XV of the Week: Rugby Championship

Date published: August 11 2015

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Now that the dust has settled in the southern hemisphere, we select the players that stood out in the final round of the Rugby Championship.

Australia are the new Rugby Championship winners for the first time since 2011 after their win over the All Blacks, while Argentina stunned South Africa for their first ever win over the Springboks.

As a result both teams feature heavily in our selection as we look back on a thrilling end to the tournament.

Feel free to add your XV of the weekend below.

Rugby Championship: Team of Round Three

15 Israel Folau (Australia): For the first hour, Folau looked to be Australia's best hope of creating something, and had Nick Phipps been a little more composed, one first-half break would have led to the opening try. Outstanding again under the high ball, Folau really is top class, even if he'll want to avoid replays of the moment Julian Savea ripped the ball off him.

14 Nehe Milner-Skudder (New Zealand): Due to the result Milner-Skudder's performance has been overlooked to an extent, but two tries on debut in a Bledisloe Cup match is pretty special. Although the first was an easy finish, the second required him to show real strength to get the ball down, while the Hurricanes magician also danced his way out of a number of tackles in an otherwise tight first half.

13 Marcelo Bosch (Argentina): An excellent showing from the Pumas outside centre, who opened the scoring with a try in the first minute. Was his usual solid self in defence and later landed a long-range penalty and drop goal to add the gloss on a memorable day in Durban.

12 Matt Giteau (Australia): His goal-kicking is still a concern, but otherwise a fine return for Giteau, who has enjoyed as successful a two-year period as anyone in world rugby. Giteau probably did enough on Saturday to nail down his spot at the World Cup, even filling in at scrum-half when Phipps was in the bin, and doing a better job. His quick-thinking when Dan Carter was almost in for a try was also vital.

11 Juan Imhoff (Argentina): Showed his finishing prowess against the Springboks with a hat-trick to finish joint top of the Rugby Championship try list and record the first ever treble against South Africa in a Test match. He also set up a try and didn't shy away defensively with seven tackles. A mention for Australia's Drew Mitchell.

10 Juan Martín Hernández (Argentina): Made his first start of 2015's Rugby Championship and slotted in seamlessly with an eleven-point showing. It was a complete performance that mixed smart kicking, solid defence and a top running game from El Mago. Australia replacement fly-half Matt Toomua made a significant impact and deserves his mention as his well-judged grubber kick set up Adam Ashley-Cooper's try.

9 Nic White (Australia): It seems a bit strange to give this to someone who only played 15 minutes, but White made such an impact after coming off the bench that he earns a spot. Offering a sniping threat that Phipps had lacked, he nailed a key long-range penalty before coming up with the decisive try. His partnership with Matt Toomua looks excellent, while in Durban, Tomas Cubelli had another cracking game for the Pumas.

8 David Pocock (Australia): A new number on his back but Pocock impressed in his first game as a number eight since he was playing U12s back in Zimbabwe! 11 carries and several tackles coupled with his usual work-rate at the breakdown meant that the selection gamble of playing Pocock and Michael Hooper together paid off. He just edges out Leonardo Senatore who played a key role in Argentina’s third try in Durban.

7 Michael Hooper (Australia): Rose to the challenge after a difficult week waiting for the outcome of his disciplinary hearing, with one memorable try-saving tackle on Julian Savea sticking out. Combined well with Pocock as the Wallaby vice-captain finished with ten carries and 11 tackles.

6 Juan Manuel Leguizamón (Argentina): Australia flanker Scott Fardy was once again tireless with eleven carries to go with a team best four line-outs. But the power and dynamism of Leguizamon sees him take this spot as he made 40 metres in an accomplished display.

5 Lood de Jager (South Africa): It has been a dire tournament for the Springboks but one bright spot has been the form of De Jager in the second row. The Cheetahs lock is fulfilling his potential and scored a key try to attempt to start the fightback in Durban. A busy afternoon saw him finish with nine carries and five lineout takes to go with a number of tackles.

4 Dean Mumm (Australia): Mumm’s story is one of most remarkable of the year – returning to Australia following the end of the English season and making a handful of appearances for the Waratahs before getting his chance again with Australia, including that great try in Mendoza. On his first start he was excellent against New Zealand, with nine runs and a good shift in the lineout.

3 Sekope Kepu (Australia): You can bet that Kepu will be retelling the story of his side-stepping score against the All Blacks for a few years to come – and who can blame him. Kepu is also on the up as a scrummager and went well against Tony Woodcock as Australia secured that much-needed win over their old rivals.

2 Agustín Creevy (Argentina): Vital to the Pumas' RWC challenge and proved it once again on Saturday. A real force at scrum time, Creevy has also developed into an inspirational leader in this pack as he sees off opposite number Bismarck du Plessis for this position.

1 Marcos Ayerza (Argentina): Came mighty close to being our man of the match in Durban as he caused South Africa's tighthead prop Vincent Koch all kinds of problems at scrum time. Much like Creevy, Ayerza's fitness is vital to Argentina especially after injuries elsewhere.

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