Picking a form South African XV from the Premiership

Picking a form South African XV from the Premiership

The Premiership is home to 40 South African born players with 10 of those 40 on Sale Sharks' payroll.

The South Africans are some of the best players in the league, we take a look at form XV from the republic from the current season before it was put on pause.

1. Coenie Oosthuizen - Sale Sharks

South African fans will remember Oosthuizen as a tighthead prop in his latter seasons with the Sharks but has since switched back to the loosehead side with Sale. 

His high work rate and strong scrummaging has made him a mainstay in the Sale Sharks' starting XV. Nick Schonert comes in a very close second for the jersey while impressing for Worcester.

2. Franco Marais - Gloucester

Akker van der Merwe has made a massive impact at Sale Sharks but Marais has been just as effective while being more accurate at the set pieces giving him the edge over Akker.

Marais maintained an average of over 10 tackles per game bettering van der Merwe's average with the Sale Sharks hooker crossing the try line more the Gloucester man.

3. Vincent Koch - Saracens

Koch returned from the World Cup in fine form for the defending Premiership champions and has continued in that vein. 

Pat Cilliers has been solid for London Irish as to has Francois van Wyk for Northampton Saints.

4. Stephen Lewies - Harlequins

There was no shortage of choices when it comes to the second-rower. Lewies has been the standout for us in an incredibly competitive position.

Lood de Jager is bound to make the list once he adds to his single appearance for Sale while Gerbrandt Grobler, Ruan Botha, Franco van der Merwe and Jannes Kirsten have all been superb for their respective clubs.

However, Lewies gets the nod for us with his high work rate and superb lineout work which has cemented his place in the starting line up at the Harlequins.

Any of the other players mentioned could have really made the cut.

5. Franco Mostert - Glouster

The man never seems to tire. Franco Mostert played a key role in the Springbok pack that won the Rugby World Cup in Japan and he brought that form back with him to Gloucester right after the competition.

Mostert is everything you want in a modern-day second-rower and despite Gloucester's struggles in the league, he has been consistently brilliant.

6. Jono Ross - Sale Sharks

The Sale Sharks back-row division is heavily stocked but Ross hasn't backed down from the new signings. He has stepped up and has continually been one of Europe busiest defenders.

He slots in ahead of the likes of Ruan Ackermann, Jean-Luc du Preez, Hanro Liebenberg, Ash Johnson and Renaldo Bothma.   

7. Jacques Vermeulen - Exeter Chiefs

Rob Baxter has made some incredibly intelligent signings over past few years and Vermeulen is just another example of that.

The former Sharks' flanker has slotted seamlessly into the Exeter squad whether he has featured at no.8 or on the side of the scrum. A workaholic attitude on defence and a massive tank for attack make him one of the best signings of the season.

He cracks the nod over Jean-Luc du Preez and Francois Louw. 

8. Dan du Preez - Sale Sharks 

Another Sale Sharks man grabs a place in the side - and rightly so. Dan du Preez was in fine form before the rest of his season with the Durban-based Sharks before injury cut his season short. He returned in excellent form for his new side.

Du Preez's form has catapulted him back into the conversation for the Springboks. Wasps' Nizaam Carr has been just as impressive, particularly in their most recent games.

9. Cobus Reinach - Northampton Saints

Faf de Klerk may have Reinach's number when it comes to the Springbok squad but the Saints man has certainly had more of an impact in the Premiership.

Reinach has been superb on defence and just as impressive on attack. He just edges de Klerk in overall impact with de Klerk's injury counting against him.

Francois Hougaard is regularly consistent for Worcester while Embrose Papier had an excellent stint at the Sharks.

10. Rob du Preez - Sale Sharks

Brett Herron is the only competitor for du Preez and the Harlequins man has been excellent when given the opportunity but has been stuck behind Marcus Smith at the London club.

Du Preez has been strong for Sale overtaking AJ MacGinty as the side's first choice flyhalf at the club.

11. Travis Ismaiel - Harlequins

Injuries have hit Ismaiel's Harlequins career quite hard but the Springbok has shown why the London club sort after the speedster's services.

His turn of pace and try-scoring ability means that he will thrive once fully fit.

12. Brad Barritt - Saracens

A Saracens legend, the South African born England International has been excellent for Saracens every time he has pulled on a jersey this season.

Solid defence and strong ball carrying has been the epitome of Barritt's game and he shows no sign of slowing down.

13. Francois Venter - Worcester Warriors

Incredibly underrated in the league, Venter has been one of the form centres throughout the season.

He runs stellar running lines and makes excellent defensive reads for the Warriors. 

He edges out the likes of Juan de Jongh and Jaco Taute for a place in the side.

14. Rohan Janse van Rensberg - Sale Sharks

A positional switch for the powerhouse centre. Janse van Rensberg has been brutally effective for Sale Sharks this term. 

He averages 4 defenders beaten per game, has scored three tries and regularly gets over the advantage line for the side.

15. Scott van Breda - Worcester Warriors

Van Breda grabs the jersey relatively unopposed but that is no knock on his performances for Worcester Warriors.

A solid boot from the back, a safe pair of hands and a reliable kicker, he certainly is a solid option at the back.

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