Four South Africans have been included in a Vodacom Super Rugby Team of the Decade based on home performances.
The team has seven players from New Zealand teams, four each from South African and Australian teams.
Five players – Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Alan Alaalatoa (Brumbies), Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes/Blues) and Damian McKenzie (Chiefs) – make the Home Team after featuring in the Away Team of the Decade as well.
The pack has players from six different teams including the same front row as the Away Team of the Decade with prop Kitshoff and hooker Marx both impressive with their carries and metre gains at home, while the latter scored a position-high 16 tries at home. The other prop is Alaalatoa whose defence is as good at home as it is away.
There is a different lock pairing, however, in the Rebels’ Luke Jones and Stormers’ Pieter-Steph du Toit. They averaged 3.3 and 3.6 lineout wins per match at home and contributed strongly in defence and ball-carrying. Du Toit, of course, was World Rugby’s Player of the Year in 2019.
The back row is again an interesting mix with two All Blacks in No 8 Kieran Read and flank Ardie Savea. The other flank is the Lions’ Jaco Kriel, who was prominent in his team’s success in reaching three consecutive finals. Kriel beat five-plus defenders on home turf 11 times in the last decade – one of only two forwards to reach double figures in this category.
Wallabies and Reds inside centre Samu Kerevi is named as the Home Team Player of the Decade. A constant threat to defences, he has beaten 4.7 defenders per game at home in the last decade, the most of any player in that time (min. 10 games), made 10-plus carries on 31 occasions and gained an average of 59 metres per game.
SUPER RUGBY HOME TEAM OF THE DECADE – 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 George Bridge, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Will Genia, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images