Paul Cully: More Lions than All Blacks in test rugby's Team of the Week

The Lions pack crushed New Zealand Maori and dominate Stuff's Team of the Week selections.
PHOTOSPORT

The Lions pack crushed New Zealand Maori and dominate Stuff's Team of the Week selections.

OPINION: Seven British and Irish Lions and six All Blacks have been selected in Stuff's international rugby Team of the Week.

The starting XV is rounded out by Scotland pivot Finn Russell and South African flanker Siya Kolisi.

The bulk of the British and Lions pack that demolished New Zealand Maori in Rotorua and four All Blacks outside backs after their stunning 78-0 win over Samoa.

Lions prop Tadhg Furlong.
David Rogers

Lions prop Tadhg Furlong.

New Zealand-born midfielder Ben Te'o and halfback Conor Murray are the only Lions backs to make the Team of the Week.

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No Australians made the cut after their home defeat to Scotland.

Finn Russell impressed in Scotland's win over the Wallabies in Sydney.
Mark Kolbe

Finn Russell impressed in Scotland's win over the Wallabies in Sydney.

But Russell has.

The Scotland No.10 was excellent in Sydney. Not only did he manipulate Wallabies' defence with his sleight of hand and distribution skills but he pulled off a fantastic try-saving tackle on Israel Folau in the dying minutes.

It was a dominant display by the No.10 and although he has been called into the Lions squad to help out their midweek side against the Chiefs on Tuesday, it's a bit of a backhanded compliment. Warren Gatland erred in not taking him in the first place and Russell proved his point on Saturday.

Flanker Siya Kolisi scored a try and made a big impact in South Africa's victory over France.
Gallo Images

Flanker Siya Kolisi scored a try and made a big impact in South Africa's victory over France.

The Lions were completely in control against an outclassed Maori tight five earlier on Saturday but for the second weekend in a row failed to create a try for their backs. Their lack of creativity will ultimately be their undoing.

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It is still too early to talk about a Springboks renaissance but a second convincing win against France showcased their increasing cohesiveness and willingness to work for each other in defence.

Personnel-wise the Springboks aren't that much different from last year, although the investment in new captain Warren Whiteley seems to be paying off.

There is clearly a strong Lions influence running through the spine of the side but everyone appears to be buying into the new direction – No.12 Jan Serfontein just hurled himself into French bodies. They have definitely taken some positive steps.  

TEAM OF THE WEEK

15. Ben Smith (New Zealand)

14. Israel Dagg (New Zealand)

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand)

12. Ben Te'o (British and Irish Lions)

11. Julian Savea (New Zealand).

10. Finn Russell (Scotland)

9. Conor Murray (British and Irish Lions)

8. Taulupe Faletau (British and Irish Lions)

7. Siya Kolisi (South Africa)

6. Jerome Kaino (New Zealand)

5. Maro Itoje (British and Irish Lions)

4. Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)

3. Tadhg Furlong (British and Irish Lions)

2. Jamie George (British and Irish Lions)

1. Mako Vunipola (British and Irish Lions)

 - Stuff

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