Team of the week: The best from the PRO14, Premiership and Top 14 combine
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 02/01/18 5:12pm
Check out who made our latest XV after the most recent round of domestic fixtures from the PRO14, Aviva Premiership and Top 14.
There was another round of intense PRO14 derbies to enjoy, while there was yet more quality on display from the best in England and France. Here's who made the cut...
15. Tony Ensor (Stade Francais)
He may not have scored a try against Bordeaux last time out, but you'd go some way to find a more creative full-back than Ensor at the moment.
He made a league-high 122 metres, carried 14 times, beat three defenders and made two clean breaks as Stade overcame Bordeaux 22-12 on Saturday.
The 26-year-old is a seriously dangerous runner and when in the type of form he was last week, is near unplayable.
14. Tim Visser (Harlequins)
Quins had a stonking win over Northampton at Twickenham on Saturday, plundering 50 points past the Saints, and winger Visser was directly responsible for 10 of those points.
As well as his two tries, Visser was at his imposing and elusive best - a mix distinctly rare at the top level. Four clean breaks is a clear example of the difficulty Saints had in dealing with him.
13. Darren Cave (Ulster)
With his province 17-0 down at home to Munster and staring a second humiliating derby defeat in the face, Cave - who was a late inclusion into the XV - stood up and ensured it wouldn't happen.
With Munster down to 14 men, Cave broke the line to dive over for Ulster's first points of the match on 58 minutes, in a move which also saw Sam Arnold red carded for the visitors due to a high shot on Christian Lealiifano.
With Munster consequently down to 13 men, Cave showed his intelligence in the most crucial part of the match, putting in a sublime grubber kick for the first of Craig Gilroy's tries in the comeback victory. From there, Ulster were well on their way.
12. Tom Farrell (Connacht)
For all their enterprise and effort, Connacht, in many ways, deserved victory against Leinster at the RDS on New Year's Day.
Inside-centre Farrell, alongside Bundee Aki, had a storming game, making 21 carries and beating six defenders in the 21-18 loss.
Farrell's form has perhaps been the brightest part of a mixed campaign to date for Connacht, and his display on Monday was once again fantastic.
11. Marcus Watson (Wasps)
Up against his brother at the Rec on Friday, Marcus Watson shone on the wing and was easily the best back on the pitch.
The electric 26-year-old crossed for two tries in the thrilling 34-29 win, while he also made 125 metres and had four clean breaks - both stats the highest of any Premiership player in the latest round of fixtures.
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
What a performance Smith put in for Quins on Saturday as they put 50 points on Northampton at Twickenham.
The 18-year-old put in a display belying his tender years, filled with poise, ambition and composure.
The young fly-half ran things expertly and was fantastic off the tee in front of a crowd of 77,825.
9. Dan Robson (Wasps)
What does this man have to do to earn a call-up from Eddie Jones for England?
Robson ran the show from scrum-half yet again for Wasps in victory at Bath on Friday, with his pace and organisational skills marvellous.
He also crossed for another try and beat four defenders in another display which highlights the fact he is one of the cleverest operators in the Premiership.
As our very own Stuart Barnes pointed out on Monday, it's hard to understand why Robson hasn't yet been given a sniff with England.
1. Albertus Buckle (Lyon)
Lyon enjoyed a fabulous 35-23 victory over Pau on New Year's Eve, and for his individual try alone, Buckle is worthy of his place.
The South African prop stepped through two men 23 metres out from the tryline before showing great pace to make his way over. It's some score!
2. Niall Scannell (Munster)
Scored two tries in his first start since October at the back of powerful rolling mauls and was part of a forward pack which annihilated Ulster in the first 40 minutes at the Kingspan.
Took over the captaincy after Billy Holland failed his HIA and was also key to a wholly dominant scrum which earned a penalty try.
Was forced off with a shoulder injury in the second half, and Munster were rudderless without him - in addition to being a man down due to Arnold's red card - conspiring to blow a 17-0 lead and lose 24-17 in Belfast.
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow)
Man of the match as Glasgow gained their revenge against Edinburgh at Scotstoun on Saturday.
Good way to the finish the year with a win. Thanks for all the support this year, you’ve been incredible, especially when the fire alarm goes off 🔥 hope you all have a great New Year and a happy and healthy 2018, see you at Scotstoun in the new year 🎇 #WarriorNation pic.twitter.com/VCpwn5P0pY— Zander Fagerson (@ZanderFagerson) December 31, 2017
Scrummaged well, defended manfully and stuck to his task as Glasgow dealt with having to leave the pitch midway through due to a fire alarm in one stand.
Fagerson and the Warriors players maintained their composure and energy levels to see out a 17-0 win.
4. Ross Molony (Leinster)
In many ways, defence was the key to Leinster's 21-18 victory over Connacht at the RDS on New Year's Day, with the visitors dominant for large spells.
Molony was part of a Leinster side which refused to be broken as he made 27 tackles and chipped in with a vital lineout steal.
The effort and power of Leo Cullen's men in defence can only be admired.
5. Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Wasps produced a thrilling 31-26 victory over Bath at the Rec on Friday, and skipper Launchbury is the third man to be included.
The lock trucked the ball up for 19 carries in the win - the third most of anyone in the latest round of the Premiership - earned three turnovers and threw in three offloads.
Launchbury rarely has a poor game these days and his leadership skills were on full display at Bath on Friday, alongside his non-stop work rate.
6. Said Hireche (Brive)
Top 14 strugglers Brive went into their match with Vern Cotter's star-studded Montpellier on Saturday with few giving them a whiff of a chance of victory.
What they produced was their best performance for some time as they racked up a 29-10 success over the then league leaders.
Chief among the top performers was blindside Hireche, who contributed 21 tackles in the win. Nobody made more in France during the last round of games.
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster)
Leinster openside Van der Flier was part of a Leinster pack which had to defend for large spells against Connacht at the RDS, but nobody did more defending than the flanker himself.
The 24-year-old made an astonishing 34 tackles on his own, missing none, in the tight victory.
The PRO14 has since confirmed that Van der Flier set a new record, with nobody having made that many tackles since Opta began tracking league stats back in 2010.
8. Max Deegan (Leinster)
Our third Leinster member to make the XV this week, 21-year-old No 8 Deegan showed he is a potential star of the future with his display over Connacht at the RDS.
The backrow scored the game's opening try, sliding over in the corner, made 26 tackles - second only to team-mates Van der Flier and Molony in the entire league - and earned three turnovers, including one to end the game with Connacht piling the pressure on.
Leinster's strength in depth is verging on the ridiculous. A mention too for Saracens' Jackson Wray, who scored two tries and made 19 carries in a super display.