Team of the Week: World Cup

Date published: October 5 2015

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After Australia's huge win over England dominated the headlines in a busy week of action in the Rugby World Cup, we sat down to pick our Team of the Week.

Week Three's matches began back on Tuesday, giving us plenty to choose from, right up until Ireland's edge win over Italy on Sunday.

It all kicks off again on Tuesday, so let's quickly get through our selection from the last few days of action.

Team of the Week

15 Ayumu Goromaru (Japan): While his goal-kicking was a little hit and miss, Goromaru showed the rest of his game with an assured display against Samoa. His kicking from hand was invaluable when Japan found themselves under pressure in the second half. Despite a couple of missed kicks, he also contributed 16 points for the Brave Blossoms. Edges out Georgian try-scorer Beka Tsiklauri who will never forget his game against the All Blacks.

14 Santiago Cordero (Argentina): The Pumas flyer is having a hell of a tournament, topping the metres made stats on Sunday with 87 after also having impressed the week before against Georgia. Three clean breaks, 11 tackles, three turnovers won… and the fifth and final try for his side. He's on fire. Big mentions to Tonga's Telasa Veainu, who scored twice all the way back on Tuesday, and New Zealand's Waisake Naholo.

13 Vereniki Goneva (Fiji): Goneva appears to have gone off the boil a little over the last year, having been one of Leicester's star players when he first arrived. He was back to his best against Wales though, regularly making ground with ball in hand while also finishing off arguably the try of the tournament in the second half. That's enough to see off Paul Perez, who was a shining light in a woeful Samoan team.

12 Wesley Fofana (France): France didn't manage a full 80-minute performance against Canada, but Fofana looked lethal every time he had the ball. A clinical finisher, there was no way he was going to be stopped when Freddie Michalak fed him for France's first, and he almost had a second in the first half. Sees off Matt Giteau who finished off England's tournament with a dagger of a final try at Twickenham.

11 Julian Savea (New Zealand): After a rough season, Savea seems to be coming into form, or at least finishing off tries, as his hat-trick against Georgia on Friday proved. They weren't the hardest finishes he'll ever have, but World Cup hat-tricks are hard to come by so he won't complain. Does enough to edge out Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Fiji's best player against Wales, who seemed to make massive yards every time he got the ball.

10 Bernard Foley (Australia): Probably the position with the most competition this week, but we've got to give it to Foley for his record-breaking performance against England. With two tries and 28 points in total, he was sensational for the Wallabies, putting to bed any debate over Quade Cooper starting in the knock-outs. That's enough to see off Nicolás Sánchez and Frédéric Michalak, who were both in fine form themselves.

9 Gareth Davies (Wales): The rapid scrum-half wasn't afraid of playing Fiji at their own game last Wednesday in their game in Cardiff, scoring the first try with some quick-thinking. Davies has caused defences all kinds of problems so far in the World Cup with his speed, making the most clean breaks on Wednesday with four and also producing four turnovers. Gets in ahead of Argentina's Martín Landajo and Italy's Edoardo Gori. 

8 David Pocock (Australia)Unplayable. That's the best way to sum up Pocock against England, as he hounded the beleaguered World Cup hosts at the breakdown throughout, winning multiple penalties. Pocock has been playing the best rugby of his career in 2015, but this was on another level. As long as he keeps putting in shifts like this one, then the Wallabies will be right in the hunt for the title.

7 Michael Hooper (Australia): There was so much furore over the concept of playing Pocock and Hooper together when Cheika first paired them earlier this year but the experiment has come off. Hooper might have been overshadowed by his back row colleague, and be now nervously awaiting the outcome of a meeting with the Citing Commissioner, but he worked tirelessly in defence and the breakdown at Twickenham. A mention for Tonga's double-try scoring flanker Jack Ram.

6 Michael Leitch (Japan): Leitch is becoming a fixture in this team and with good reason, after guiding Japan to their second win of the World Cup and only their third ever in the tournament last weekend. Has led the Brave Blossoms brilliantly throughout and was one of their prominent carriers in Milton Keynes on Saturday.

5 Lood de Jager (South Africa): Saturday surely marked the moment when Victor Matfield lost his starting place for the Springboks for good. De Jager was simply outstanding, making tackles, carrying the ball and winning lineouts, there's no way he can be left out of the quarter-finals. Matfield will be a very handy figure on the bench, but in de Jager and Eben Etzebeth, South Africa have a stellar second row.

4 Iain Henderson (Ireland): The young Irish giant got the nod over Devin Toner to partner Paul O'Connell in the second row against Italy, going on to deliver. Carried hard and made a couple of key turnovers for his side in a tight battle. He keeps out England's Joe Launchbury and South Africa's Eben Etzebeth.

3 Sekope Kepu (Australia): Right at the heart of the Wallabies' scrum dominance at Twickenham as he enjoyed getting stuck into Joe Marler. Kepu has always been a great carrier but his improvements at the set-piece allowed Australia to win a number of penalties. He gets the nod ahead of France try-scorer Rabah Slimani and Georgia's Levan Chilachava.

2 Shota Horie (Japan): The Japanese pack was always going to surprise a few people, and they continued their incredible record of having not lost a scrum in the tournament so far. Horie is a big reason for that, with his ability to hook the ball instantly so they can get it out if they are under pressure, and he was also very active around the park. Sees off Stephen Moore who produced a captain's display for the Wallabies.

1 Scott Sio (Australia): While almost every pundit backed England to beat Australia, they also agreed that the English would need to win the scrum battle. That clearly wasn't the case, and in Sio, Australia look to have found a real gem at loosehead. The youngster more than held his own against Dan Cole and also chipped in with seven tackles in defence.

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