Team of the Week: Billy Vunipola, George Ford, Stuart Hogg
Now that the dust has settled after the opening round of the Aviva Premiership and Guinness Pro 12, we select the players that stood out over the weekend.
There’s a mixture of players from various teams after an entertaining few days of rugby union.
Read on to see who made the cut and be sure to comment below…
Fullback: STUART HOGG (Glasgow Warriors)
Scotland fullback Hogg – who impressed throughout – had a lot of fun as Glasgow Warriors thrash reigning champions Connacht 41-5 in Ireland. The Warriors had lost on their last two visits to Galway but never looked like losing with the visitors outscoring the hosts six tries to one.
Wing: TOMMY SEYMOUR (Glasgow Warriors)
The Scotland international was a constant thorn in the Connacht defences side and took his two first half tries well.
Centre: JOE MARCHANT (Harlequins)
Centre: JIMMY GOPPERTH (Wasps)
The Kiwi scored 15 points – including a fantastic individual try – as Wasps got their Premiership season off to a perfect start following a 25-20 victory over Exeter Chiefs on Sunday.
Wing: SINOTI SINOTI (Newcastle Falcons)
Fly-half: GEORGE FORD (Bath Rugby)
Ford, the England fly-half, steered Bath to their first Premiership win at Franklin’s Gardens since April 2000 by kicking four penalties and two drop goals.
Scrum-half: RUAN PIENAAR (Ulster)
In the aftermath of this week’s controversial announcement of the IRFU’s decision to block any further extension of Pienaar’s deal beyond this season, the South African produced another hugely impressive display which bagged the man-of-the-match award to huge acclaim from the home crowd after he had scored nine points.
Prop: MAKO VUNIPOLA (Saracens)
Hooker: SAM PARRY (Ospreys)
The hooker became the first Ospreys forward to score a hat-trick for the region as Steve Tandy’s men cruised to a comfortable 59-5 bonus-point victory over hapless Zebre at the Liberty Stadium.
Prop: JOHN AFOA (Gloucester)
His efforts were completely in vain after Tigers came back to win but his strong scrummaging and well finished try meant the prop still stood out.
Lock: JOE LAUNCHBURY (Wasps)
England lock Launchbury showed his leadership credentials in abundance here. He was abrasive, accurate and unflagging in defence as Wasps fought back to win on Sunday.
Lock: DAVE ATTWOOD (Bath Rugby)
After leading England Saxons to a 2-0 series victory over South Africa A over the summer, Attwood has taken little time to get back in the swing of things for Bath. Ford scored the points but the reliable set piece – led by the lock was just as crucial to the historic victory.
Flanker: JACK O’DONOGHUE (Munster)
Very impressive showing from the 22-year-old as he put a halt to the Scarlets attack time and time again.
Flanker: LACHLAN MCCAFFREY (Leicester TIgers)
The flanker starred as Leicester Tigers staged the biggest comeback in their 136-year history. They overturned a 24-point deficit to beat the Cherry and Whites 38-31 at Kingsholm on the opening day of the new Aviva Premiership season.
Number 8: BILLY VUNIPOLA (Saracens)
Saracens powerhouse back-rower Vunipola was typically solid and industrious as ever – getting over the gainline time after time. His overall performance was – to put it simple – outstanding.