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Team of the Week: Come in No.1

New Zealand, who is almost a full seven points ahead of the next best on the world rankings, provide 11 members of our first Rugby Championship Team of the Week for 2016.


And deservedly so, given the record 34-point (42-8) drubbing they handed down to Australia in Sydney at the weekend.

Argentina (three) and South Africa (one) make up the numbers after the Springboks' come-from-behind 30-23 win in Nelspruit at the weekend.

There is plenty more reward for the Pumas in our backup squad.Team of the Week: Come in No.1

Despite the loss, eight Argentineans are 'bubbling under', followed by four Springboks, three All Blacks and a solitary Wallaby.

Team of the Week – Rugby Championship, Week One:

15 – Israel Dagg (New Zealand):

He had a field day in a dominant team, but such was his class he would have stood out in a losing cause.

Bubbling under: Johan Goosen (South Africa)


14 – Ruan Combrinck (South Africa):

One of the few Springboks who did not harm his reputation.

Bubbling under: Santiago Cordero (Argentina)

13 – Matias Orlando (Argentina):

Caused the Bok defence all kinds of problems and his defence was not too shabby either.

Bubbling under: Malakai Fekitoa (New Zealand)

12 – Ryan Crotty (New Zealand):

His injury-enforced absence from this week's return Test against the Wallabies may leave the All Black selectors with a midfield headache.

Bubbling under: Juan Martin Hernández (Argentina)

11 – Waisake Naholo (New Zealand):

Australia's defence may not have been the most impressive, but he would have been a handful for even the most resistant of defensive lines.

Bubbling under: Manuel Montero (Argentina)


10 – Beauden Barrett (New Zealand):

Simply the best … in the world.

Bubbling under: Nicolas Sanchez (Argentina)

9 – Aaron Smith (New Zealand):

Like his All Black halfback partner, Barrett, there is a gulf between him and the next best player in his position.

Bubbling under: Francois de Klerk (South Africa)

8 – Kieran Read (New Zealand):

The way he plays he makes it seems so simple and casual. It is called CLASS!

Bubbling under: Facundo Isa (Argentina)

7 – Sam Cane (New Zealand):

If there was still any doubt about him replacing Richie McCaw, that has been put to bed.

Bubbling under: Teboho Mohoje (South Africa)

6 – Jerome Kaino (New Zealand):

Like a good red wine he has matured into a quality player – with his form on a sharp upward curve.

Bubbling under: Pablo Matera (Argentina)

5 – Sam Whitelock (New Zealand):

Not only is he a rock on defence and does yeoman work in the tight exchanges, but he has some sublime skill as well.

Bubbling under: Tomas Lavanini (Argentina)

4 – Brodie Retallick (New Zealand):Team of the Week: Come in No.1

Goes about his work in an efficient manner and without fanfare.

Bubbling under: Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)

3 – Ramiro Herrera (Argentina):

He does so much more than just scrumming, although that aspect of his game can do with some work.

Bubbling under: Owen Franks (New Zealand)

2 – Dane Coles (New Zealand):

Played almost the full 80 minutes with a damaged rib, after coming into the squad as a late injury6 replacement. It's called playing through the injury barrier.

Bubbling under: Agustin Creevy (Argentina)

1 – Francisco Chaparro (Argentina):

In the scrums, he was under pressure, but his workrate and contribution in all other aspects of the game were superior.

Bubbling under: Scott Sio (Australia)

Our Individual selections:

Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Waisake Naholo,  10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Pablo Matera,  5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Scott Sio.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Francisco Chaparro.


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