The Rugby Championship's top XV
Off the long run
It's going to be hard to pick this year's Rugby Championship XV without having plenty of All Blacks and very few Wallabies.
So, here are the players who have stood out for me:
1.Rodrigo Roncero, Argentina. An absolute world class prop who finally got to show his prowess against the best of the Southern Hemisphere. Will be missed when he hangs up the boots.
2. Adriaan Strauss, South Africa.He has taken over well in the absence of Bismarck du Plessis.
3. Jannie du Plessis, South Africa. One of the in-form props in world rugby at the moment, and gave Tony Woodcock a hard time in Dunedin.
4. Sam Whitelock, New Zealand. Probably the most consistent lock out of a very good trio. Has been key in a lineout that has worked all season.
5. Patricio Albacete, Argentina. One of Argentina's most consistent performers in a powerful pack.
6. Liam Messam, New Zealand. Every time he's had the ball in hand, he's always managed to get over the advantage line and more.
7. Richie McCaw, New Zealand. Enough said.
8. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Argentina. Captain fantastico has led the way with his workrate at the back of the scrum and at the breakdowns.
9. Aaron Smith, New Zealand. He has really given the black backline some pace around the fringes.
10.Daniel Carter, New Zealand. Still got it despite his injuries. The All Black backline is unstoppable when he's leading the line.
11. Bryan Habana, South Africa. He is enjoying a bit of a renaissance in the latter part of his career.
12. Francois Steyn, South Africa. A powerful influence in the Springbok backline.
13. Marcelo Bosch, Argentina. Solid in a no-nonsense Pumas unit.
14.Cory Jane, New Zealand. Upper Hutt's Mr Consistent is still scoring a try almost every game.
15. Israel Dagg, New Zealand. The best fullback in the world at the moment, period.
Who would make your XV? Comment below.
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