Team of the Week: Rosy picture

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 15:14
Large billy vunipola england v south africa 800

OPINION: England became the second Northern Hemisphere team to send a strong message to their rivals south of the equator.

This past weekend England followed that up with a demolition of South Africa and Scotland came within minutes of an upset over Australia.

That all says that what was once a chasm between the two hemispheres has become a breachable divide - even though the All Blacks are clearly still the best team on the planet.

England, currently ranked second in the global standings, put down a big marker with their 37-21 thrashing of the Springboks - a result that earned them the bulk of the places in rugby365's famous weekly selection.

There are seven England players in our starting XV, followed by three from Scotland and two from New Zealand.

Canada, Ireland and Australia make up the numbers with one each.

There is a further reward for the All Blacks, who have seven players in our back-up squad - which also features three Frenchmen, two Wallabies and one each from Wales, Scotland and England.

Just one player returns from last week's selection - hooker Stephen Moore (Australia).

Team of the Week - November, Week Two

15 - Mike Brown (England):
Maybe the Springboks' kicking game was off-key and their defence rather porous, but Brown made them pay in no uncertain terms.
Bubbling under: Scott Spedding (France)

14 - DTH van der Merwe (Canada):
He again showed he can more than hold his own against the best on the big stage, even when [playing for a minnow.
Bubbling under: Israel Dagg (New Zealand)

13 - Huw Jones (Scotland):
He could not have asked for a better debut, scoring two tries and asking many questions of the Australian defence.
Bubbling under: Remi Lamerat (France)

12 - Owen Farrell (England):
Showed there is more to playing at inside centre than just blindly running into the opposition.
Bubbling under: Wesley Fofana (France)

11 - Jonny May (England):
This is a player who not so long ago thought his international career was over.
Bubbling under: Waisake Naholo (New Zealand)

10 - George Ford (England):
He showed just how far he has progressed under thetutelage of Eddie Jones.
Bubbling under: Aaron Cruden (New Zealand)

9 - Ben Youngs (England):
Another of the England players who have become 'world class' in the last year.
Bubbling under: Tawera Kerr-Barlow (New Zealand)

8 - Billy Vunipola (England):
He got go-forward in a big way, even when Bok bruiser Eben Etzebeth was in his way.
Bubbling under: Steven Luatua (New Zealand)

7 - Sam Cane (New Zealand):
His skills and playing ability were never doubted. He has added some impressive leadership ability to his resume.
Bubbling under: Michael Hooper (Australia)

6 - John Barcley (Scotland):
He was key to the Scottish efforts that so nearly produced another upset.
Bubbling under: David Pocock (Australia)

5 - Jonny Gray (Scotland):
The Gray brothers have been on the fringes for some time and they are maturing into a forceful combination.
Bubbling under: Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

4 - Ultan Dillane (Ireland):
Ireland have an embarrassment of riches in the second row.
Bubbling under: Richie Gray (Scotland)

3 - Charlie Faumuina (New Zealand):
The veteran prop was at his most brilliant best - both in the set pieces and general play.
Bubbling under: Dan Cole (England)

2 - Stephen Moore (Australia):
Another veteran who showed the value of experience.
Bubbling under: Codie Taylor (New Zealand)

1 - Mako Vunipola (England):
One of the key members of an England tight five that laid the platform for an impressive victory.
Bubbling under: Wyatt Crockett (New Zealand)

Our individual selections:

Warren Fortune XV: : 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Peter O'Mahony 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Charlie Faumuina. 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Mako Vunipola.

Tauriq Ebrahim XV:  15 Mike Brown, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Cane, 6 John Barclay, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Mako Vunipola.

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Sam Cane, 6 David Pocock, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Wyatt Crockett.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Cane, 6 John Barclay, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Mako Vunipola.

Previous selections:

Team of the Week - November, Week One: 15 Rob Kearney (Ireland), 14 Dane Haylett-Petty (Australia), 13 Tevita Kuridrani (Australia), 12 Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Barbarians), 10 Johnny Sexton (Ireland), 9 Conor Murray (Ireland), 8 Ross Moriarty (Wales), 7 Josh van der Flier (Ireland), 6 Christian Stander (Ireland), 5 Devin Toner (Ireland), 4 Rory Arnold (Australia), 3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), 2 Stephen Moore (Australia), 1 Jack McGrath (Ireland).

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