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Team of the Tournament: One moment

In a World Cup year the Rugby Championship is shrunk to just one fixture between each nation, add to that, coaches are testing out various combinations leading up to the World cup. This allows an extremely short window for players to prove to a panel of pundits if they are worthy of selection in the Team of the Tournament.
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A prime example of this is the selection of Lima Sopoaga at No.10 while Juan Martin Hernandez is bubbling under.
 
Some players made the most of the three Tests and displayed true brilliance while they battled out for the Rugby Championship honours.
 
Players such as Jesse Kriel, Israel Folau, Charles Piutau, David Pocock and Dane Coles featured regularly in selection, be it starting or in the reserves. 
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Two players that owned their positions were Charles Piutau and Jesse Kriel who are the only names to feature in the first two Team of the Weeks, as well as the Team of the Tournament.
 
Other players that were no-brainers for the panel were Adam Ahsley-Cooper and Lodewyk de Jager.
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A surprise selection was Los Pumas scrumhalf Tomás Cubelli who pipped the world's best Aaron Smith who could only find a place on the splinters for the tournament team.
 
It seems strange that a team who came last and didn't win one game in the Championship occupy both midfield spots – positions that are key on attack and defence for all outfits. Damien de Allende and Jesse Kriel somehow performed extremely well even though they couldn't win a game. Matt Giteau fans might have something to say about that. 
 
Team of the Tournament: Rugby Championship:
 
15 – Israel Folau (Australia): Clearly the dominant fullback in the competition. His aerial ability is enormous and is such a lethal runner as he beats defenders at will.
Bubbling under: Willie le roux (South Africa)
 
14 – Adam Ashley-Cooper (Australia): Silenced his critics who said he lacked x-factor. The veteran Wallaby showed his class on the wing with superb finishes to tries including a crucial grubber-collect against the All Blacks. 
Bubbling under: Ben Smith (New Zealand)
 
13 – Jesse Kriel (South Africa): The youngster proved himself against the best and claims this position ahead of big names such as Tevita Kuridrani and Conrad Smith.
Bubbling under: Conrad Smith (New Zealand)
 
12 – Damian de Allende (South Africa): A marked-man against all teams – De Allende was a destructive ball-carrier never going down on the first tackle while his passing finesse allowed him to release his outside backs. One to watch for the World Cup.
Bubbling under: Matt Giteau (Australia)
 
11 – Charles Piutau (New Zealand): The two games he played he was solid. Great under the high-ball, a powerful left-boot and a side-step of note. He scooped a Man-of-the-match performance against the Springboks. 
Bubbling under: Juan Imhoff (Argentina)
 
10 – Lima Sopoaga (New Zealand): Clearly nobody wanted to claim this position except Hernandez and Sopoaga. Both only playing one game in the Championship but both having blinders. Sopoaga defeating the Springboks at Ellis Park as he dictated proceedings allows him to crack the honours over Hernandez. 
Bubbling under: Juan Martin Hernández (Argentina)
 
9 – Tomás Cubelli (Argentina): Would you have thought he outplayed the worlds best scrumhalf Aaron Smith? Cubelli – a livewire scrumhalf – gave crisp service in all games and put in a mountain of work on defence including plenty of tackles. His hard-work has even earned him a Brumbies contract for next season.  
Bubbling under: Aaron Smith (New Zealand)
 
8 – David Pocock (Australia): Proved there is room for himself and Hooper and he did not disappoint at No.8. Getting through truck-loads of work, Pocock was instrumental at the breakdown and a destructive ball-carrier. 
Bubbling under: Kieran Read (New Zealand)
 
7 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand): Ages like a fine wine – McCaw shutdown the publics thoughts of Sam Cane deserving his jersey with monster performances and a never-say-die attitude. Plus he orchestrated that magic try at Ellis Park to beat the Boks.
Bubbling under: Michael Hooper (Australia)
 
6 – Heinrich Brussow (South Africa): Slotted in after a four year absence from Test rugby as if he had never left, doing what he does best making tackles and turning over possession. Fardy unlucky to miss out here. 
Bubbling under: Scott Fardy (Australia)
 
5 – Lodewyk de Jager (South Africa): What a return to the Springboks. Big hits, running the show in the line-outs in the abs cense of Matfield, and scoring a try against the Pumas. 
Bubbling under: Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)
 
4 – Dean Mumm (Australia):  A level-headed seasoned campaigner that fits the Wallaby game plan. Mumm brought a calmness about the Australians and added to the physicality the Wallabies needed up-front. 
Bubbling under: Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)
 
3 – Sekope Kepu (Australia): A robust tighthead that carries well and cleans rucks like a flank. Kepu was strong in the scrums and rewarded for his fine tournament with a brilliant solo effort try against the All Blacks 
Bubbling under: Jannie du Plessis (South Africa)
 
2 – Dane Coles (New Zealand): A dynamic hooker – Coles is starting to mould into that No.2 jersey with strong performances in the Rugby Championship. He is slicing gaps regularly and showing a clean pair of heels gaining metres for the All Blacks.
Bubbling under: Agustín Creevy (Argentina)
 
1 – Marcos Ayerza (Argentina): The scrum doctor for the Pumas – Ayerza tore apart Vincent Koch in the Bok game winning countless penalties. He knows the dark arts of scrummaging. 
Bubbling under: Scott Sio(Australia)
 
Our individual selections!
 
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Juan Martin Hernández, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Scott Sio.
 
Andrew Duncan XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damien de Allende, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 David Pocock, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
 
Warren Fortune XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Damian De Allende, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Luke Romano, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
 
Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
 
Michael de Vries XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 David Pocock, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
 
Previous selections:
 
Team of the Week – Rugby Championship, Round Two: 15 Santiago Cordero (Argentina), 14 Ben Smith (New Zealand), 13 Jesse Kriel (South Africa), 12 Damian de Allende (South Africa), 11 Charles Piutau (New Zealand), 10 Daniel Carter (New Zealand), 9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 David Pocock (Australia), 6 Heinrich Brussow (South Africa), 5 Lodewyk de Jager (South Africa), 4 Will Skelton (Australia), 3 Jannie du Plessis (South Africa), 2 Dane Coles (New Zealand), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa).
 
Team of the Week – Rugby Championship, Round One: 15 Israel Folau (Australia), 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Australia), 13 Jesse Kriel (South Africa), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand), 11 Charles Piutau (New Zealand), 10 Lima Sopoaga (New Zealand), 9 TJ Perenara (New Zealand), 8 Schalk Burger (South Africa), 7 Richie McCaw (New Zealand), 6 Scott Fardy (Australia), 5 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Jannie du Plessis (South Africa), 2 Agustin Creevy (Argentina), 1 Tony Woodcock (New Zealand).

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