Now that the dust has settled after Round Five of the Aviva Premiership and Guinness Pro 12, we select the players that stood out over the weekend.
Fullback: Jamie Shillcock (Worcester Warriors)
Wing: D.T.H van der Merwe (Scarlets)
Centre: Will Addison (Sale Sharks)
Centre: Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby)
Wing: George North (Northampton Saints)
Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder hailed the genius of winger North after the Welsh international inspired a comeback win against Exeter Chiefs at Franklin’s Gardens.
The Saints were trailing 13-0 before North scored his third try of the season and then brilliantly set up debutant Rory Hutchinson to turn the game on its head.
Fly-half: Alex Lozowski (Saracens)
Lozowski celebrated his first England call-up with a well-taken brace as Saracens brushed Bristol aside. The fly-half, who was the third choice last season at Wasps, has already shown his varied kicking game and continues to impress as he proceeds to deputise for the injured Owen Farrell.
Scrum-Half: Kahn Fotuali’i (Bath Rugby)
Fotuali’i provided Bath Rugby with a crucial point of difference as they narrowly beat Gloucester at Kingsholm, said Todd Blackadder.
The Samoan scrum-half provided yet another example of his excellent game management; choosing to pass and kick at just the right time. Fotuali’i also won the players’ vote for man of the match.