Team of the week. Guinness Pro League. Week 7
After two weeks off due to the start of the European campaigns for the Welsh sides, the team of the week is back. There have been some encouraging displays from the sides in Europe and this latest round of matches we have had the Welsh sides in competition against each other, with Ospreys versus Dragons and Scarlets against Cardiff Blues, so many players in direct competition with the autumn series soon upon us for the national coaches to scout.
This is our selection based on the performances in the latest round of matches.
15/ Hallam Amos – Dragons. When he is fully fit Amos is a fine rugby player. Has had the opportunity in the last couple of matches to play in his favoured position of full-back and has slotted in very well. With his versatility in the back three might well find himself on the bench for Wales in the autumn series.
14/ Alex Cuthbert – Cardiff Blues. Did not feel any right winger really stood out this week, but Cuthbert was solid in defence, was destructive when required in the maul as he always is and when had the ball in hand ran with real forcefulness.
13/ Scott Williams – Scarlets. Even though wore 12 played outside centre on Saturday. Was strong in defence and showed some lovely touches with the timing of his passes putting people into gaps. A strong showing in front of the man who has dropped him from the Welsh squad, Warren Gatland.
12/ Hadleigh Parkes – Scarlets. An outstanding display on Saturday from Parkes. Nice footballing skills and carried hard making good yards throughout the evening. As per Scott Williams, Parkes wore 13 on Saturday but played inside centre. Parkes gets the nod for this position over Willis Halaholo who also on Saturday, had a really good game for Cardiff Blues.
11/ Steff Evans – Scarlets. The form winger in Wales. Always looks dangerous, and always looks likely to score a try. Popped up many times at second receiver always looking for work. If he does not start against Australia then it is a travesty, has to start simply as that.
10/ Dan Biggar – Ospreys. Excellent performance from Biggar on Saturday. Controlled the game very well, varying his game.
9/ Gareth Davies – Scarlets. No real scrum-half stood out in this round of matches in our view but just felt Davies looked sharp around the fringes, allowed his backline to play with getting the ball away quickly.
1/ Wyn Jones – Scarlets. Having a fine season is the loosehead prop. Interesting to see if Rob Evans is fit, who Gatland goes for on the bench, Jones or Nicky Smith who also went well on Friday night. Must be a close call.
2/ Elliot Dee – Dragons. The in-form hooker in Wales. Set piece skills going well and showing up very well in the loose and yet again getting on the scoresheet.
3/ Leon Brown – Dragons. The tighthead is getting better game by game. Is only 21 years old but could be a major player for Wales in the years to come.
4/ Jake Ball – Scarlets. Close call this one. Seb Davies went well and thought Bradley Davies had one of his better games this season, but Ball was excellent in defence and carried well, putting in a lot of work so gets the nod.
5/ Aun Wyn Jones – Ospreys. Won man of the match on Friday and the Welsh captain was outstanding. Not played much this season but on Friday showed just how good a player he is. A world class operator.
6/ Aaron Shingler – Scarlets. Yes, that man yet again makes the team of the week. Looks to have bulked up a bit this year, and seems more aggressive in defence without losing any of his footballing ability and pace. Has to start at 6 for Wales against Australia.
7/ Will Boyde – Scarlets. Carried well and caused problems at the breakdown. Boyde is a fine player in his own right and very unlucky not to be in the Welsh squad when John Barclay and James Davies are fit will be interesting to see what game time he gets as in fine form all season.
8/ Tadhg Beirne – Outstanding at lock slots in at 8 and again was excellent. His work over the ball for such a big man is exceptional. Ireland has a fine player on their hands for many years to come.
So there you have it our team of the week. Please listen to The Attacking Scrum who will be discussing the team and whether they agree with the selections or not, as well as a roundup of the week’s rugby in Wales. Always worth a listen.