This week's Form XV
OPINION: The RugbyPass Form XV has plenty of new faces this week – consisting of five French players, four English, and two players each from Argentina, Australia and Wales.
After their opening round of the year-end Nations Cup match with Fiji was cancelled last week, France got their campaign started with an away win over Scotland this past Sunday.
Fabien Galthie’s side staked their claim for being the form side in Europe, with a Nations Cup final against England now looking likely after their win over Ireland.
Meanwhile, struggling Wales registered their second win of 2020, beating Georgia, and Argentina salvaged a gutsy Tri-Nations draw against Australia after their game-winning heroics against the All Blacks the week before.
Here is this week’s FORM XV:
1. Wyn Jones: Against a Georgia side famed for their love of the scrum, the Wales loosehead certainly came out on top, winning two early penalties and proving he is Wayne Pivac’s best scrummaging option at No1.
2. Camille Chat: In an attritional battle up front against Scotland, the French hooker tirelessly threw his weight around for the first 50 minutes.
3. Kyle Sinckler: His tremendous workrate was exhibited against Ireland. The England tighthead made 20 tackles and proved to be a tough Nations Cup opponent for Cian Healy at the scrum.
4. Maro Itoje: Another man of the match performance for the lock against Ireland. His standards never seem to drop.
5. Bernard Le Roux: He typifies the new industrious and ferocious French defence under Shaun Edwards, topping the tackle count against Scotland.
6. Pablo Matera: The Argentina captain put in another excellent shift against Australia, contributing in all aspects of the game.
7. Sam Underhill: England’s tackling machine shone in a monumental defensive effort by his team at Twickenham, while also proving to be a nuisance at the breakdown.
8. Gregory Alldritt: A vital member of the France XV and part of their burgeoning new generation of players, the No8 was happy to make the hard yards against a Scotland defence that proved hard to break down.
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9. Antoine Dupont: A quiet game by his usual high standards, but there are few players in better form than the scrum-half currently.
10. Nicolas Sanchez: The scorer of all of Argentina’s points so far in the Tri-Nations, his boot was crucial in the win over the All Blacks and last weekend’s draw with Australia.
11. Jonny May: Scorer of two tries against Ireland, including one of the great solo efforts seen this year. He is rightfully receiving plenty of plaudits from his coach Eddie Jones.
12. Hunter Paisami: Argentina struggled to handle Australia’s midfield combo of Paisami and Jordan Petaia last Saturday, particularly in a dominant first half.
13. Virimi Vakatawa: France’s midfielder was at the end of his team’s scything strike move at Murrayfield. He came close to scoring twice before that as his purple patch continues.
14. Louis Rees-Zammit: A try and an assist for Wales’ new winger only tells half the story. The 19-year-old came close to scoring a second and showed on a number of occasions how dangerous he can be when given space.
15. Tom Wright: Although on the wing against Argentina last the weekend, the rugby league convert highlighted what a classy and dependable prospect he is for the Wallabies in just his second outing.
By Josh Raisey, RugbyPass