Premiership Team of the Week: Chris Robshaw rewards Exeter’s excellence and Saracens’ shrewdest signing

James While
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Chris Robshaw selects his Premiership Team of the Week.

Chris Robshaw selects his Premiership Team of the Week.

There were some incredible results, including a win on the road for Bristol against Leicester and Saracens away to Bath, in Round 16 of the Premiership season. 

With his club Harlequins also overcoming a powerful Saints side in a charged atmosphere at Twickenham, former England skipper Chris Robshaw joins Planet Rugby to pick his Team of the Week.

We have teamed up with eToro, the official investing and trading partner of Premiership Rugby, to launch a new feature that will see us name a best XV from a famous face after every Premiership round for the remainder of the season.

Last week, Robshaw correctly predicted the winner of four of the five Premiership Rugby fixtures. The only exception being Saracens’ narrow win over Bath, as the ex-flanker believed that Johann van Graan’s side would have the edge.

On the back of his predictions on Friday, Robshaw rejoins us to select his team of the round.

Premiership Team of the Week

15 Dan John (Exeter Chiefs): An outstanding display from the Welsh youngster as he scored in Chiefs’ impressive display at Kingsholm. Tyrone Green always impresses me in the Quarters of Quins and he again was pivotal at Twickenham, whilst Sale’s Joe Carpenter deserves a mention.

14 Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs): Huge performance from the winger as he profited from the brilliance of the Chiefs’ physicality in another impressive display. Louis Lynagh might have been carded in the Big Summer Kick-off, but he looked as sharp as a tack as he again got on the scoresheet.

13 Luke Northmore (Harlequins): Absolutely brilliant all afternoon and created some real problems for Saints, crossing twice. Luke has suffered with some real injury misfortune and I’m delighted to see such a talented player thriving. Henry Slade showed his class for Exeter, whilst Rob du Preez was once again influential for Sale away at Falcons.

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12 James Williams (Bristol Bears): He’s not the biggest around, but he’s an ideal second playmaker and was very influential, notching a key conversion in a memorable win at Leicester Tigers. Until you’ve played with Sale’s Manu Tuilagi it’s hard to describe just how his presence fixes defences and makes space for others and once again he put in a massive shift for his club. There was also a wonderful outing for the young Northampton hopeful Tom Litchfield who looks solid and powerful for Saints.

11 Ollie Hassell-Collins (Leicester Tigers): The winger’s fine form continues as he was one of the Tigers players who walked off with his head held high. Rotimi Segun was also excellent for Saracens, whilst Ollie Sleightholme once again got on the scoresheet at Twickenham in a fine all-round display.

10 Owen Farrell (Saracens): A very close call with Fin Smith starring in defeat for Saints and Marcus Smith absolutely brilliant for Quins, but Farrell reminded us all of his class for Saracens in a key away win at Bath. I’m not sure Sarries would have got over the line without his sheer determination. AJ McGinty was again influential for Bristol Bears and George Ford also impressed me for Sale Sharks versus Newcastle Falcons, with an honourable mention for Handre Pollard, who tried his best to get Tigers over the line.

9 Will Porter (Harlequins): A two-try impact from a man enjoying a sensational season despite the rather controversial circumstances of his entry onto the pitch. Alex Mitchell did everything he could to ignite Saints into a comeback, whilst Ben Spencer was manful in playing through with an injury for Bath in a narrow defeat to Saracens. Lastly, a shout-out for Harry Randall, a player enjoying a fantastic season for Bristol.

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Standouts upfront

Exeter Chief's Jacques Vermeulen (centre) is tackled by Gloucester's Zach Mercer (left) and Ruan Ackermann

8 Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins): Absolutely huge as he dominated the gainline with some thundering carries and delivered one of his finest displays both sides of the ball. Magnus Bradbury also impressed me as he was one of Bristol’s key men in overcoming Tigers while there are honourable mentions for Tom Willis and Alfie Barbeary who had a wonderful one-on-one duel at the Rec.

7 Jacques Vermeulen (Exeter Chiefs): Huge, abrasive and effective. Vermeulen is a relentless carrying and tackling machine that goes under the radar. Ben Curry was superb in Sale’s win at Falcons, and Ben Earl again shone for Saracens.

6 Juan Martin Gonzalez (Saracens): An all-action display from the blindside flanker who is proving to be amongst the shrewdest signings made by Mark McCall in recent times. Courtney Lawes also shone for Saints, crossing for a rare try, whilst Chandler Cunningham-South is demonstrating he’s something very special as he shone for Quins in a really physical display.

5 Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs): This lad is truly one to watch and the way he conducts himself as a leader is really impressive. Charlie Ewels continued his great form this season impressing once again for Bath, and a word too for Bristol’s Joe Batley, someone that may well see the white of England before too long.

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4 Maro Itoje (Saracens): Relentless, as he led the blitz defence that literally shut Bath down stone cold on the gainline. Maro isn’t given the credit he deserves for his sheer consistency, but on Friday night he was everywhere in defence.

3 Max Lahiff (Bristol Bears): Game-changing, it’s as simple as that. Max might not be the best scrummager around but his power in the breakdown and loose play cannot be understated and he crossed twice in an incredible comeback from the in-form Bears. He’s also a great guy to be around and I’m delighted he’s succeeding.

2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Sale Sharks): Hugely mobile and scored yet another try as he returns to his very best. Julian Montoya was holding the Tigers together, but when he went off, so Bristol crept back into the match. Jamie George was also his usual consistent self for Sarries as their set-piece was crucial against Bath.

1 Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks): He was only on for 48 minutes but in that time we saw his full range of handling and breakdown skills. Rodd is something very special and his development is something I’m watching with great interest. In terms of impact, Jake Woolmore was right up there with his teammate Lahiff as both Bears replacements were crucial at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

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