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Team of the Week: No Gray areas

It was an interesting weekend on the international stage and rugby365's famous weekly selection reflects the dramatic turnaround from last week.

While South Africa and France dominate our starting XV, following their impressive victories against England and Australia respectively, the most noteworthy is the two Gray bothers – Richie and Jonny.

It is a first for our Team of the Week, but a joyful selection – as the two were central to a Scotland team that came close to an upset against the world's top-ranked side.

There are four South Africans and four Frenchmen in our starting XV, with Scotland's Gray brothers making it a round 10.

The numbers are made up by New Zealand, Italy, Fiji, England and  Argentina (one each).

There is further reward for the Springboks in our back-up squad, four more getting spots on our bubbling under seats.

England (three), France and Scotland (two each) are next best – with Wales, Italy, New Zealand and Ireland making up the numbers.

Only two players return from last week – lock Richie Gray (Scotland) and prop Marcos Ayerza (Argentina).

In keeping with our ever-expanding reporting on all things rugby, we also bring you a few other awards.

Try of the week: Young Teddy Thomas is fast making name for himself, scoring a hat-trick on debut against Fiji and just to confirm that was no fluke he mesmerised the Australian defence to score a try and help set his country on course to a great win in Paris. (See the video clip below!)

Team of the week: France. When they play like this they are a delight to watch.

Moment of the week: Greig Laidlaw's missed penalty against New Zealand, about 10 minutes from time, which proved to be crucial.

Villain of the week: This one goes to Fijian prop Campese Ma'afu, who was yellow-carded twice (the second becoming a red card) in a game his team lost by just four points (13-17). Fiji played with 14 men for almost 40 minutes, including the last 28.

Team of the Week – November, Round Two:

15 – Willie le Roux (South Africa):

This was an interesting debate, a vigorous one at that. In the end Le Roux won the day because of his role in the lead-up to the Cobus Reinach try. But it was a close call.

Bubbling under: Mike Brown (England)

14 – Julian Savea (New Zealand):

The impact he made after he came on played a huge role in saving the All Blacks' bacon.

Bubbling under: Yoann Huget (France)

13 – Michele Campagnaro (Italy):

It was one of those Monday mornings – our panel struggled to agree. In the end Campagnaro beat off the challenge of Jan Serfontein because he made all his tackles.

Bubbling under: Jan Serfontein (South Africa)

12 – Nemani Nadolo (Fiji):

He may not be the fastest guy around, but his power and reading of the game saw him cause havoc and almost won it for his team.

Bubbling under: Kyle Eastmond (England)

11 – Teddy Thomas (France):

Young, raw and still making mistakes. But he knows his way to the tryline.

Bubbling under: George North (Wales)

10 – Camille Lopez (France):

Have the French finally solved their flyhalf problem?

Bubbling under: Patrick Lambie (South Africa)

9 – Cobus Reinach (South Africa):

Was not flawless and even had a kick charged down, but made sure he will remain in the Springbok starting XV selection frame.

Bubbling under: Greig Laidlaw (Scotland)

8 – Duane Vermeulen (South Africa):

There are a few good reasons why he is on the IRB's shortlist for Player of the Year – all of which were on display last Saturday.

Bubbling under: Sergio Parisse (Italy)

7 – Schalk Burger (South Africa):

The only unanimous choice.

Bubbling under: Bernard le Roux (France)

6 – Thierry Dusautoir (France):

The spark that got the French Ferrari engine going.

Bubbling under: Marcell Coetzee (South Africa)

5 – Jonny Gray (Scotland):

Been a while since two brothers played alongside each other and had such an impact.

Bubbling under: Courtney Lawes (England)

4 – Richie Gray (Scotland):

Having one of his best runs and will be key to the Scottish World Cup campaign.

Bubbling under: Jeremy Thrush (New Zealand)

3 – David Wilson (England):

It was a tough call to make, but his all-round game was slightly better than that of Euan Murray.

Bubbling under: Euan Murray (Scotland)

2 – Guilhem Guirado (France):

They like their hookers to be combative in France.

Bubbling under: Adriaan Strauss (South Africa)

1 – Marcos Ayerza (Argentina):

There is more to him than just his scrumming.

Bubbling under: Dave Kilcoyne (Ireland)

Our individual selection:

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Joe Marler.

Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 David Wilson, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Alexandre Menini.

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 George North, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Darryn Pollock XV: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Nemani Nadolo, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 David Wilson, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.

Jan de Koning XV:  15 Willie le Roux, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Nemani Nadolo, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Previous selections:

Team of the Week – November, Round One: 15 Israel Folau (Australia), 14 Ben Smith (New Zealand), 13 Tevita Kuridrani (Australia), 12 Jamie Roberts (Wales), 11 Jonny May (England), 10 Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), 9 Greig Laidlaw (Scotland), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 Sam Warburton (Wales), 6 Jerome Kaino (New Zealand), 5 Paul O'Connell (Ireland), 4 Richie Gray (Scotland), 3 Samson Lee (Wales), 2 Dylan Hartley (England), 1 Marcos Ayerza (Argentina).


The Teddy Thomas try!



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