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Team of the week: Two-horse race

The Lions and Highlanders, who scored the two most impressive victories of the round, dominate our selection.

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There are five Lions and four Highlanders in our starting XV, with more award for them in our back-up squad – three more Highlanders and three Lions bubbling under.

In our first-choice selection the remainder of the squad is made up of two Hurricanes; while the Crusaders, Brumbies, Stormers and Sunwolves have one each.

Below the Lions and Highlanders – in our back-up squad – we have Jaguares, Brumbies, Sunwolves (all two), Crusaders, Waratahs and Cheetahs (one each).

Just two players return from last week – wing Waisake Naholo (Highlanders) and No.8 Luke Whitelock (Highlanders).

Team of the week – Round 12:

15 – Israel Dagg (Crusaders):

Even in a losing cause he outplayed All Black rival Ben Smith and showed he is still good to wear the national team jersey.

Bubbling under: Joaquín Tuculet (Jaguares)

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14 – Waisake Naholo (Highlanders):

In line for comeback of the year. A monster on attack.

Bubbling under: Akihito Yamada (Sunwolves)

13 – Lionel Mapoe (Lions):

Again sent new Springbok coach Allister Coetzee a message: I am international quality.

Bubbling under: Matt Faddes (Highlanders)

12 – Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Lions):

Not just big and strong. Combines well with Mapoe.

Bubbling under: David Havili (Crusaders)

11 – Wes Goosen (Hurricanes):

The young South African-born flyer could be in a black shirt with a silver fern on the chest in the not too distant future.

Bubbling under: Patrick Osborne (Highlanders)

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10 – Elton Jantjies (Lions):

In monsoon like conditions he produced some of the most sublime skillset displays seen this year. Showed he does have all the attributes required of a Bok flyhalf, even if his goal-kicking requires some work.

Bubbling under: Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders)

9 – Aaron Smith (Highlanders):

It is his decision-making that is most impressive and often sets him apart in crucial contests.

Bubbling under: Tomas Cubelli (Brumbies)

8 – Luke Whitelock (Highlanders):

He played like a man possessed, someone with a point to prove – and he certainly made a statement to the Crusaders.

Bubbling under: Warren Whiteley (Lions)

7 – David Pocock (Brumbies):

He has changed his game dramatically in the last few weeks – fewer breakdown steals, but far more effective on defence and in carrying the ball.

Bubbling under: Michael Hooper (Waratahs)

6 – Elliot Dixon (Highlanders):

At times it seemed there were 15 Dixons on the field. He kept popping up everywhere.

Bubbling under: Jaco Kriel (Lions)

5 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers):

No doubt he has the inside line for the Springbok No.5 jumper.

Bubbling under: Franco Mostert (Lions)

4 – Tim Bond (Sunwolves):

He was the spark in a Sunwolves pack that held its own in all aspects, but the scrums.

Bubbling under: Lodewyk De Jager (Cheetahs)

3 – Julian Redelinghuys (Lions):

Showed this past weekend just how much the Lions missed him. A solid set piece means a solid platform for the team to launch that famous running game.

Bubbling under: Ramiro Herrera (Jaguares)

2 – Malcolm Marx (Lions):

The young man has made great strides this year. A bright future awaits him.Team of the week: Two-horse race

Bubbling under: Stephen Moore (Brumbies)

1 – Reg Goodes (Hurricanes):

He has run into some serious from and the South African could be in line for an All Black call-up.

Bubbling under: Masataka Mikami (Sunwolves)

Our individual selections:

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 David Havili, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 David Pocock, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Reggie Goodes.

Wynona Louw XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Reg Goodes.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Lionel Mapoe,  12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Tim Bond, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Reg Goodes.

Previous selections:

Team of the week – Round 11: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Waisake Naholo (Highlanders), 13 Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Jone Macilai-Tori (Crusaders), 10 Garth April (Sharks), 9 Tomás Cubelli (Brumbies), 8 Luke Whitelock (Highlanders), 7 Matt Todd (Crusaders), 6 Keegan Daniel (Sharks), 5 Stephan Lewies (Sharks), 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (Blues), 3 Josh Hohneck (Highlanders), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown (Highlanders).

