Autumn Nations Series Team of the Week

Autumn Nations Series Team of the Week

Test rugby was back in full swing this weekend, with the best of the South taking on the best of the North.

 

A fascinating weekend of rugby kicked off with Scotland taking on Fiji while Italy hosted Samoa.


 

The Fijian put up a good fight going down 28-12 to Scotland, while Italy ran in six tries to defeat Samoa 49-17.

 

New Zealand ran in eight tries to ease the pressure on Ian Foster, defeating Wales 23-55 in Cardiff. 

 

For the first time since 2017, Ireland hosted South Africa and secured a narrow 19-16 victory over the World Champions. 


 

In the final game on Saturday, France edged Australia 30-29 thanks to a last-gasp try from Damian Penaud.

 

On Sunday, Georgia swept Uruguay aside, securing a 34-18 victory, while Argentina stunned England at Twickenham, claiming a 29-30 win. 


 

We pick our team of the week following the weekend's action. 

 

1. Ellis Genge - England

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06: Ellis Genge of England is tackled by Pablo Matera of Argentina during the Autumn International match between England and Argentina at Twickenham Stadium on November 06, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

A solid scrummaging performance combined with some slick handling, power carries, and strong defence had David Flatman purring over Ellis Genge on commentary, earning him a place in our team of the week. 

 

England's scrum crumbled once Genge left the pitch. 

 

Bubbling under: Andrew Porter (Ireland), James Slipper (Australia).

 

 

2. Codie Taylor - New Zealand

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 05: Adam Beard of Wales taeks on Cody Taylor during the Autumn International match between Wales and New Zealand All Blacks at the Principality Stadium on November 05, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Codie Taylor is back playing some of his best rugby after an under-par July and Rugby Championship. Taylor scored two tries in the win over Wales while his set piece work was back up to scratch. 

 

Bubbling under: Dan Sheehan (Ireland), Julien Marchand (France).

 

3. Taniela Tupou - Australia

Taniela Tupou laid down a marker early in the match against France with a mighty shove on Cyrill Baille, earning an early penalty.

 

Tupou battled well against Cyril Baille while adding big carries and hard-hitting defence. 

 

Bubbling under: Eduardo Bello (Argentina), Guram Papidze (Georgia)

 

4. Eben Etzebeth - South Africa

Dublin , Ireland - 5 November 2022; Eben Etzebeth of South Africa offloads to team-mate Kurt-Lee Arendse, despite the tackles of Mack Hansen, Robert Baloucoune and Hugo Keenan of Ireland, for Arendse to score his side's second try during the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match between Ireland and South Africa at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Another standout test match from the veteran Springbok. Etzebeth was excellent in all facets of the game and gave his side a chance to steal the win with a brilliant offload drawing in three players to assist Kurt-Lee Arendse.

 



Bubbling under: Richie Gray (Scotland), Cameron Woki (France), and Will Skelton (Australia). 

 

5. James Ryan - Ireland

Dublin , Ireland - 5 November 2022; James Ryan of Ireland in action against Jasper Wiese, left, and Damian Willemse of South Africa during the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match between Ireland and South Africa at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

An all-action display from James Ryan against the Springboks earns him the no.5 jersey.

 

He thundered into the South African pack with superb efficiency. 

 

He was excellent at lineout time, too, making a pivotal steal with the Boks deep inside his 22.

 

Bubbling under:  Will Rowlands (Wales), 

 

6. Charles Ollivon - France

Charles OLLIVON of France during the International Friendly Match between France and Australia at Stade de France on November 5, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Sandra Ruhaut/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Man of the match on his return to test rugby in Paris, Ollivon built on his performance for Les Bleus and produced a man of the match performance against Australia. 

 

The now-former captain of France was excellent with and without the ball and superb at lineout time.

 

Bubbling under:  Albert Tuisue (Fiji), Theo McFarland (Samoa), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Beka Gorgadze (Georgia)

 

7. Josh van der Flier - Ireland

Dublin , Ireland - 5 November 2022; Josh van der Flier of Ireland is tackled by Siya Kolisi of South Africa during the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match between Ireland and South Africa at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Van der Flier smartly scored off the back of a rolling maul to help Ireland to a three-point victory over South Africa on Saturday evening. The 29-year-old continued his fine form in the Ireland jumper featuring heavily on attack and defence, making 15 tackles, five carries and picked up the man of the match award.

 

Bubbling under:  Marcos Kremer (Argentina) and Anthony Jelonch (France).

 

8. Ardie Savea - New Zealand

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 05: Ardie Savea of New Zealand dives over to score their sixth try during the Autumn International match between Wales and New Zealand All Blacks at the Principality Stadium on November 05, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

There was no lack of options for the no.8 jersey, but yet none were quite as brilliant as New Zealand's Ardie Savea. 

