Rugby Championship

Le Roux pips Dagg at No 15

2013-08-19 13:30
Willie le Roux (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Springboks’ Willie le Roux has eclipsed even established superstar All Black Israel Dagg to the fullback berth in a neutral newspaper’s Castle Rugby Championship “team of the week” selection after Saturday’s first-round fixtures.

The Sydney Morning Herald, clearly downbeat about Australia’s performance in their 47-29 home thrashing at the hands of New Zealand, overwhelmingly opted for All Black and Bok players in their side, based on performance in every specific position over the course of the two games, which also saw South Africa trounce Argentina by a record 73-13 in Johannesburg.

They named nine players from the defending world champions’ ranks and five Bok standouts in the XV, leaving room only for Wallaby open-sider Michael Hooper - heroic in the losing cause at ANZ Stadium - to complete the line-up.

The South Africans picked are Le Roux and captain Jean de Villiers in the backline, and forwards Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss.

Le Roux’s slippery talents being noted is significant, given that considerably more experienced, crowd-pleasing Test customer Dagg did his bit, too, in the All Blacks’ polished bonus-point triumph in Sydney.

South Africans will also bear in mind that ahead of the Championship, there was still talk that Bok coach Heyneke Meyer would opt for a more conservative player in the last line of defence like Zane Kirchner.

But 24-year-old Le Roux’s X-factor on attack was only apparent once more on Saturday, as he earned his fourth cap for South Africa and went about his defensive chores competently as well against the Pumas.

In the imaginary line-up, Le Roux is joined in the back three by in-form All Black wings Ben Smith, who registered a hat-trick of tries against the Wallabies, and the freakishly quick and powerful Julian Savea.

This was the Herald’s full team, based on Saturday’s two matches:


15 Willie le Roux (SA), 14 Ben Smith (NZ), 13 Conrad Smith (NZ), 12 Jean de Villiers (SA), 11 Julian Savea (NZ), 10 Aaron Cruden (NZ), 9 Aaron Smith (NZ), 8 Kieran Read (NZ), 7 Michael Hooper (Aus), 6 Steven Luatua (NZ), 5 Sam Whitelock (NZ), 4 Eben Etzebeth (SA), 3 Jannie du Plessis (SA), 2 Adriaan Strauss (SA), 1 Tony Woodcock (NZ).

*A Sport24 selection might have featured an identical backline, but perhaps found room for Juandre Kruger at lock alongside compatriot Etzebeth, given that the former Bulls star produced one of his best Tests yet for the Boks. Versatile Bok flank Francois Louw, who can play either on the open or blindside, would have run Luatua close for a berth, too.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

 

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 18 August 2018
South Africa v Argentina, Durban 00:00
Saturday, 25 August 2018
Argentina v South Africa, TBA 00:00
Saturday, 08 September 2018
Australia v South Africa, Brisbane 00:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

The Springboks' 25-24 defeat to the All Blacks at Newlands was ...

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.