Team Of The Year. Guinness Pro 14 League
We are now at the end of the regular season of League games, hopefully, the playoffs will be full of excitement ahead but after each round of games, Y-Ddraig has published for you the readers, our team of the week which we hope you have enjoyed.
We have counted up all the selections for each respective position and now we are delighted to produce Y-Ddraig’s team of the year plus our player of the season award.
Please bear in mind the selections are based purely on League performances, not for their respective countries and/or European performances but just performances in the Guinness Pro 14 League.
Team Of The Year
15. Johnny McNicholl – Scarlets. Unfortunately got injured in February but was in outstanding form prior to that and Scarlets have missed him. Picked up selections both at fullback and on the wing. Will be back next season with a highly competitive group including Leigh Halfpenny, Steff Evans, Clayton Blommetjies, Tom Prydie and Ryan Conbeer just to name a few. Going to be interested when all fit and all available for selection.
14. Jeff Hassler – Ospreys. The Canadian international is off to pastures new next season and would be very surprised if a number of clubs are not interested in acquiring his services. Been a consistent performer in the League and fully warrants his inclusion.
13. Scott Williams – Scarlets. Another player moving on next season with Williams joining the Ospreys. Has built up a very good relationship with Hadleigh Parkes and would not be surprised to see Williams and Owen Watkin having a similarly strong relationship next season.
12. Willis Halaholo – Cardiff Blues. Has put in some outstanding performances this season and scored some important tries and he accumulated enough team of the week inclusions to gain selection over Hadleigh Parkes in the team of the year.
11. Steff Evans – Scarlets. An outstanding season from the left winger. A very elusive player whose form this season got him into the Welsh side. One to watch over the coming seasons.
10. Rhys Patchell – Scarlets. Started the League season in outstanding form being selected each week for the first four weeks. The Welsh international has been a real star this season and has held off competition from Dan Biggar, Gareth Anscombe and Jarrod Evans just to name a few.
9. Gareth Davies – Scarlets. The potent strike runner has played very well this season and has been the standout number 9 in Wales in The Guinness Pro 14 League. Going to be a big challenge next season for the player for his club with Sam Hidalgo-Clyne joining the Scarlets next season, plus with Rhys Webb moving to Toulon will start the season as the undisputed number one scrum-half for Wales. How will his season transpire?
1. Rob Evans – Scarlets. Has had a real battle on his hands with Wyn Jones also being in fine form for the Scarlets this season, but Evans has improved considerably in the last twelve months, now far more comfortable with the ball in hand and his distribution has improved considerably plus still does the nuts and bolts of a props role very well.
2. Elliot Dee – Dragons. Another player whose League form has forced him into the Welsh international reckoning. The sole Dragons player in the selected team, will that change next season?
3. Werner Kruger – Scarlets. Been a real find for the Scarlets (yet another), with Samson Lee having his share of time injured and or away on international duty, Kruger has stepped in and been excellent all season.
4. Tadhg Beirne – Scarlets. What a season. Beirne has been selected at 4,5,6 and 8 in team’s of the week but gained most selections in the number 4 shirt. A huge loss to the Scarlets next season but is going back to Ireland to gain international recognition for the team in green and it is not a matter of if he plays for Ireland but when. Beirne, Ian Henderson and James Ryan all vying for two second-row positions, going to be some battle.
5. Alun Wyn Jones – Ospreys. Yet another fine season from the rugby legend. He is so consistent, an outstanding player and yet another outstanding season.
6. Aaron Shingler – Scarlets. The first six team of the week selections, Shingler was selected each week. Been in great form all season and has improved massively from twelve months ago. A real standout season for the player.
7. Ollie Robinson – Cardiff Blues. Bought from Bristol after an initial loan period and has been one of the finds of the season. An outstanding season and a great addition to the Guinness Pro 14 League.
8. Nick Williams – Cardiff Blues. Many felt that he would not last the whole season due to his age and his style of play but has proved those people wrong. As it turned out he has seemed to get better as the season has gone on. Easily been the best 8 playing in Wales this season, a real dominant force in the tight.
16. Matthew Rees
17. Wyn Jones
18. Samson Lee
19. Seb Davies
20. Justin Tipuric
21. Lloyd Williams
22. Hadleigh Parkes
23. Jarrod Evans
Player Of The Season
Aaron Shingler, Steff Evans and Nick Williams gained numerous selections for the team’s of the week, but the man who has gained most selections and is Y Ddraig’s player of the season in Wales is Tadhg Beirne. Simply been immense and wish him all the best of luck in Ireland. Fully expect him to be an outstanding international player for many years to come.
We hope you have enjoyed this feature this season and would welcome your views on our selections and if you disagree who would make your League team of the season? Let us know!