 

The powerful back-rower was involved in just about everything that New Zealand did right on Saturday, making two turnovers that led to tries while assisting one for Aaron Smith and scoring one of his own. 



 

Bubbling under:  Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Gregory Alldritt (France), Matt Fagerson (Scotland).

 

9. Aaron Smith - New Zealand

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 05: Aaron Smith of New Zealand celebrates after scoring their fouth try during the Autumn International match between Wales and New Zealand All Blacks at the Principality Stadium on November 05, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Aaron Smith was on top of his game in Cardiff on Saturday as he marshalled the All Blacks to an impressive victory over Wales. His swift and accurate service saw the All Blacks take control of the match early on before he ran rampant, scoring two tries. 



 

Bubbling under:  Nic White (Australia) and Stephen Varney (Italy).

 

10. Paolo Garbisi - Italy

Garbisi steered Italy to an impressive 49-17 victory over the current Pacific Nations Cup champions, Samoa.

 

The Italian pivot assisted three of his side's six tries and scored seven points off the tee once he took over the kicking duties from the injured Tommy Allan. 

 

An excellent performance from the 22-year-old, which sees him edge out some stellar showings from fellow playmakers.

 

Bubbling under:  Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Santiago Carreras (Argentina), Richie Mo'unga (New Zealand), and Matthieu Jalibert (France).

 

 

11. Monty Ioane - Italy

Italy's match against Samoa clashed with Scotland v Fiji, which meant many missed Monty Ioane's excellent against the Pacific Islanders.

 

The 28-year-old hadn't played since April but quickly got back to business, scoring two tries, beating seven defenders and making four clean breaks.

 

Bubbling under: Rio Dyer (Wales), Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland), 

 

12. Jordie Barrett - New Zealand

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 05: Jordie Barrett of New Zealand beats Rio Dyer of Wales to the high ball on the way to scoring his sides third try during the Autumn International match between Wales and New Zealand at Principality Stadium on November 05, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Another fine outing at inside centre from Jordie Barrett as he looks to make the position his own.

 

He did brilliantly to beat Rio Dyer in the air to score and was solid in defence while his kicking game put further pressure on Wales.

 

He carried well into contact laying the platform for their attack and linked up well with the rest of the backline.

 

Bubbling under:  Damian de Allende (South Africa), Jeronimo de la Fuente (Argentina).

 

13. Jimmy O'Brien - Ireland

Dublin , Ireland - 5 November 2022; Mack Hansen of Ireland, 11, celebrates with teammate Jimmy O'Brien, centre, after scoring their side's second try during the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match between Ireland and South Africa at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

A whirlwind week for Jimmy O'Brien as he was preparing to face the All Blacks XV on Friday evening before getting the call-up to the senior team for a potential debut off the bench against the Springboks.

 

Usually an outside back for Leinster, O'Brien was thrown into the thick of an intense test match against the World Champions when Stuart McCloskey was forced off the pitch. The youngster rose to the occasion playing 50 minutes on test debut, out of position and showed tremendous composure to send Mack Hansen over for what proved to be a match-winning try.



 

Dealing with test veterans like Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allende was another reason that the youngster got into our team of the week. A brilliant performance, considering the circumstances. 

 

Bubbling under: Len Ikitau (Australia), Ulupano Seuteni (Samoa), Jonathan Danty (France). 

 

14. Emiliano Boffelli - Argentina

A spot that was hotly contested over the weekend, with Darcy Graham claiming the jersey early on Saturday before Damian Penaud made a strong case for his inclusion, but Emiliano Boffelli's brilliance was just too good to ignore.



 

Twenty-five points, one try, one missed conversion and six penalties, but Boffelli made a mark in all facets of the game and was ultimately the match-winner in a historic victory at Twickenham.



 

Bubbling under: Darcy Graham (Scotland), Damian Penaud (France)

 

15. Thomas Ramos - France

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 5: Thomas Ramos of France celebrates the victory with the fans following the 2022 Autumn International test match between France and Australia at Stade de France on November 5, 2022 in Saint-Denis near Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Thomas Ramos brought his Top 14 form into the French jersey producing a stellar performance for Les Bleus, scoring 20 of Les Bleus' 30 points. He added pace to France's attack and kept the scoreboard ticking with his accurate goal-kicking. He was also safe under the high ball and took the #15 jersey with some strong contenders this weekend. 

 

Bubbling under: Jock Campbell (Australia), Juan Cruz Mallia (Argentina), Hugo Keenan (Ireland), and Beauden Barrett (New Zealand). 

 

                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   

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