Team of the week: Springboks, Wallabies and England dominate
Last Updated: 12/08/19 1:15pm
South Africa sealing the Rugby Championship, Australia beating the All Blacks and England's win over Wales sees them dominate our team of the week...
15. Kurtley Beale (Australia)
The full-back continued the impressive form he has shown throughout this year's Rugby Championship with a scintillating display in the Wallabies' 47-26 victory over New Zealand.
Kurtley Beale made 112 metres - the most of any player in the Championship across the weekend - on 13 carries, beat six defenders and made three clean breaks, capping the win for the hosts off with their fifth and final try.
14. Joe Cokanasiga (England)
Joe Cokanasiga was a late addition to the England team that beat Wales 33-19 on Sunday, but put in a try-scoring performance that gets him into our team of the week.
The winger used the power of a forward to get over the line from close range but showed throughout the match that his pace remains a threat to opposition defences out wide.
13. James O'Connor (Australia)
Despite it being his first Test start and only second appearance in a Wallabies shirt for six years, not to mention being his maiden international start at centre, utility back James O'Connor looked like he had hardly been away.
O'Connor made two clean breaks from his 13 carries and played a part in helping keep the ball alive with three offloads.
12. Samu Kerevi (Australia)
O'Connor's centre partner in Perth was equally as destructive with the ball in hand against the All Blacks.
Samu Kerevi carried 20 times, making 88 metres and beating five defenders along the way. In a backline blessed with versatility, Kerevi seems a natural fit in the No 12 jersey.
11. Reece Hodge (Australia)
Reece Hodge led the way for the Wallabies with two tries to help them put one hand on the Bledisloe Cup in that triumph against the All Blacks in Perth.
Only team-mate Beale made more than the winger's 94 metres in the whole competition over the weekend, while Hodge beat six defenders, made four clean breaks and offloaded three times as well.
10. Handre Pollard (South Africa)
Pulling the strings at fly-half, Handre Pollard capped an exceptional performance for the Springboks with two tries plus kicking five penalties and three conversions as they clinched the 2019 Rugby Championship with victory over Argentina.
He was a threat with the ball in hand all match too, making 43 metres, beating three defenders and making two clean breaks - not to mention contributing in defence with 10 tackles as well.
9. Nic White (Australia)
The Exeter Chiefs nine gave another glimpse of the form which shows why he was recalled to the side by Australia head coach Michael Cheika, scoring a try and making 43 metres from his 14 carries, along with beating six defenders and making two clean breaks.
Nic White came to the fore on the defensive side too, making nine tackles to help blunt New Zealand's attacking threats.
1. Ellis Genge (England)
One of the most impressive aspects of England's victory at Twickenham was the dominance of their scrum. The home forwards were a force at the set piece, and Ellis Genge played a big part in it.
The prop also put in an impressive 14 tackles to go with his primary duties in the front row.
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (England)
Luke Cowan-Dickie enjoyed a memorable first start for England, showing great alertness to grab his first try for his country by stealing a Wales lineout and racing over to dot down just before half time.
The hooker carried for 42 metres with the ball in hand, making two clean breaks and beating three defenders too. He also produced 12 tackles to help keep Wales at bay.
3. Trevor Nyakane (South Africa)
Frans Malherbe has been South Africa's tighthead of choice in recent times, with Wilco Louw occasionally wearing the No 3 jersey, but converted loosehead Trevor Nyakane appears to have matured into the player to anchor the Bok scrum at the World Cup.
A well-liked character within the setup, Nyakane has added steel to his on-field persona, and was part of an impressive scrummaging display against the traditionally-powerful Pumas.
4. Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)
The 27-year-old put in a huge shift for the Springboks in the engine room as they overcame Argentina in Salta, winning six lineouts and coming up with a steal.
His 10 tackles underlined Etzebeth's work on the defensive side too, while he beat two defenders with the ball in hand to help give his side some go-forward.
5. Jean Kleyn (Ireland)
An impressive Ireland debut for Jean Kleyn, who made 16 tackles and carried the ball nine times in Ireland's 29-10 win over Italy in Dublin.
A mention for Franco Mostert, who has been a mainstay for the Boks in the time of their recent resurgence. His partnership with Etzebeth is evolving into a vital one for Rassie Erasmus.
6. Lewis Ludlam (England)
Kleyn wasn't the only one to make an impact on debut. Lewis Ludlam made a literal impact - along with Courtney Lawes - on Wales' Aaron Wainwright with a huge tackle on the flanker to cap off an all-court first Test outing.
England are blessed with many back row options, but Ludlam showed on Sunday that he is one of the names that will be difficult to leave off the teamsheet in years to come.
6. Kwagga Smith (South Africa)
The back row was rock-solid in defence to help South Africa nullify Argentina's attacking dangers and pack strength, making 12 tackles and winning a turnover for his team as well.
South Africa's openside options include Siya Kolisi, Marcell Coetzee and Francois Louw, so Smith has his work cut out to make the World Cup squad, but is putting his best foot forward with the opportunities he has had under Erasmus.
8. Billy Vunipola (England)
The back row was named man of the match for his role in helping an experimental England side overcome Wales in the first of their Rugby World Cup warm-up matches at Twickenham on Sunday.
Vunipola was a threat with the ball in hand all afternoon, running for 42 metres from 12 carries, beating six defenders and making one clean break, along with making 10 tackles in defence.