Team of the Week: 12 teams feature after PRO14 derbies and top-of-the-Premiership clash
By Sky Sports Rugby Union
Last Updated: 24/12/18 9:34am
Twelve sides feature following an exciting round of Guinness PRO14 derbies and Gallagher Premiership action...
15 Alex Goode (Saracens)
Saracens' 22-match unbeaten run came to a halt at Sandy Park on Saturday, with Exeter claiming top spot in the Gallagher Premiership with a 31-13 victory. However, Alex Goode was brilliant for the visitors, carrying the ball 14 times for 78 metres - beating nine defenders in the process.
14 Jonah Holmes (Leicester Tigers)
Leicester recorded a relieving 35-24 win over Harlequins in Geordan Murphy's first game as full-time boss at the club, and Jonah Holmes was responsible for two of the four tries on the day. The line he ran off George Ford for the Tigers' first try was sensational.
13 Will Addison (Ulster)
Ulster won their derby against Munster 19-12 at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday night, and Will Addison was at the heart of the home side's attacking threat. Addison carried 15 times for 61 metres, beating three Munster defenders with the ball.
12 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Manu Tuilagi played in the No 13 jersey at Welford Road but we've made allowances to include him alongside Addison. Tuilagi's try was a team effort rather than a solo one, but the 27-year-old was otherwise full of impact in the Tigers midfield.
11 Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh)
Filipo Nakosi crossed for a hat-trick in Toulon's 40-7 win over Lyon win that takes them to 10th in the Top 14 standings and could potentially reignite their season, but for his two tries in Edinburgh's derby win over Glasgow, Duhan van der Merwe slots into the left wing berth.
10 Freddie Burns (Bath)
There were some impressive performances in the No 10 jersey over the weekend, including Ford's at Welford Road, but the fly-half jersey goes to Freddie Burns this week. The 28-year-old scored all but five of Bath's points in a much-needed 24-14 success over Wasps at the Ricoh Arena.
9 Rhys Webb (Toulon)
A mention for Cobus Reinach, who was in fine form in Saints' victory over Worcester on Friday, but for his sensational return to rugby in a strong individual showing, Rhys Webb is our top scrum-half of the weekend. The Welshman made several clever breaks and controlled the ball well as his side flourished against Lyon.
1 Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Begles)
When Mahamadou Diaby was shown a red card for a dangerous clear-out at a ruck after 29 minutes, with Bordeaux-Begles just one point ahead of their hosts Castres, it looked like Jefferson Poirot's side would go on to lose. However, spurred on by skipper Poirot - who inspired his fellow forwards at the set-piece and scored a try - Bordeaux walked away 32-13 winners at Stade Pierre-Fabre.
2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Luke Cowan-Dickie will likely never score an easier try than the one he scored against Saracens, but that wasn't his only contribution at Sandy Park. The hooker also carried the ball 14 times and made 12 tackles, as well as nailing all 12 of his lineouts.
3 Andrew Porter (Leinster)
Christian Judge's break and offload for Saracens' late try at Exeter should alone have be enough to get him into the team of the week, but for his last-gasp try after 41 phases that gave his side victory over Connacht with no time left on the clock, Andrew Porter is the man to wear our No 3 jersey.
4 Leone Nakarawa (Racing 92)
Leone Nakarawa wore the No 5 jersey in Racing 92's 64-28 demolition of Perpignan, but given his overall versatility we're sure he won't mind us shifting him one place over. The Fijian was his usual free-flowing self on Saturday, making two breaks, beating two defenders and scoring two tries.
5 Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs)
Sam Skinner was the man to provide the charge down for Cowan-Dickie's try, and it epitomised how hard he worked throughout the game. The second rower took seven throws off the Chiefs' throw-ins at the lineout and stole one from the opposition, as well as making 12 hits on Saracens ball carriers.
6 Jarrad Butler (Connacht)
It was a heartbreaking 33-29 loss for Connacht at the RDS Arena, for whom Jarrad Butler was a stand-out performer in defeat. Butler personified the never-say-die attitude of the visitors with his 19 tackles on Saturday.
7 Anna Caplice (Richmond FC)
Richmond FC were 29-10 victors over DMP Sharks on Saturday in a Richmond double header, and in the first game openside Anna Caplice flexed her muscles as she tackled, jackaled and carried well in an all-action showing.
8 Matt Kvesic (Exeter Chiefs)
This place could easily have gone to Marcell Coetzee who was a nuisance against Munster, but for being at the heart of Exeter's win over the defending Gallagher Premiership champions, and crossing the whitewash late in the affair, Kvesic gets the nod.