Team of the week
Last Updated: 28/12/15 8:32pm
Garry Ringrose and Rob Cook make their team of the week debuts after impressive performances, while Alun Wyn Jones and Maro Itoje make one heck on a second-row pairing...
15 Rob Cook (Gloucester)
Scored one of the tries of the season against Harlequins. Fielding a kick in his own half, Cook set off on a powerful, weaving run and just kept going! He carved up the Quins defence before being caught just short of the line but his momentum took him over for Gloucester's fifth try. A brilliant solo effort.
14 Hanno Dirksen (Ospreys)
Very strong with ball in hand. His try showed good strength but he was more than just finisher against Scarlets. Made sure that every carry mattered and really tested the Scarlets defence every time he got the ball.
13 Garry Ringrose (Leinster)
Comparisons with the great Brian O'Driscoll have already started and even the great man himself took to Twitter to suggest that Ringrose should be starting for Ireland in the Six Nations. Carved open the Munster defence with a great run before handing off to his skipper Isa Nacewa to score.
12 Jamie Roberts (Harlequins)
London Irish centre Johnny Williams came close to squeezing in after his performance against Northampton but Roberts sneaks in just ahead of him. He was relentless all night, kept Quins in the game each time it looked like Gloucester were pulling away. Made nine trademark carries and put in a good effort in defence, too.
11 James Short (Exeter)
Not often we see a winger with so many carries but Short got 16 against Sale and made an average of eight metres each time. Scored a great try and beat seven defenders in Exeter's win against the Sharks.
10 Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Farrell piled the pressure onto Wasps with some accurate kicking and the Sarries kick-chase-tackle game is certainly paying dividends. Farrell also took advantage of a turned-over ball which resulted in him going over for a try. Was his usual meticulous self when going for posts and incredibly topped the tackle stats with 12!
9 Will Chudley (Exeter)
Played a key role in the Chiefs win over Sale on Boxing Day. Chudley tested the Sale defence at every opportunity and his quick thinking resulted in two tries. Controls a game and knows exactly when to get more from his forwards and when to get his backs into the game.
8 Nick Williams (Ulster)
Northampton's Teimana Harrison and Sale's Josh Beaumont caught the eye but Williams scored the decisive try that clinched the win for Ulster and ended Connacht's seven-match winning run at home. Was a big ball carrier for Ulster with 14 and was excellent in defence, too.
7 Sean O'Brien (Leinster)
Matt Kvesic was sensational for Gloucester and with a performance like that must surely be a contender for the England No 7 jersey. However we just cannot ignore O'Brien's showing for Leinster. The man of the match was everywhere, and had a very telling steal when Munster were hot on the attack after turning down two penalties in favour of a line-out in the corner.
6 Don Armand (Exeter)
17 carries, seven tackles and three defenders beaten; Armand certainly caught the eye of new England forwards coach Steve Borthwick with this display.
5 Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys)
Another inspirational display from Jones who just seems to be getting better and better. Put in another colossal effort against the Scarlets with 12 telling carries.
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens)
Played in the No 5 jersey but along with Jones is the in-form lock at the moment. He was man of the match as Sarries beat Wasps with a typical all-round performance including some exceptional work at the breakdown.
3 Dmitri Arhip (Ospreys)
Will we ever tire of seeing a prop tearing up the touchline? His run down the blindside set up Eli Walker's try which sealed the win for the Ospreys.
2 David Paice (London Irish)
London Irish claim first League win
London Irish secured their first points of the season with a 25-23 win over Northampton
Really helped the Exiles get a solid platform which led them to their first win this season. Was tenacious in the loose and did the basics well and was also a key ball carrier for them - eight in total with one leading to Sean Maitland's try.
1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Troubled the Wasps front row all afternoon, leading to points and making sure that Sarries were on the front foot. Used his bulk to good effect with seven strong carries and also made nine tackles.