Team of the week – Round 10: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Cory Jane (Hurricanes), 13 Matt Proctor (Hurricanes), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Martin Landajo (Jaguares), 8 Michael Leitch (Chiefs), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Hendrik Tui (Reds), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), 4 Rudolph Snyman (Bulls), 3 Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 Reg Goodes (Hurricanes).

Team of the week – Round Nine: 15 Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), 14 Ruan Combrinck (Lions), 13 Reece Hodge (Melbourne Rebels), 12 David Havili (Crusaders), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Sam Cane (Chiefs), 6 Chris Cloete (Southern Kings), 5 Franco Mostert (Lions), 4 Luke Romano (Crusaders), 3 Vincent Koch (Stormers), 2 Shota Horie (Sunwolves), 1 Toby Smith (Melbourne Rebels).

Team of the week – Round Eight: 15 Israel Dagg (Crusaders), 14 Rieko Ioane (Blues), 13 Lionel Mapoe (Lions), 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Lions), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 EltonJantjies (Lions), 9 Francois de Klerk (Lions), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), 4 Jason Jenkins (Bulls), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 Trevor Nyakane (Bulls).

Team of the week – Round Seven: 15 Cheslin Kolbe (Stormers), 14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 13 Samu Kerevi (Reds), 12 Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs), 11 Patrick Osborne (Highlanders), 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis (Stormers), 9 Martin Landajo (Jaguares), 8 Warren Whiteley, (Lions), 7 Liam Gill (Reds), 6 Hendrik Tui (Reds), 5 Franco Mostert (Lions), 4 Jason Jenkins (Bulls), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Malcolm Marx (Lions), 1 Dyllan Smith (Lions).

Team of the week – Round Six: 15 Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), 14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 13 Rene Ranger (Blues), 12 Ryan Crotty (Crusaders), 11 James Lowe (Chiefs), 10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Paul Schoeman (Cheetahs), 7 Sean McMahon (Rebels), 6 Cyril-John Velleman (Southern Kings), 5 Lopeti Timani (Rebels), 4 Luke Jones (Rebels), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 James Parsons (Blues), 1 Toby Smith (Rebels).

Team of the week – Round Five: 15 Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), 14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 13 Seta Tamanivalu (Chiefs), 12 Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Michael Leitch (Chiefs), 7 David Pocock (Brumbies), 6 Roelof Smit (Bulls), 5 Tomás Lavanini (Jaguares), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2 Edgar Marutlulle (Southern Kings), 1 Joe Moody (Crusaders).

Team of the week – Round Four: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Santiago Cordero (Jaguares), 13 Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies), 12 George Moala (Blues), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Elton Jantjies (Lions), 9 Martin Landajo (Jaguares), 8 Jimmy Tupou (Crusaders), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), 4 Blade Thomson (Hurricanes), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Malcolm Marx (Lions), 1 Chris Eves (Hurricanes.

Team of the week – Round Three: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Akihito Yamada (Sunwolves), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Matt Toomua (Brumbies), 11 Joe Tomane (Brumbies), 10 Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders, 9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 David Pocock (Brumbies), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Franco Mostert (Lions), 4Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Scott Sio (Brumbies).

Team of the week – Round Two: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Ruan Combrinck (Lions), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Elton Jantjies (Lions), 9 Francois de Klerk (Lions), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Owen Franks (Crusaders), 2 Malcolm Marx (Lions), 1 Scott Sio (Brumbies).

Team of the week – Round One: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Odwa Ndungane (Sharks), 13 Tamati Ellison (Rebels), 12 Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs), 11 Raymond Rhule (Cheetahs), 10 Robert du Preez (Stormers), 9 Tomás Cubelli (Brumbies), 8 Nizaam Carr (Stormers), 7 Blake Gibson (Blues), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Sam Carter (Brumbies), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (Stormers).

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Team of the week: Two-horse race

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