Team of the week: England and Ireland dominate with Boks, All Blacks, a Wallaby and a Scot
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 09/09/19 3:50pm
Find out who makes it into our XV this week as the standouts from the final round of pre-World Cup summer Tests combine...
England finished their World Cup preparations with a history-making game in the north east, while Ireland moved to No 1 in the world rankings with another win over Wales.
See who makes our cut and have your say when it comes to the most influential player of the weekend with our vote below...
15. Rob Kearney (Ireland)
One of a number of Irish players to really struggle at Twickenham a fortnight back, full-back Kearney was back to his near-best at home to Wales on Saturday.
The 33-year-old looked quick across the ground, helping to save two potential first half tries, beating George North in a chase firstly, before assisting Robbie Henshaw to catch and hold up Dan Biggar in-goal later on.
Kearney also scored the crucial first try on the day, hitting the attack at great pace and finishing well past Jonathan Davies, was very good in the air, missed no tackles, made seven carries, a clean break and beat four defenders.
14. Makazole Mapimpi (South Africa)
Unlike most nations competing at the forthcoming World Cup in Japan, South Africa are already out there and saw off the prospective hosts comfortably 41-7 in Kumagaya on Friday.
The top performer proved to be wing Mapimpi, who dazzled with his pace and finishing: making 99 metres with ball in hand, beating five defenders, making three clean breaks and scoring a hat-trick.
Mapimpi also contributed 10 tackles, missing none, in a super all-round display.
13. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
Featuring in his first Test of rugby all summer, Henshaw looked extremely sharp for Ireland in the outside-centre berth.
The 26-year-old was a bundle of energy and power both in defence and attack - where he contributed 10 forceful carries and beat two defenders.
Nothing got past Henshaw's channel, while he also showed phenomenal recovery defence to race back and catch Biggar on the half-hour mark, holding him up with Kearney to stop a certain try. Henshaw proved with this display that he must start for Ireland in the centre.
12. Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand)
Lienert-Brown has impressed at several points for the All Blacks this summer - to the point at which the likes of Sonny Bill Williams and Ryan Crotty may be getting a tad uncomfortable.
New Zealand's blowout 92-7 victory over Tonga on Saturday is hard to accurately take anything from, but relative to the rest of his team-mates and opposition players on the day, the Chiefs man finished in the top five for carries, metres made and tackles made - the only player to do so.
Lienert-Brown made a game-high 17 carries, 89 metres in attack, 10 tackles, one turnover, two clean breaks and beat six defenders.
11. George Bridge (New Zealand)
Like with Lienert-Brown, Bridge's performance is difficult to truly judge due to the inferiority of the opposition, but some stats just can't be ignored - like scoring four tries for example, or making a ridiculous 247 metres with ball in hand.
The wing ran riot against Tonga, making 15 carries, beating 10 defenders, eight clean breaks. He seared through the Islanders' defence like a knife through butter, ultimately notching those four scores.
10. Adam Hastings (Scotland)
A difficult week to select an out-half, as none truly stood out. Johnny Sexton was good on his Ireland return, Owen Farrell assured for England, Beauden Barrett a mix of the good and bad on his return to the No 10 shirt.
As such, we've gone with Scotland's Hastings, whose stylish running game in the 36-9 victory over Georgia was lovely to watch. He made 13 carries - no Scot made more - beat five defenders, made seven tackles and earned a turnover.
9. Ben Youngs (England)
Youngs had not enjoyed a positive summer for England ahead of Friday night's Test with Italy, and headed into the game with a heavy degree of pressure on him from some quarters.
The scrum-half responded with a display which earned him the Man of the Match award, and he scored one try - showing his cleverness from close range - and made another, breaking off a scrum to feed Joe Marchant.
Aside from one ball kicked out on the full, his kicking game was very good, as was the tempo he brought to his passing and the England attack.
1. Ellis Genge (England)
Coming on from the final 10 minutes or so of the first half, Genge - and fellow replacement prop Kyle Sinckler - brought ballast and energy in spades to England.
The Leicester Tiger made 12 carries, beat three defenders, made one breakdown turnover, was part of a scrum which operated at 100 per cent and scored a try in a very impressive performance.
2. Jamie George (England)
For so long in the shadow of previous England skipper Dylan Hartley, George is now firmly first choice hooker for Eddie Jones and was one of the standouts at St James' Park.
He made 11 tackles, five carries, was 100 per cent with his lineout throw and was part of a scrum which was 100 per cent also. George also showed what a talented player he is with ball in hand in the loose - one sensational offload up the left wing a case in point.
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
Not Furlong's most striking day by any means, but the tighthead proved how important he is to Ireland yet again.
The prop scored the most significant try of the day at the Aviva Stadium against Wales, as he showed brute force to power over for Ireland's second, regaining the lead and rewarding a sustained period of pressure and dominance.
His scrummaging was extremely strong again, while his breakdown and ruck work is essential to the success of Ireland's multi-phase power game.
4. James Ryan (Ireland)
Developing into the most important member of the Ireland squad, second row Ryan proved against Wales on Saturday that he is a class act yet again.
The 23-year-old is a workhorse of physicality, and seems to make statement impacts at several points during Test matches.
The Leinster lock made 10 carries, eight tackles - missing none - beat a defender, claimed four lineouts and scored a vital try from close range. His form is up there with the best in the world at the moment.
5. Courtney Lawes (England)
The second row position is perhaps the most competitive area within Jones' squad at the moment, with Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury and Lawes fantastic options.
The Northampton Saint offers a granite hard edge and outstanding lineout defence, with Friday's display a real marker.
Lawes made 12 carries - no forward on the pitch made more - 13 tackles, one turnover, claimed four lineout balls and made another three lineout steals.
6. Pieter-Steph Du Toit (South Africa)
Consistently one of the top performers in this resurgent Springbok side, Du Toit led the tackle count again as South Africa beat Japan on Friday.
The back-row made 17 tackles in defence from his blindside role, claimed one lineout and never seems to have a poor game these days.
7. Mark Wilson (England)
For his remarkable defensive effort when played out of position on the openside, Wilson gets in our back-row after his work-rate exploits against Italy.
The flanker made an incredible 27 tackles for England in Newcastle - a whole nine more than the next best player in the Test. He also did not give away a single penalty.
Though Wilson carried just seven times in attack, he was impactful as he beat five defenders and made three clean breaks.
8. Jack Dempsey (Australia)
David Pocock was playing his final Test on Aussie soil when the Wallabies hosted Samoa on Saturday, but Pocock's back-row partner Dempsey stood out on his return.
The 25-year-old has had a torrid time with injury over the last two years, but looked in super form over the weekend as he beat four defenders and made one clean break off nine carries, while he also made one skilful breakdown steal as Australia won 34-14.