With no Tier 2 players able to crack the Team of the Year, it seems like a good idea to recognize the best of the ‘little guys’ over the last 12 months.
Nine matches and even more hours later it’s time finally unveil this past week’s honour roll.
A review of five other test matches from this past weekend, including matches in Italy, Scotland, England, France, and Georgia.
Japan return to Tbilisi for the second time in three years as they face the Lelos in a fascinating contest between two evenly matched and improving sides.
It wasn’t easy, with more strong team performances than individual ones, but a team has been scraped together with 12 different countries represented!
Ireland meet the Lelos for the 4th time in their history, and the 3rd in Dublin, though both previous matches were at the old Lansdowne Road.
An excellent second half performance saw Tonga touch down three times to pull away from Georgia in a preview of next year’s World Cup Pool C opener.
The Lelos host the Ikale Tahi for the second time in their history, and the first since the two-leg World Cup repechage qualifying series some 15 years ago.
A review of four more of the weekend’s games, including an upset in Tbilisi, a surprising scoreline in Cardiff, and two blowouts over the Iberian sides in Lisbon and Madrid.
Samoa travel to Georgia for the first time in only the second meeting between the two countries, the last being an emphatic 46-9 Manu victory at the 2003 World Cup.