Team Of The Week

Eight more games to comb through, but this looks like a pretty reasonable offering for this week’s selection. Fullback was the tough one…

Nikola Matawalu Fiji Rugby1 – Logovi’i Mulipola (Samoa) The big man switched over to the loosehead side this week and made mincemeat of Lorenzo Cittadini in the scrum, not something you see every day. It’s been a great season for Leicester and he has now overtaken Zac Taulafo in the Manu pecking order.

2 – Shota Horie (Japan) Lead the Brave Blossoms pack to another strong performance, their 8th win in a row. Accurate at the set piece and mobile around the park.

3 – Mike Ross (Ireland) Another fine job absolutely stuffing the Pumas pack. It’s been a very good tour after a long season for the veteran.

4 – Brodie Retalliack (New Zealand) Back to his best this week in an outstanding peformance. Owned the lineout and very prominent at the clear out.

5 – Victor Matfield (South Africa) The stand-in captain was at the centre of a complete demolition job on the Welsh pack. Incredible to think he can still play this well.

6 – Rhys Ruddock (Ireland) A beast with ball in hand, made several big bursts with players hanging off him. Very impressive first start after his a breakthrough year with Leinster.

7 – Francois Louw (South Africa) Wearing 6 but playing openside, had an easy day at the office with no Warburton or Tipuric opposite. Relishes the combat at the breakdown, and usually wins.

8 – Duane Vermeulen (South Africa) Dominant, physical performance once again from the big man. The Welsh had no answer to his power.

9 – Nikola Matawalu (Fiji) Given the opportunity to start this week, and he was at his mercurial best against Tonga. His footwork alone is worth the price of admission.

10 –Morné Steyn (South Africa) Deadly accurate as ever with the boot, but it was his distribution that made the difference. Nothing flash but near faultless.

11 – Bryan Habana (South Africa) Past the dreaded 30-year mark but proving he’s still got it. An amazing ability to find the tryline.

12 – Nemani Nadolo (Fiji) Another week, another excellent game from the big man. Scored 20 points including an eye-opening 7 from 7 off the kicking tee.

13 – Conrad Smith (New Zealand) Just another day at the office for the undisputed king of the midfield. Couldn’t be a better example for Malakai Fekitoa to be learning from.

14 – Blaine Scully (United States) Almost single-handedly kept his country in the game with a superb hat trick against Japan. Ridiculous to think he was largely overlooked before heading to Tigers.

15 – Willie le Roux (South Africa) The most contentious decision given Ben Smith’s excellence, but the magician from the Free State was in scintillating form against Wales. One of the most exciting players in the game at the moment.

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