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Who makes the winter series XV?

This team list was originally posted as a reply in Geoff Parkes esteemed thread. Thought it would be fun to get a bit more feedback around a Team of the Winter Series (RC vs 6N).

Each Test series was fantastic – a rugby fans delight to see the skills and drama unfold around the world to full crowds of both travelling and local fans.

On that basis, the game looks in pretty rude health overall!

Its also the first time the NH have got such a return on tour and not just one of them either.

I tried to pick a team of the series

1. Ellis Genge (Eng) – At the heart of England stamping their tone on the Wallabies in Test two with a flattening of Hooper while on the charge. Got the best of the highly rated Tupou in their set piece exchanges.

Ellis Genge of England powers through the defence during game one of the international test match series between the Australian Wallabies and England at Optus Stadium on July 02, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Ellis Genge of England (Photo by Will Russell – RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

2. Macolm Marx (RSA)- despite coming off the pine in nearly every match, still the worlds best hooker with trademark over the ball work and charging with ball in hand.

3. Tadhg Furlong (IRE) – Showed what a class operator he is by taking the lesson from test one and completely reversing the domination on his opposing number.

4. Tadhg Beirne (IRE) – Very hard choices for the best number 4 considering Rowlands, Etzebeth (last test) and Itoje. but Beirne’s efforts were at a herculean level throughout the series

5. Jonny Hill (Eng)- The niggly pest was a consistent disruptive thorn in the Wallabies maul and breakdown. Just needs to cut out the hair pulling. Lood also came good towards the end but consistency counts against him.

6. Josh van de Flier (IRE) – The Irish back row were in tandem simply incredible. Any back row who is regularly putting shifts of 20 tackles a game is a rock to base a pack around

7. Courtney Lawes (Eng) – Inspirational shifts from the England captain who was at is his dogged best over the ball, in the maul and at the tackle.

8. Ardie Savea (NZ) – a one man wrecking machine who nearly dragged the ABs back from the abyss through his own efforts. Should be AB captain and playing in his best position but we shall see

9. Jack van Poortvliet (Eng)- a revelation for England. When he was on the they looked just that more incisive with a good mix of service and kicking. Has a bright future ahead

10. Johnny Sexton (IRE) – at 37 probably the best 10 currently still playing and an indidspensbile cog to the Ireland machine. They will be hoping he doesn’t breakdown between now and next year as he is the difference to being a good and a great side.

11. Marika Koroibete (AU) – always hungry for work, tireless and such a powerful strike runner who always eats up the metres on attack. Perhaps the best wing in the world.

Marika Koroibete of the Wallabies is tackled during game three of the International Test match series between the Australia Wallabies and England at the Sydney Cricket Ground on July 16, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Marika Koroibete of the Wallabies (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

12. Samu Kerevi (AU) – need some gainline success – give it to the Kerevi train. Has really developed into a triple threat which makes him even harder to contain

13. Robbie Henshaw (IRE) – plays 12 and 13 with aplomb and whether its in defence or attack just seems to always be in the right place at the right time

14. Will Jordan (NZ) – Regularly running over 100m per game with the ball and makes it look all so easy.

15. Freddie Steward (Eng)- Born for Test rugby. Brilliant in the air and under the highball but with a knack of getting in the line when needed.

I have gone with a 6:2 bench

16. Andrew Porter (IRE) – Loosehead had few real standouts so I have gone with Porter who got through a mountain of work and scored some crucial tries

17. Dan Sheehan (IRE) – Superb hooker across the set piece and around the park

18. Vincent Koch (RSA) – excellent at the set piece and on the carry. Brought his Sarries form with him.

19. Will Rowlands (WAL) – the displacer of the old warrior AWJ and the new heart of the Welsh pack.

20. Peter O’Mahony (IRE) – Part of an excellent unit that outplayed their AB counterparts in nearly every department. Gets award for best sledge of all the series and narrowly missed out to Lawes in my starting team

21. Tom Reffell (WAL) – A revelation for Wales and a constant presence in the breakdown.

22. Emilio Bofelli (ARG) – super solid under the high ball, knows where the space and line is and with ice cold kicking from the tee.

23. Jamison Gibson-Park (IRE) – lightning fast service (it felt like split second stuff) and sniping runs with an accurate kicking game

In terms of overall composition then, here’s how many made it from each side.

Ireland 9 – reflective of winning probably the hardest achievement in rugby – a series in NZ
England 5 – most of the pack with an honourable mention to Billy V who would have made the 8 spot bar Savea’s heroics
NZ 2 – No point repeating a lot of existing dialogue other than to say the two picked feature WC discussions and showed it
Australia 2 – lost the key moments and the forward battle to England but not because of the blockbuster work from Marki and Kerevi
South Africa 2 – lost a first test to the Welsh and looked very clunky and rusty at times which is why they dont feature as heavily in the pack as normal despite the fire and brimstone in the last test.
Wales 2 – Put a whole lot of respect back in the red jersey with a dogged defensive display and a first win in the Republic.
Argentina 1 – Showed some beautiful interplay but individuals usurped by other nations and they were also flogged in Test 2

So over to you Roarers – what was your team?

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