Second Phase

Team of the Week: No wobblies

Mon, 30 Sep 2013 12:52
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Eleven players return
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New Zealand continue to set the pace - on the world rankings, in the Rugby Championships and in our famous weekly selection.

However, it is the decline of the Wallabies that are best reflected in our Starting XV and back-up squads.

Apart from a few wobbly Wallabies who are 'bubbling under', there are not many places for Australians.

The All Blacks set the pace with seven members in our starting XV, followed by the Springboks (five) - the team they will meet at Ellis Park on Saturday to decide the outcome of this year's Rugby Championship.

Argentina - who will look to break their duck against the wobblies in Rosario - have three members in our starting XV.

The Boks are further rewarded for their form with seven members in our back-up squad, Argentina and Australia (three each) follow next, with two All Blacks completing the selection.

Eleven players return from our Round Four selections - wings Ben Smith (New Zealand) and Julian Savea (New Zealand), centres Conrad Smith (New Zealand) and Jean de Villiers (South Africa), No.8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), flanks Sam Cane (New Zealand) and Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (Argentina), locks Sam Whitelock (New Zealand) and Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), along with props Juan Figallo (Argentina) and Marcos Ayerza (Argentina).

Team of the Week - Round Five:

15 - Zane Kirchner (South Africa):
Definitely not everybody's cup of tea, but that his form has showed a dramatic improvement can't be denied.
Bubbling under: Israel Dagg (New Zealand)

14 - Ben Smith (New Zealand):
He has been in super form, but that bonus-point try at the end had Jonah Lomu-like qualities about it.
Bubbling under: Willie le Roux (South Africa)

13 - Conrad Smith (New Zealand):
Classy player that always stands out more in tight contests - which it was for 60 minutes.
Bubbling under: Tevita Kuridrani (Australia)

12 - Jean de Villiers (South Africa):
In the form of his life. If he retains this form, bring on World Cup 2015.
Bubbling under: Ma'a Nonu (New Zealand)

11 - Julian Savea (New Zealand):
Big and strong, with tons of pace. That first try was a real gem.
Bubbling under: Bryan Habana (South Africa)

10 - Aaron Cruden (New Zealand):
Not flawless, but got the majority of the votes.
Bubbling under: Morné Steyn (South Africa)

9 - Fourie du Preez (South Africa):
Simply the best.
Bubbling under: Will Genia (Australia)

8 - Kieran Read (New Zealand):
What can we say that hasn't already been said?
Bubbling under: Ben Mowen (Australia)

7 - Sam Cane (New Zealand):
Steven Hansen recently suggested Dane Coles is the 'future' at hooker. This guy is the future at openside flank.
Bubbling under: Pablo Matera (Argentina)

6 - Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (Argentina):
The epitome of a hard-working blindside flank - the star player in a Pumas team calling out for a few more of his kind.
Bubbling under: Willem Alberts (South Africa)

5 - Samuel Whitelock (New Zealand):
Didn't miss a tackle, won all his line-outs and even stole a couple.
Bubbling under: Patricio Albacete (Argentina)

4 - Eben Etzebeth (South Africa):
He is so much more than just a bruiser - apart from his tackle count, which went into double figures, he also won eight line-outs.
Bubbling under: Julio Farías Cabello (Argentina)

3 - Juan Figallo (Argentina):
Veteran Tony Woodcock must still be wondering what hit him in the scrums.
Bubbling under: Jannie du Plessis (South Africa)

2 - Adriaan Strauss (South Africa):
The Springboks do indeed have the two best hookers in the world.
Bubbling under: Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa)

1 - Marcos Ayerza (Argentina):
Owen Franks' groin injury may be related to the working over he got in the scrums from Ayerza.
Bubbling under: Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa)

Our individual selections!

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Pablo Matera, 6 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Quintin van Jaarsveld XV: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Pablo Matera, 6 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Previous selections!

Team of the Week - Round Four: 15 Juan Martín Hernández (Argentina), 14 Ben Smith (New Zealand), 13 Conrad Smith (New Zealand), 12 Jean de Villiers (South Africa), 11 Julian Savea (New Zealand), 10 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), 9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 Sam Cane (New Zealand), 6 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (Argentina), 5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Juan Figallo (Argentina), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), 1 Marcos Ayerza (Argentina).

Team of the Week - Round Three: 15 Israel Dagg (New Zealand), 14 Willie le Roux (South Africa), 13 Conrad Smith (New Zealand), 12 Jean de Villiers (South Africa), 11 Bryan Habana (South Africa), 10 Morné Steyn (South Africa), 9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 Willem Alberts (South Africa), 6 Steven Luatua (New Zealand), 5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Juan Figallo (Argentina), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa).

Team of the Week - Round Two: 15 Israel Dagg (New Zealand), 14 Ben Smith (New Zealand), 13 Conrad Smith (New Zealand), 12 Christian Leali'ifano (Australia), 11 Julian Savea (New Zealand), 10 Morné Steyn (South Africa), 9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 Michael Hooper (Australia), 6 Steven Luatua (New Zealand), 5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), 3 Owen Franks (New Zealand), 2 Adriaan Strauss (South Africa), 1 Tony Woodcock (New Zealand).

Team of the Week - Round One: 15 Willie le Roux (South Africa), 14 Ben Smith (New Zealand), 13 Conrad Smith (New Zealand), 12 Jean de Villiers (South Africa), 11 Bryan Habana (South Africa), 10 Aaron Cruden (New Zealand), 9 Fourie du Preez (South Africa), 8 Kieran read (New Zealand), 7 Willem Alberts (South Africa), 6 Francois Louw (South Africa), 5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Jannie du Plessis (South Africa), 2 Adriaan Strauss (South Africa), 1 James Slipper (Australia).

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