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Springbok stars dominate URC's Elite XV

SPOTLIGHT: The United Rugby Championship’s elite XV has been unveiled for the 2023/2024 season, with South African stars dominating the selection.

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Seven Springboks have been named in the URC Team of the Season, including two 2023 World Cup winners Sharks loosehead prop Ox Nche and Bulls wing Kurt-Lee Arendse.

The duo featured in the Final against the All Blacks in October in France.

Despite the Sharks’ underwhelming performance this season, concluding the season in 14th place, Nche has been a standout when he was on the field for the franchise.

For the Bulls, Arendse was an incredible figure. Lethal on the attack – scoring 10 tries this season.

The pair are joined in the team of the season by five other Springboks – hooker Akker van der Merwe (Bulls), tighthead Wilco Louw (Bulls), lock Ruan Nortje (Bulls),  flank Elrigh Louw (Bulls) and fullback Warrick Gelant (Stormers).

Bulls No.8 Cameron Hanekom is the only uncapped South African star who has made the team.

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Jake White’s men dominated the selection with six players – more than any other team – following a season where they finished second in the table.

The Bulls’ semifinal opponents Leinster only have one representative, wing Jordan Larmour.

He is one of four Ireland internationals in the team alongside Munster flyhalf Jack Crowley, Ulster scrumhalf John Cooney and Munster lock Tadhg Beirne.

The only other member of an Irish province to make the team is Munster centre Alex Nankivell.

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Crowley was also named the Next-Gen player of the season after a season where he also made the Ireland No.10 jersey his own.

The final two places are taken by Scotland internationals – Glasgow Warriors centre Sione Tuipulotu and Edinburgh flank Jamie Ritchie, who was crowned turnover king earlier this week.

URC Elite XV 2023/24: 15 Warrick Gelant (Stormers), 14 Jordan Larmour (Leinster), 13 Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors), 12 Alex Nankivell (Munster), 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls), 10 Jack Crowley (Munster), 9 John Cooney (Ulster), 8 Cameron Hanekom (Bulls), 7 Elrigh Louw (Bulls), 6 Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), 5 Ruan Nortjé (Bulls), 4 Tadhg Beirne (Munster), 3 Wilco Louw (Bulls), 2 Akker van der Merwe (Bulls), 1 Ox Nche (Sharks)

URC Awards Winners 2023-24

Tackle Machine: Alessandro Izekor (Benetton)
Turnover King: Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh)
Golden Boot: Chris Smith (Bulls)
Top Try Scorer: Johnny Matthews (Glasgow Warriors
Ironman Award: Shane Daly (Munster)
Next-Gen Player of the Season: Jack Crowley (Munster)
Try of the Season: Aphelele Fassi (Sharks)
Innovation Award: Benetton

Springbok stars dominate URC's Elite XV

*Additional Sources: URC and Rugbypass

In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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