhaps his standout performance was against South Africa.
Bubbling under: Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
12 – Gaël Fickou (France):
The one player that can produce those moments of magic the French were so famous for.
Bubbling under: Bundee Aki (Ireland)
11 – Jacob Stockdale (Ireland):
A constant threat – averaging almost 10 metres per run. He also scored the match-winner against the All Blacks to secure a historic win in Dublin.
Bubbling under: Johnny May (England)
10 – Jonny Sexton (Ireland):
There is a good reason he was named World Rugby Player of the Year. Will be key to Ireland’s prospects at the World Cup next year.
Bubbling under: Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
9 – Greig Laidlaw (Scotland):
Not only does he do the basics well, but his kicking out of hand and at goal was immaculate.
Bubbling under: Will Genia (Australia)
8 – Christiaan Stander (Ireland):
He was Ireland’s go-to man for front football throughout the month and played a vital role in Ireland’s November clean sweep.
Bubbling under: Duane Vermeulen (South Africa)
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa):
Don’t be fooled by the number. As a South African he is judged as a blindside flank and was one of the Springboks’ most productive forwards.
Bubbling under: Mark Wilson (England)
6 – Peter O’Mahoney (Ireland):
Established himself as the premier No.6, especially with the masterclass in the win over the All Blacks.
Bubbling under: Pablo Matera (Argentina)
5 – James Ryan (Ireland):
The 22-year-old was sublime in Ireland’s win over the All Blacks in November.
Bubbling under: Franco Mostert (South Africa)
4 – Devin Toner (Ireland):
Was immense against the All Blacks, with his line-out exploits invaluable to the Irish cause.
Bubbling under: Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)
3 – Kyle Sinckler (England):
Has come along in leaps and bounds and was a colossus for the much-improved English against Australia.
Bubbling under: Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
2 – Guilhem Guirado (France):
The most consistent of all the hookers – beating off the challenges of Codie Taylor, Rory Best and Malcolm Marx.
Bubbling under: Rory Best (Ireland)
1 – Cian Healy (Ireland):
A crucial member of a very impressive Irish tight five, with solid set pieces and an impressive workrate.
Bubbling under: Steven Kitshoff (South Africa)
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Jonny Sexton, 9 Will Genia, 8 Christiaan Stander, 7 Peter O’Mahoney, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Leezil Hendricks XV: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Johnny May, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Christiaan Stander, 7 Mark Wilson, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Brodie Retallick , 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Jonny Sexton, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Christiaan Stander, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Peter O’Mahoney, 5 James Ryan, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Cian Healy.