Now that the dust has settled on the final round of this year’s Rugby Championship, we have had a discussion and settled on our Team of the Week.
There’s a whopping 10 All Blacks who have made the cut with the rest of our line-up completed by two Springboks, a couple of Wallabies and a Puma.
Without further ado, here’s our Rugby Championship Team of the Week for Round Three. Make sure to leave your own XV in the comments section.
Rugby Championship Team of the Week
15 Willie le Roux (South Africa): Another influential performance from the veteran as his importance to the Springbok attack was on show once again. His pass set up Eben Etzebeth for his try as he was a constant threat to Argentina with ball in hand, offering that second playmaker option nicely.
14 Will Jordan (New Zealand): Mentions go to Cheslin Kolbe, who caught our eye defensively, and Mark Nawaqanitawase for being a running threat for Australia. However, Jordan was our pick as his 15 carries led to 47 running metres that included a well-taken try. That is 23 in 23 for him now.
13 Rieko Ioane (New Zealand): Finished off the try of the game in Melbourne but that was not his only highlight as Ioane racked up 69 metres from his 11 carries. His combination with Jordie Barrett is maturing by the match and Ioane also linked up well with Anton Lienert-Brown later in the fixture.
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) July 29, 2023
12 Jordie Barrett (New Zealand): Speaking of Barrett, he once again impressed at 12, so much so that we can’t believe that this hasn’t been his position throughout his career. His power, distribution, boot and offloading were top drawer as he gets the nod over Pumas centre Santiago Chocobares.
11 Mark Telea (New Zealand): We saw the type of elusiveness and dynamism in contact that Telea had been showing round after round in Super Rugby Pacific this season. Looks to have found a home in the 11 jersey after switching from the right wing and is surely now in pole position to start at the Rugby World Cup. He finished the game with a whopping 127 metres from his 17 carries, beating nine defenders and making five clean breaks to boot. Quite the showing.
10 Richie Mo’unga (New Zealand): If Santiago Carreras had brought his kicking boots it most likely would have been his name in the 10 jersey. However, his wayward attempts knock him down the pecking order below Manie Libbok and Mo’unga, the latter once again leading the All Blacks to a win. This might not have been his greatest Test showing but his running, kicking and passing game were all on point as New Zealand picked up yet more silverware.
9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand): Alongside Mo’unga is his half-back partner in black. Faf de Klerk was all-action for the Boks while Tate McDermott recovered from that early setback admirably, but Smith controlled matters at the base for New Zealand. A mention too for Los Pumas’ Gonzalo Bertranou.
8 Ardie Savea (New Zealand): Tough on Rob Valetini, whose 20 tackles, 44 running metres and a try certainly caught the eye for the Wallabies. Juan Martin Gonzalez also had a solid outing but Savea’s captain’s performance was excellent. Is there a more consistent player in Test match rugby?
Ardie Savea, Scott Barrett, Codie Taylor and Shannon Frizell: 46 carries between them. Mark Telea with 13 more on his own. Australia copping serious punishment, Tom Hooper already on 23 tackles at half-time.
— Charlie Morgan (@CharlieFelix) July 29, 2023
7 Tom Hooper (Australia): Our first Wallaby of the team comes at openside flanker as Hooper put in a tireless shift, ending on an incredible 30 tackles. Pablo Matera was rock solid for Los Pumas while Dalton Papali’i was in good nick but it’s difficult to ignore Hooper’s effort in defeat.
6 Shannon Frizell (New Zealand): Has certainly made the All Blacks number six jersey his own this Rugby Championship and now looks a key cog in his team’s charge to possible Rugby World Cup glory. He won’t score many easier tries than Saturday’s and then backed that up with 14 carries for the cause.
5 Scott Barrett (New Zealand): Outstanding. The absence of Sam Whitelock this Rugby Championship has not been felt and that’s down to Barrett’s performances at his favoured lock position. 16 carries for 42 metres and 11 tackles sees him get in over Tomas Lavanini, who had a solid tournament.
4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa): Joining Barrett in the engine room is the hulking Springbok, whose bulldozing run over Carreras was one for the highlight reel. His eight carries, 16 tackles and general work-rate around the field stood out at Ellis Park as he looks in fine form ahead of the World Cup.
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) July 29, 2023
3 Joel Sclavi (Argentina): Tough on All Blacks tighthead Tyrel Lomax after another solid outing but he misses out on our line-up for the first time this Rugby Championship. The number three slot instead goes to Sclavi, whose impact off the replacement bench was outstanding as Argentina turned the screw.
2 Codie Taylor (New Zealand): He’s risen to the challenge set by Samisoni Taukei’aho and it’s paying off for New Zealand. Taylor gave a complete performance on Saturday as he edges Pumas warrior Julian Montoya and Springbok Malcolm Marx to our hooker shirt. The All Black finished his night with a try, 25 metres from 12 carries and 15 tackles, with his set-piece also solid in Melbourne.
1 Angus Bell (Australia): Arguably the hardest decision of our XV came at loosehead prop where Steven Kitshoff and Ethan de Groot miss out. Kitshoff was deadly in defence while De Groot was a handful with ball in hand, but in a struggling Wallabies side Bell fully deserves his selection.