After another eventful round of Aviva Premiership, Guinness PRO12 and Top 14 action, based on last weekend’s form, here’s our composite British & Irish Lions team of the week.
15. Mike Brown
The Harlequins full-back just about edged a brilliant battle against opposite number Alex Goode, with Brown commanding under the high ball. He helped his side to victory over Saracens, despite bruising his hip.
14. Olly Woodburn
Woodburn scored a couple of tries for Exeter as they comfortably defeated Bristol, and at 24 still has time on his side to push for international recognition.
13. Elliot Daly
Daly had another good game to continue his strong recent form, as Wasps made it four wins from four in the Aviva Premiership so far this season with victory at Northampton.
12. Jamie Roberts
Roberts was outstanding for Harlequins as they defeated current Aviva Premiership champions Saracens, the Welsh centre making 11 tackles to lead the defensive effort.
11. George North
North might have been part of the Northampton side that narrowly lost to Wasps, but he had a strong game regardless. The Welsh winger raced clear after 70 seconds to score his first try at Franklin’s Gardens for two seasons, and went on to make 122 metres across the game.
10. Jonathan Sexton
The Irish fly-half had a cracking game on his return for Leinster, scoring 15 points including a try, four conversions and a penalty in a win over Ospreys. He had the better of a battle with a fellow international No.10 vying for Lions contention, Dan Biggar.
9. Conor Murray
The Irish No.9 bagged a brace of tries as Munster defeated Edinburgh and also had a strong all-round game, most evident from his typically excellent box kicking.
Munster’s CJ Stander is playing superbly. (Photo By Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
1. Alec Hepburn
Hepburn had a strong game for Exeter as they comfortably defeated Bristol on Friday night. Hepburn has played for the England Saxons and U-20s teams and is pushing for further recognition.
2. Tom Youngs
The Leicester hooker is back to his best and will be hopeful of forcing his way back into the England reckoning.
3. Tadhg Furlong
Ireland international Furlong put in a good shift as Leinster defeated Ospreys, and could yet be a dark horse for the Lions squad.
4. George Merrick
Merrick was superb as Harlequins defeated Saracens. Such performances can only help him catch the eye of Eddie Jones.
5. Damian Welch
Welch had an excellent game as Exeter picked off Aviva Premiership newcomers Bristol with relative ease.
6. Mike Williams
The Leicester back-row was Man of the Match against Bath and should be in the Elite Player Squad when Eddie Jones confirms it on Friday.
7. Josh Van der Flier
Irish international Van der Flier had a cracking game for Leinster as they beat Ospreys, scoring a try in each half.
8. CJ Stander
Stander has made a big impression on Irish rugby in a short space of time, and performances like the one delivered against Edinburgh at the weekend will only cause his stock to rise even further. Stander made an astonishing 90 metres across 28 carries in the match.
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