Champions Cup Team of the Week: Siya Kolisi’s Sharks impress while Elliot Daly and Marcus Smith also named
Now that the dust has settled on the third round of the Champions Cup, we have had a discussion and selected our Team of the Week.
The Sharks, Ospreys, Leicester Tigers, Toulouse and the Bulls lead the way with two players included apiece after another captivating pool weekend.
So without further ado, Planet Rugby writer James While runs through the side that sees a whopping 10 clubs named. Leave your XV in the comments.
Champions Cup Team of Round Three
15 Elliot Daly (Saracens): The versatile playmaker is in prime form and is deserving of his England recall, dominating against Lyon with a nine minute hat-trick of some brilliance, making him our player of the week. Daly sees off the challenges of the Bulls’ Kurt-Lee Arendse and the skilful Leinster man, Hugo Keenan.
14 Alex Cuthbert (Ospreys): Cuthbert’s run into form couldn’t be better timed with Wales set to announce their squad this week and he grabbed a brace against Montpellier. Marnus Potgieter was impressive in an outstanding win for the Sharks.
13 Wandisile Simelane (Bulls): A consummate display for the Bulls saw Simelane run in two outstanding tries. Matt Scott was in powerful form for Tigers, snaring a brace in their hammering of Clermont.
12 Jamie Osbourne (Leinster): No Henshaw? No problems, we’ve got a brilliant young running 12 to slip into the inside centre berth, say Leinster. Gael Fickou put in a massive shift in defence at La Défense and was influential in Racing 92’s narrow win versus Harlequins.
𝗣𝗹𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵 🏅
An incredible performance on his first ever European start has earned Jamie Osborne the Player of the Match award.
Congrats, Jamie! 🙌#GLOvLEI #HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/fgGNCO7N5g
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) January 14, 2023
11 Harry Simmons (Leicester Tigers): The sidestepping Simmons may have played out of position on the wing, but his finish will be remembered for a long time. Stormers’ Angelo Davids also impressed, grabbing a vital try versus London Irish.
10 Marcus Smith (Harlequins): Simply wow. Smith was on fire at La Défense in a game that was surrounded by controversy, as he scorched the turf making a couple of tries in a personal masterclass of running rugby. Elsewhere, Handre Pollard looked back to his classy best for Leicester Tigers, with Damian Willemse outstanding for the Stormers. A great weekend for 10s.
9 Jaden Hendrikse (Sharks): Hendrikse was in blistering form, running the match for the Sharks and grabbing a pair of tries versus Bordeaux-Begles. Ben Youngs and Baptiste Jauneau both produced assured displays for their respective teams in the Tigers versus Clermont match.
8 Gavin Coombes (Munster): The super consistent Munster number eight again showed his ability to put in diesel powered performances in the wind and rain of Thomond, and, talking of rain, La Rochelle’s Gregory Alldritt was his normal powerful self as his team left it late to win. Elrigh Louw also deserves a shout out for his showing for the Bulls.
7 Justin Tipuric (Ospreys): The old warhorse delivered a masterclass of skills as Ospreys turned over Montpellier, with Tipuric providing one of the tries of the round. Leinster’s Josh van der Flier was, as usual, in cracking form for Leinster, whilst Tommy Reffell reminded the Welsh selectors of his defensive genius for Tigers.
👏 Justin Tipuric, take a bow. #HeinekenChampionsCup #OSPvMHRpic.twitter.com/739nKhRq0N
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) January 14, 2023
6 Siya Kolisi (Sharks): There are few better leaders in the world than the Springbok and Sharks skipper and Kolisi was massive against Bordeaux. Ollie Chessum’s versatility showed well again for Leicester, whilst Marco van Staden also shone for the Bulls.
5 Emmanuel Meafou (Toulouse): A massive shift from a massive man up against a superb Sale lineout, Meafou’s presence was vital for Toulouse and his bump-off of Manu Tuilagi was incredible. Munster’s Tadhg Beirne was splendid at the coalface against Northampton Saints and is our runner-up.
4 Ruan Vermaak (Bulls): Another huge South African lock doing South African lock things, Vermaak nipped over for a vital score versus Exeter. His compatriot Eben Etzebeth was his abrasive and reliable self for the Sharks in their impressive showing.
3 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers): Thomas du Toit made big dents all afternoon for the Sharks on the French coast, but given that Heyes took Clermont’s scrum apart, this one is for the young unsung Tiger who was rewarded by an inclusion in England’s 36-man squad.
2 Julien Marchand (Toulouse): Some fantastic performances in the hooker shirt this weekend and shout outs for Johan Grobbelaar (Bulls), Charlie Clare (Tigers) and Jamie George (Saracens), but Marchand was a rock for Toulouse in their victory at Sale Sharks, winning numerous turnovers at the breakdown.
1 Val Rapava-Ruskin (Gloucester): Despite the hammering at Kingsholm, it seemed like it was Rapava-Ruskin versus Leinster at times as he destroyed the Irish scrum to no avail. Another man on the losing side, Harlequins’ Joe Marler, behaved himself in a thundering scrummaging performance against Racing 92 whilst Steven Kitshoff may have won this shirt but for his yellow card.
READ MORE: Who’s hot and who’s not: Eddie Jones replaces Dave Rennie, Elliot Daly and Justin Tipuric star in Europe