Friday 21 July 2017

Autumn Internationals Team of the Week

Ireland's Jonathan Sexton is tackled by South Africa's Duane Vermeulen (right) during the Guinness Series match at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday
Ireland's Jonathan Sexton is tackled by South Africa's Duane Vermeulen (right) during the Guinness Series match at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday

Six Irish players make this week's Autumn Internationals Team of the Week after their stunning 29-15 win over the Springboks but who has made the team and who misses out.

15. Israel Folau (Australia)

Struck for two tries having gone four games without one. Has a ballet dancer's footwork and the speed of a Jamaican sprinter.

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Australia's Israel Folau scores a try against Wales during their Autumn International rugby union match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, November 8, 2014. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT RUGBY)

14. Ben Smith (New Zealand)

Wonderful take to help set up the Cruden try and possesses such game understanding and intelligence.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Ben Smith of New Zealand breaks past Brad Barritt of England during the QBE International match between England and New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium on November 8, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

13. Tevita Kuridrani (Australia)

Obliterated the Welsh defence at times, he is like Basteraud with subtlety. Ireland's midfield beware.

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Australia's Tevita Kuridrani celebrates his try during their international rugby union friendly match against the Barbarians at Twickenham in London November 1, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT RUGBY)

12. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)

Brilliant tactical kick led to South Africa conceding the try to Rhys Ruddock. Was main part of brilliant midfield defensive performance.

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Ireland's Robbie Henshaw after his side's victory over South Africa in the Guinness Series match at the Aviva Stadium

11. Tommy Seymour (Scotland)

Scored a brilliant late try to help the Vern Cotter era off to a winning start against Argentina.

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Scotand's Tommy Seymour scores a try late during his side's win over Argentina at Murrayfield. Photo: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

10. Jonny Sexton (Ireland)

Six from six with the boot and a majestic display from the Racing Metro flyhalf. His tactical awareness is immense.

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Johnny Sexton

9. Conor Murray (Ireland)

Right up there with Aaron Smith as the best scrum-half on the planet right now. His kick for Tommy bowe's clinching try was sublime.

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Conor Murray, Ireland, puts in a box kick. Guinness Series, Ireland v South Africa, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: John Dickson / SPORTSFILE

8. Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)

A tireless display from the Leinster captain. Recovered from a very high blow from George Coetzee early on to produce a polished performance.

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Ireland's Jamie Heaslip is tackled by Duane Vermeulen of South Africa during their clash at the Aviva. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

7. Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

Topped the New Zealand tackle count and won several crucial turnovers. Still a terror to opposition attacks.

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England's Billy Vunipola is tackled by Richie McCaw of New Zealand during their clash at Twickenham. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

6. Jerome Kaino (New Zealand)

He makes the team ahead of Peter O'Mahony and that should say everything you need to know about how Kaino played. A colossus.

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New Zealand's Jerome Kaino carries the ball away from England's Courtney Lawes during their international rugby union match at Twickenham in London November 8, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT RUGBY)

5. Paul O'Connell (Ireland)

Quite simply one of the greatest locks the world has ever seen. His footballing skills and warrior spirit were to the fore from minute one as he inspired Ireland to a tremendous win.

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Ireland's Paul O'Connell, left, was praised by coach Joe Schmidt

4. Sam Whitelock (New Zealand)

Denied a terrific opportunistic try by Nigel Owens but despite that he was an incredibly influential figure.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Sam Whitelock of New Zealand jumps for a lineout ball with Tom Wood of England after the QBE International match between England and New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium on November 8, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

3. Samson Lee (Wales)

Showed why he is keeping the experienced Adam Jones out of Warren Gatland's plans. Destroyed Wallabies scrum.

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Wales' Sam Warburton celebrates a penalty try with Samson Lee during the Dove Men Series match at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 8, 2014. See PA story RUGBYU Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use. No use in books without prior written permission from WRU. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.

2. Richard Hibbard (Wales)

Flawless lineout display and dominace in the scrum were the two best facets of Wales' display and Hibbard contributed to both.

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Wales' Richard Hibbard during the Dove Men Series match at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 8, 2014. See PA story RUGBYU Wales. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use. No use in books without prior written permission from WRU. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.

1. Jack McGrath (Ireland)

Earned Ireland's first penalty at scrum time but struggled at the set-piece after that. Made 17 tackles in a brilliantly brave display in the loose.

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8 November 2014; Jack McGrath, Ireland, is tackled by Tendai Mtawarira, South Africa. Guinness Series, Ireland v South Africa, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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