Now that the dust has settled over the final round of July internationals, we’ve got to work picking the best players from the weekend’s games.
Ireland lead with five players in our XV after beating New Zealand, while South Africa is second best with three representatives.
July Internationals Team of the Week
15Freddie Steward (England): By far the best player under high ball in the world and showed why as the Red Rose picked up a run of wins against Australia. Whether receiving kicks or chasing after them, the Leicester Tigers full-back consistently won the dogfight and put England on the front foot. He also showed some nice attacks in attack – with a special effort when he deftly offloaded Tommy Freeman to sprint clear – and scored the team’s first try. of Ireland Hugo Keenan was the next best.
14 Will Jordan (New Zealand): He and Ardie Savea are the shining lights on a pretty mediocre All Blacks team right now. The playmakers have barely made room for their big threats over the past month, but Jordan has found a way to influence the game in Wellington, to his credit. His line, pace and finish for New Zealand’s third attempt on Saturday was absolutely majestic and saw him take the Australian flyer position Tom Wright.
13 Robbie Henshaw (Ireland): A true defensive pivot for Andy Farrell’s men, who moves effortlessly between 12 and 13. After Garry Ringrose was eliminated from that duel, Henshaw had to move to the outside center, but that didn’t affect his performance at all. The 29-year-old is such an intelligent player that he consistently fended off All Blacks attacks and also ended a sweeping Irish move late in the first half. Argentina Matthew Orlando and Scotland’s Markus Bennett played well but couldn’t oust the Irishman.
12 bunches of aki (Ireland): There was an excellent performance Matthew Moroni in Los Pumas’ win over Scotland, but Aki wins after excelling in his first Test start of the Tour. Aki, who was born and raised in New Zealand and used to play for the Chiefs in Super Rugby, has featured heavily in midfield. He defended strongly and carried hard while also setting up Henshaw’s attempt with a well-timed pass. A pinnacle performance from a player who has served Irish rugby with distinction.
11 Emiliano Boffelli (Argentina): The winger shone in almost every facet on Saturday and was rewarded with the match winner after the clock went into the red. He was dangerous in attack, took several high balls and confidently kicked off the tee to help Michael Cheika’s men to a 2-1 series win. There were several contenders for this position Marika Korobete (Australia), Tommy Freiman (England), James Lowe (Ireland) and Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland) All impressive but the Argentine star pulled through.
10 Rodrigo Fernandez (Chile): A player not too many people have heard of, but one who totally deserves his place in the XV. There were outstanding displays from Ireland Johnny Kuster and Scotland’s Blair Kinghorn but for sheer impact on a game, the Chilean playmaker wins ahead of those two. Fernandez is a wonderfully balanced runner who helped him win a World Cup qualifier triumph over the USA over the weekend. This means Chile is getting their first-ever chance to compete in a global tournament, and we can’t wait to see the fly-half in action next year.
Rodrigo Fernandez does it again!
Just beat the 5 defenders this time😁before he goes wide to Santiago Videla who tumbles over the line to try!
— EK Rugby Analysis (@ek_rugby) July 16, 2022
9Jaden Hendrikse (South Africa): Was rewarded with another start following his performance in the second Test, where he impressed despite losing to Wales in Bloemfontein, and thus justified Jacques Nienaber’s decision to select him for the crucial game. Hendrikse executed the Springboks’ game plan fairly flawlessly when they finally managed to apply pressure through their kicking game. His service was also sharp and he edged out the English youngster Jack van Poortvlietwho shone again for the Red Rose after substituting for the error-plagued Danny Care.
8 Ardie Savea (New Zealand): Although the All Blacks were outplayed by Ireland, Savea was the only player to put in an outstanding performance for the full 80 minutes. At times it seemed like he was fighting a lonely fight, and he eventually gained 57 yards from a whopping 19 carries, including five battered defenders, three offloads and a deserved try. He also scored nine goals and beats his direct opponent Caelan Dorisof South Africa Kwagga Smith, Billy Vunipola of England and Scotland Matt Fagerson.
7 Josh van der Flier (Ireland): The Leinster man was at the forefront of Ireland’s attack as he came to the fore with an excellent all-around performance in their seismic win over New Zealand. The 29-year-old was at the forefront of Ireland’s defence, posting a match-high with 23 tackles. Van der Flier got the ball rolling when he scored an early try and was also a threat in the breakdown when he outplayed All Blacks skipper Sam Cane. Springbok Skipper Siya Kolisi and Wales openside Tommy Refell also impressed.
6 Courtney Lawes (England): England’s victory in the series decider came courtesy of a superb team effort, but their captain deserves special credit for pulling off a mighty 80-minute penalty against the Wallabies at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The Northampton Saint was a valuable lineout source but also put his body on the line on defense as he made 14 tackles. He also impresses with his leadership and work on the breakdown and takes the lead Santiago Grondona from Argentina.
5 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa): The springbok enforcer became his country’s youngest Test centurion in victory over Wales and celebrated his accomplishment with an outstanding performance. Etzebeth drained the tank during a 60-minute stint and stood out with his formation work and tremendous physicality, both with and without the ball. Ireland JamesRyan, Johnny Gray of Scotland and England Johnny Hill were the next best.
The youngest @Springboks Captain 🇿🇦
Eben Etzebeth: a titan in the second row 💪 pic.twitter.com/bDn37xeqW7
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) July 16, 2022
4 Tadhg Beirne (Ireland): Wales’ Will Rowland was good against the Boks but Beirne was arguably Player of the Week as he excelled in his 76 minutes on the field against New Zealand in Wellington. The 30-year-old did what was expected of him in the lineouts, but also grabbed a crucial steal from the set piece and won three turnovers from the breakdown. He was also a willing ball carrier and shone on the defensive with 18 goals.
3 Franz Malherbe (South Africa): The Springboks’ win over Wales was largely thanks to the efforts of their forwards, who put on a dominant performance in Cape Town, and Malherbe was one of their stars, putting on a dominant scrum performance during his 45 minutes on the field. His replacement Vincent Koch is also mentioned as he continued the good work, but Malherbe gets the nod after another solid shift.
2 Dan Sheehan (Ireland): A difficult choice like Scotland’s Ewan Ashman, Augustine horror from Argentina and Bongi Mbonambi from South Africa all played well but we chose Sheehan who was once again one of Ireland’s standout players in Wellington. The 23-year-old did well with the ball, gaining 20 yards from 11 carries, including two battered defenders, and also put in a great defensive showing with 10 tackles.
1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro (Argentina): Another difficult choice as a springbok duo Trevor Nyakane and Stephen Kitshoff had their moments during England’s Ellis Genge shone in Sydney but Chaparro is our pick of choice after a good all-around display in his side’s memorable win over Scotland in Santiago Del Estero. Chaparro made a big impression off the bench, helping his team clear a 28-13 deficit and earn a 34-31 win.
CONTINUE READING: Opinion: South Africa’s strength may expose New Zealand’s weakness in Rugby Championship opener
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