A handful of South African-based players have been included in the Vodacom Super Rugby Team of the Week based on the best individual performances by position in the last five years.
Five South African Super Rugby players, of whom four are capped Springboks and one a Scottish international, were named in the elite team. They are Pieter-Steph du Toit and Huw Jones (both Stormers), Warren Whiteley and Kwagga Smith (both Lions), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks).
New Zealand have seven representatives, Australia two and Argentina one.
Nearly every player scored at least one try in his best performance. Several players scored a brace of tries including Force fullback Dane Haylett-Petty, Highlanders wing Waisake Naholo, Chiefs scrumhalf Augustine Pulu, Highlanders prop Aki Seiuli, Jaguares hooker Agustin Creevy, Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick and Lions flank Smith.
Top try-scorers in this category are Blues wing Rieko Ioane, who scored four against the Sunwolves in 2019, and Stormers centre Jones, who also scored four tries. Jones scored his against the Kings in round 17 in 2016, the most by an outside centre in a Super Rugby game in the last 10 years; Jones also made six clean breaks, two offloads, beat seven defenders and gained 118 metres from just 10 carries in what is statistically the best match performance in the last six seasons. These impressive stats make him the Player of the Week of this team.
Some other standout statistics include those of Du Toit, who is the current World Rugby Player of the Year. Du Toit won 13 lineouts (including two steals) against the Sunwolves in round 12 in 2016 to go along with his 10 tackles, three offloads, 17 carries, one try and the five defenders he beat on the day. Smith, who is also World Cup-winning Springbok, gained 135m from his 12 carries against the Kings in round 14 in 2017, produced a try assist, beat seven defenders and made 18 tackles.
SUPER RUGBY TEAM OF THE WEEK– 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Aki Seiuli.
This week the stats select a Team of the Week based on the best individual performances by position in the last five years… and it is some team Barrett, Laumape, Creevy, Du Toit et al!
Full story https://t.co/x1t7XBevoF#SuperRugby25years pic.twitter.com/LdZNNuLV2d
— Super Rugby/TRC (@SuperRugby) May 12, 2020