Tier 2 June Test XV

Tier 2 June Test XV

Having already selected our Test XV from the June Internationals we felt that the Tier 2 sides did not get the recognition they deserved and subsequently selected the Best XV from the Tier 2 nations over the past month. 

1. Djustice Sears-Duru (Canada)

A straight shoot out between two North American front rowers with Djustice Sears-Duru standing out for a poor Canadain side, while Eric Fry performed for USA.

The Canadian just edges his American counterpart, with strong performances in all three tests against Scotland, Russia and USA.

2. Joe Taufete'e (USA)

Taufete'e had a phenominal June with two barnstorming performance against Russia and Scotland.

The hooker was immense in USA's historic win over Scotland and just beats off Japan's ever consistent Shota Horie. 

3. Siua Halanukonuka (Tonga)

Halanukonuka was as destructive as ever at scrum time this June despite facing tough opposition like the Fijian and Georgian packs.

He put in a few trademark big hits and got his side on the front foot with some strong carries.

Notable mentions: Vilaimu Afatia, Levan Chilachava and Paul Mullen.

4. Samu Manoa (USA)

Yet another American makes it into our pack with veteran lock Samu Manoa putting in three big performances this June.

Manoa busy throughout all three games and was particularly good in the game against Canada making 18 tackles, without missing one, in 62 minutes.  

Notable mentions: Evan Olmstead and Villiame Mata

5. Leone Nakarawa (Fiji)

Nakarawa was up to his old tricks with Fiji in the Pacific Nations Cup this June with a number of sublime offloads.

Nakarawa was just as effective on defence as he was on attack making a number of tackles and turnovers for his side. 

6. Kazuki Himeno (Japan)

Himeno beats his captain, Michael Leitch to a spot in our side after he brought his Super Rugby form into the test side.

He started both matches against Italy and made a big impact off the bench against Georgia.

7. Vikto Kolelishcili (Georgia)

Kolelishchili was a shining light after what was a bit of a disappointing June for Georgia.

The flanker was busy in all aspects of the game whether he was making turnovers, tackles or getting his side on the front foot.

-He edges out a number of flankers including Tonga's Nasi Manu, USA's Hanco Germishuys and Samoa's Jack Lam for a place in the side.

8. Cameron Dolan (USA)

The American no.8 was one of the standout players this June with massive performances in all three of USA's tests. 

He was solid on defence and potent on attack especially in their win over Canada making 15 tackles and scoring a hattrick.

Japan's Amanaki Mafi was Dolan's closest contender for a spot in the side. 

9. Shaun Davies (USA)

Davies had a lot of competition for a place in our side with Phil Mack, Henry Senioli and Tane Takulua all performing for their respective sides.

The 29-year-old put in three strong performances for USA as they continued their impressive run of consectutive victories. 

10. AJ MacGinty (USA)

MacGinty was another American who was outstanding in all three test for USA this June.

He ran USA's attack well and was accurate from the tee and was solid defensively.

Yu Tamura and Kurt Morath are both extremely unlucky not to make the side. 

11. Penikolo Latu (Tonga)

The Tongan winger was a key attacking weapon for Tonga this June.

He was particularly dangerous in their wins over Georgia and Fiji despite not being able to cross the whitewash.

He did however cross over for a try in their 28-18 win over Samoa. 

Notable mentions: Nemani Nadolo and Kenki Fukuoka 

12. Cooper Vuna (Tonga)

Vuna played a vital role in Tonga's wins over Fiji and Samoa. 

He scored a try against Samoa and was able to keep Fiji's attacking threats at bay with some stellar defence.

America's Paul Lasike is unluckly not to partner Brache in the side after a superb June.

13. Marcel Brache (USA)

Whether he was playing on the wing or at centre, Brache, was impactful and crucial to USA.

He ran clever lines, was strong on defence and dotted down for two tries against Russia.

He beats the Fijian duo of Vereniki Goneva and Semi Radradra to claim a spot in the side.

14. Lomano Lemeki (Japan) 

Like most of his teammates, Lemeki put in three consecutive strong performances for his side.

He scored two tries in his three matches against Italy in the first test and a second against Georgia.

Jeff Hassler and Viliami Lolohea (Tonga) 

15. Kotaro Matsushima (Japan)

Matsushima was brilliant in all of Japan's game whether he was finishing off try scoring opportunities, setting up tries for his teammates or getting his side out of trouble in defence.

He beats Kini Murimurivalu to spot in the side. 

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