Team of the week: Tyrrells Premier 15s' winners and other standouts combine
By Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 29/04/19 11:05am
Tyrrells Premier 15s winners and other domestic standouts combine to form our latest team of the week.
On a weekend in which Saracens Women retained their domestic title, their big performers make up the heart of this side and join up with the best from around the globe.
Take a look at the full XV below and vote for your most influential player of the weekend...
15. Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes)
Let's start in the world of Super Rugby and hand the 15 jersey to a man who certainly enjoys wearing it - Jordie Barrett.
The back's scintillating start to their clash with the Chiefs - two tries in the first six minutes - set their tone and turned heads in Wellington.
Barrett's post-match statistics showcase his work in its full glory; 196 metres made, 13 carries and 10 defenders beaten.
Needless to say, his return to start at full back (it was his first run-out in the position since round two) went rather well and will have been keenly watched by Steve Hansen.
Elsewhere a notable mention must be made for Alivereti Veitokani as he scored one of the tries of the season in front of the Sky Sports cameras at the Madejski Stadium.
Veitokani collected a stray kick and duly beat six defenders en route for his sensational solo-score. It was a try, and a victory, that marked his team-mate's Topsy Ojo's final home match in fitting fashion.
14. Tom Collins (Northampton Saints)
A first-half hat-trick takes some doing and that's exactly what Tom Collins achieved away from home on Friday night.
Collins' first five-pointer arrived with just eight minutes on the clock. It saw him spot a gap, slide through it and then turn on the afterburners. Once he'd finished that, the 24-year-old continued to be effervescent throughout with his director of rugby hailing his "pretty tricky feet" and speed post match.
13. Apisai Naqalevu (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Apisai Naqalevu continues to open his box of tricks for Les Jaundards and makes an excellent addition in our midfield.
On Sunday afternoon he was instrumental in helping them to a first-ever victory at the Stade Jean-Bouin. Naqalevu's natural handling skills, teasing the defenders with his one-handed work, coupled with powerful endeavour on the front foot.
In what was a pleasing day at the office for the side, Naqalevu made sure that he got on the board too and delighted their Yellow Army of ardent fans.
12. Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs)
The Chiefs' Round 11 at the Super Rugby office didn't go to plan, a 47-19 loss isn't ideal, however in their midfield Anton Lienert-Brown continued to stand up and be counted for.
He was his side's top carrier with 19 and, only two men on the field made more metres than he did, Barrett for the Hurricanes and Solomon Alaimalo.
Lienert-Brown is a player who always seems to have oodles of time on the ball. In their losing cause he beat eight defenders (more than double any of his team-mates) and his ongoing performance levels must be praised to the hills.
11. Damian Penaud (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
With Collins scoring a hat-trick, we're slotting the man of the match from Paris, Damian Penaud, over to wear our 11 jersey.
Penaud's acceleration, and feet, are world-rounded now and once again paid dividends for his outfit at the Stade Jean-Bouin.
As he found gaps with his name on them, his work oozed class and we all know that there's still so much more to come from the 22-year-old.
10. Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women)
On the largest of stages, in a Tyrrells Premier 15s final, Zoe Harrison was mesmeric as her side secure back-to-back titles in style.
Harrison completed her own work having scored 18 of Saracens Women's 33 points through a first-half double, a conversion and two penalties.
Not only did the fly-half contribute handsomely on the board, she attacked the fixture with all of the nous and control that you need from a playmaker. She executed an excellent kicking game and coupled it with flair and footwork.
In all, the 21-year-old showed maturity beyond her years and, despite missing a few off the tee, and was instrumental in their victory.
9. Ben Spencer (Saracens)
Harrison's half-back partner will be a fellow Saracen as Ben Spencer impressed at the Ricoh Arena.
Spencer was a livewire from the start and continued to showcase the rich vein of form that he's in.
The scrum-half had it all in his locker from deft offloads that you have to watch twice to bullet passes and wheels.
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins)
In the aftermath of Quins' loss to Exeter Chiefs, Joe Marler's 'gentle' words of encouragement to Nic White asking the scrum-half to chivy things along box-kick wise, have gripped social media!
Equally the prop's work on the park is worth noting as he excelled at scrum-time - giving Exeter all sorts of headaches - and went about his business in a focused fashion.
2. Harry Thacker (Bristol Bears)
On a ground that he knows so well, Harry Thacker snatched victory out of his former side's hands with his 75th-minute try at Welford Road.
Thacker, who left Tigers last summer in search of consistent rugby, had already scored twice against them back in December and his third clinched Bristol Bears' first win on the ground since 2002.
The hooker's accurate lineout and then his dot down, completed a memorable day for Pat Lam's side.
After, Thacker's head coach hailed him as 'one of a-kind' and compared his qualities to the likes of Dane Coles and Codie Taylor... not bad company really!?
3. Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women)
To complete our front-three, let's head back to Franklin's Gardens where Hannah Botterman was at her powerful and dynamic best.
Botterman, who began playing rugby at the age of four, showcased her international quality during the 80 minutes of the Tyrrells Premier 15s final.
From offloading neatly for Sydney Gregson's try to barnstorming carrying, she caused Harlequins Ladies all sorts of issues. The prop looked a class above and deservedly finished the game with a huge smile on her face.
4. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
On Friday night, Courtney Lawes was one of the experienced Saints players to step-up against Newcastle Falcons and we'll let his stats do the talking.
Lawes made 17 tackles, missing none, he beat two defenders in open play and did what he does best at lineout time. The 30-year-old took five of Saints' seven darts and then stole four of Falcons' to boot too.
5. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby)
At Thomond Park, Munster confirmed their Guinness PRO14 quarter-finals place with a 27-14 victory over Connacht and their lock also took home the man of the match spoils.
Like Lawes, Beirne was the outfit's go-to man at lineout time and made sure that he stole a couple of his opponents' too.
In open-play, he also highlighted his considerable athleticism during the outing. The 27-year-old's first-half step and a finish was one that every back would be proud of and was a moment that the man that he stepped, Niyi Adeolokun, won't wish to see again!
6. Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs)
Rob Baxter may have 'given it' to the forwards post-match however his flanker certainly turned heads for the right reasons at Sandy Park.
In his 80 minutes of work he provided them with constant energy by being their top carrier (16) and top tackler (14), Plus, it was Ewers' charging break, from inside his own half, that allowed Devoto for fly over for their early try.
7. Julien Ory (RC Toulon)
We're popping to the South of France for the penultimate place in our team of the week where Julien Ory marked his first start at the Stade Felix Mayol in dream fashion.
On his birthday, Ory who was busy throughout their victory, benefited from some swift offloading from his team-mates to power over in the far left-hand corner.
The young man made sure that everyone was talking about him after as Toulon had a spring in their step and he showed what it meant to make his first home appearance for them.
8. Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women)
More often than not, champion sides are spearheaded by commanding No 8s, No 8s that set their side's tone, and Poppy Cleall did just that in the Tyrrells Premier 15s final.
Off the first kick-off, it was her pressure and contact that forced the error from Harlequins Ladies and after that, she was a force to be reckoned with.
Cleall's physicality was off the charts as she inspired those around her. And, like all on the winning side, put in a monster defensive shift in the second-half to secure their second successive title.