In all the excitement over the Lions squad announcement we’re late with our picks from last weekend’s action. Normally we do not consider sevens players for this side but given the momentous occasion of having two Americas sides in the Cup Final, we’ve opted to pick all five HSBC Dream Team selections from Singapore in our side this week. Apart from one they are all quality XV-a-side players in their own right, so it wasn’t too much of a problem.
1 – Titi Lamositele (Saracens) Handed his third Premiership start of the season and acquitted himself well against England international Kieran Brookes in the scrum. More of a defensive effort in the loose but never looked out of place.
2 – Joe Taufete’e (Worcester) Not quite as dynamic as he was against Sale but this time he got the win while playing the full match against Bath. The Eagles will enter the June tests with two Premiership-grade front rowers, a comforting thought to be sure.
3 – Francisco Gómez Kodela (Lyon) Completely dominated the scrum despite going up against a monstrous Rochelais pack that averaged 125kg per man in the tight five. Has proved LOU’s best bit of business in the off-season after making the move from Bordeaux, a club that would probably love to have him back now.
4 – Greg Paterson (Glasgow) Got through a full 80 minutes for Warriors which will be very pleasing for Eagles selectors. Not quite a starring role but did the basics well, a good start after returning from injury. Another making a notable return was Ben Landry for Glendale, who returned from football well short of rugby shape though he did make a big impression with a few barging runs and one try against the Huns.
5 – Marcos Kremer (Jaguares) Easily his best Super Rugby match so far, running superbly and also strong in defense. It’s incredible to think he’s still just a teenager. Could be one of the dominant forces in the u20 Championship if the UAR allows him to participate.
6 – Danny Barrett (USA) In commanding form in Singapore, smashing players about as he does while also showing his underrated handling skills. Will he be called into the Eagles squad for June? It’s unlikely he’ll be considered as a starter, but as an impact player capable of covering across the back row he could well find himself in the match day squad.
7 – Rodrigo Báez (Jaguares) Stepped in for the in-form Tomás Lezana and didn’t miss a beat, providing a second dynamic runner along with Kremer up front. Probably the best lineout jumper in the back row available to the Jaguares in the absence of Javier Ortega Desio.
8 – Facundo Isa (Lyon) Came off the bench and made a massive impact, scoring two tries to drag his team out of the dumps and into a win over league-leaders La Rochelle. Oh how he will be missed in test rugby for the next two seasons…
9 – Stephen Tomasin (USA) Of all the weeks Shaun Davies picked to have a strong game for Glendale against the Huns… unfortunately the Eagles incumbent misses out to Tomasin, himself in contention for a halfback spot in June though he plays in the forwards on the 7s circuit. An amazing eight tries over the weekend in Singapore in his finest performance in an Eagles jersey. There might now be a question of whether he is actually better suited for the shortened game rather than XVs.
10 – AJ MacGinty (Sale) A losing effort this time but he still had a fine game at the helm for Sharks with 10 points from the boot and a few incisive runs. Will Magie wasn’t far behind with a good game for Glendale in the big win over Austin Huns.
11 – Justin Douglas (Canada) In splendid form all season, the 22-year-old is now among the best attackers on the circuit and still has room to grow. Of all the players in the team, he has the best case as someone who could make an impact in the XVs side. With Jeff Hassler out injured, there’s a decent chance Douglas could join the squad for the June series.
12 – Marcelo Bosch (Saracens) His try in the 78th minute stole a win from the Saints at Franklin’s Gardens, not an easy feat. Very prominent in attack throughout and strong as ever defensively. Ata Malifa also looked in top form for Glendale against the Huns.
13 – Matías Orlando (Jaguares) Has really turned it on with Matías Moroni still unavailable and will not make it easy for his friendly rival to win his spot back. Like Bosch, he is a classy defender and it’s his offensive output that has turned heads over the past few months.
14 – Perry Baker (USA) The one player who has no significant experience in XVs, we’re comfortable that he would do just fine on the wing in this team. In majestic form once again in Singapore, he looks set to become the first Americas player to earn overall season Dream Team honors in consecutive years.
15 – Nathan Hirayama (Canada) At his mesmerizing best, including a hat-trick against New Zealand as he led Canada to their historic victory. Has never quite fit into the XVs mold as a flyhalf, but perhaps he would be more comfortable as a fullback where his running skills would be more appreciated.