Autumn Nations Series Team of the Week - Round Two

Autumn Nations Series Team of the Week - Round Two

Another thrilling weekend of the Autumn Nations Series has come to an end, with the Northern Hemisphere claiming huge scalps.

Ireland defeated Fiji 35-17 at the Aviva, but at the same time, Italy were creating history by beating the Wallabies for the first time claiming a 28-27 win in Florence.

Samoa edged Georgia 19-20 in Tbilisi, while Eddie Jones' England notched up an impressive 52-13 victory over Japan. Wales battled to a 20-13 victory over Japan.

On Sunday, Scotland gave New Zealand a scare leading the All Blacks until the final quarter when the visitors pulled away to secure a 23-31 win.

1. Ellis Genge - England

An all-around dominant display from Ellis Genge earns him a place in our pack. He was tasked with shooting out the defensive line into the faces of the Japanese ball carriers and did it exceptionally well. 

He had the upper hand in the scrums, carried superbly and rounded out his performance with a try.

Bubbling under: Ox Nche (South Africa), Gareth Thomas (Wales)

2. Gianmarco Lucchesi - Italy

A man-of-the-match performance in a historic first win over Australia was too much to ignore despite solid showings from Sam Matavesi and Ken Owens. 

Lucchesi was outstanding on attack, made the second-most tackles in the match and won a turnover. 

Bubbling under: Sam Matavesi (Fiji), Ken Owens (Wales)

3. Dillon Lewis - Wales

A strong scrummaging performance from the Welsh tighthead combined with a busy performance around the pitch earns him a place in our team of the week. 

Bubbling under: Kyle Sincker (England), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Aleksandze Kuntelia (Georgia)

 4. Eben Etzebeth - South Africa

It's hard to pinpoint the last time Eben Etzebeth was not a standout for the Springboks, as the veteran second-rower produces one top-notch performance one after another. 

His outing against Les Bleus was no different, taking the fight to the French pack, contesting the lineouts, thundering in contact and leading the team talk after du Toit's red card and Baille scoring soon after.

Bubbling under: Tomas Lavanini (Argentina),  

5. Niccolo Cannone - Italy

Another hero in Italy's win over the Wallabies, Cannone stepped up for the Azzuri and was excellent defensively. A workmanlike performance in a hard-earned victory. 

Bubbling under:  Jonny Hill (England), Franco Mostert (South Africa), Scott Barrett.

6. Charles Ollivon - France

Ollivon could quite easily have been named man of the match for a second week after a stellar display against South Africa.

He nipped two promising Springbok attacks, claiming two lineout steals and grabbing two turnovers on the deck. Tireless work rate on either side of the ball. 

Bubbling under: Siya Kolisi (South Africa), Sebastian Negri (Italy)

7. Nick Timoney - Ireland

Timoney made the most of his chance in Ireland's starting XV scoring two tries in the 35-17 win over Fiji. He shone in all facets of the game, topping Ireland's tackle count, winning a turnover, and gaining 36 metres from his 11 carries while making 13 passes.

Bubbling under: Tom Curry (England), Anthony Jelonch (France), Justin Tipuric (Wales), and Dalton Papali'i (New Zealand). 

8. Taulupe Faletau - Wales

A try-scoring man-of-the-match performance on his birthday earns Taulupe Faletau the final spot in our pack. He was at his usual best, making metres with just about every carry, tackled strongly and was on hand to mop up any errors that could have been costly for his side.

Bubbling under: Sam Simmonds (England), Ardie Savea (New Zealand)

9. Faf de Klerk - South Africa 

Faf de Klerk looks to have fallen down the pecking order for the Springboks this year, but he provided a timely reminder of how impactful he can be for the South Africans.

He was his usual busy self on defence and sparked the Springbok attack on serval occasions. He had the odd hiccup with his box kicks but was otherwise brilliant, especially when he milked penalties at the breakdown. His game management and kicking off the tee were high class too.  

Bubbling under: Jack van Poortvliet (England), Tomos Williams (Wales)

10. Marcus Smith - England

Two tries from Marcus Smith earned him a place in our side as he linked up well with Owen Farrell to unlock Japan's defence with regular ease. The flyhalf finished off two of the tries and played a role in a few others as England ran in ten tries. A notable mention for Finn Russell, who impressed on his return to Scotland's starting XV. 

Bubbling under: Finn Russell (Scotland), Tommy Allan (Italy), Marcus Smith (England)

11. Duhan van der Merwe - Scotland

A special mention for Seckou Macalou, who was excellent out of position on the wing, but it's hard to look past van der Merwe who was brutally effective against the All Blacks.

He managed to breeze past a defender just about every time he touched the ball, beating ten defenders in total. He also won two turnovers and gained over 80 running metres as Scotland gave New Zealand a real scare.

Bubbling underMack Hansen (Ireland), Seckou Macalou (France)

12. Owen Farrell - England 

Jack van Poortvliet, Marcus Smith, and Guy Porter stole the headlines, but the mastery of Farrell allowed the trio to shine in the win over Japan.

Farrell combined wonderfully with Smith as the combination showed signs of flourishing. His chip over the top for Porter was utterly brilliant, a highlight of a masterful performance from the England captain.

Bubbling under:  Stuart McCloskey (Ireland), Damian de Allende (South Africa)

13. George North - Wales

Arguably one of North's best performances for Wales in the outside centre berth as he shut down Argentina's attack. The veteran Wales international continues to grow and impress in the role and was a serious threat in attack, too, with 30 running metres, five passes and seven carries. 

Bubbling under: Guy Porter (England), Juan Brex (Italy), Tumua Manu (Samoa)

14. Cheslin Kolbe - South Africa 

A tough call on Darcy Graham, who was fantastic against the All Blacks, but Kolbe was even more so against France. 

The South African speedster managed four defenders beaten against Les Bleus and shone in the Springboks' ball-in-hand approach. 

He was forced off the pitch after a nasty fall but had shone to that point and kicked well off the tee. 

Bubbling under: Darcy Graham (Scotland), Mark Telea (New Zealand), Tom Wright (Australia)

15. Ange Capuozzo - Italy

He stepped up to produce a moment of magic against Wales in the Six Nations and waved his wand against Australia again this weekend, scoring two crucial tries - and extremely well-taken ones, too - to down the Wallabies.

He did enough to beat Freddie Steward to a place in the side. 

Bubbling under: Willie Le Roux (South Africa), Freddie Steward (England)

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