15. Mike Brown
It was a great weekend for fullbacks, with the likes of Luke James, Jason Woodward and Stuart Hogg all putting in worthy shifts. It was Brown’s leadership and sheer tenacity that earns him the 15 shirt in this week’s team though, scything through the defence of Northampton on his way to a top notch performance.
14. Ollie Thorley
Gloucester’s man of the match had a blistering start to the game against Leicester, bagging a hat-trick in less than half an hour, before adding one more try before the break. Over 130m to his name and some stunning rugby sees him fight off Denny Solomena for the first of our winger spots.
13. Chris Harris
Despite Thorley taking the limelight at Kingsholm on Sunday, Scottish international Chris Harris had one hell of a game. Bagging a try, plus setting one up, Harris racked up 90 impressive metres whilst supplying a few clean breaks and offloads as he went.
12. Rory Hutchinson
Hutchinson returned to the Saints team and looked impressive despite Saints poor performance. Scoring an early try in good fashion got Chris Boyd’s men going, but he kept his form throughout the game, bagging a half-century of metres and a couple of offloads and clean breaks to go with them.
11. Nathan Earle
Another good week for wingers sees Harlequins’ Nathan Earle fight off Exeter’s Alex Cuthbert for the second winger spot. He finished a superbly worked try by Quins, started by our fullback, Mike Brown. Paul Gustard will be extremely pleased to have another try scoring winger firing on all cylinders.
10. Marcus Smith
Harlequins’ impressive performance was fronted by Smith. His ran the legs out of Saints, and brought his kicking boots too, adding 10 crucial points to his side’s tally. His leadership was shown throughout the game, in which he broke the 50m barrier in metres run.
9. Faf de Klerk
The first of two Sharks in our Team of the Week, de Klerk ran the show at the AJ Bell on Saturday. Bristol were outclassed and outsmarted by the South African World Cup winner, who showed some of his best form.
8. Sam Simmonds
Exeter’s 59-7 victory over Worcester was a true walk in the park, and their pack had a field day. None less so than Simmonds, who was one of two players to bag a hat-trick on the afternoon. His powerful carries and gain line breaks see him outmuscle Alex Dombrandt for the shirt, who was also impressive in his outing for Quins.
7. Ben Curry
The tackling machine! Curry made 14 tackles, with none missed. His turnovers were crucial to Sale building the score, and even when he didn’t win the ball, he disrupted Bristol’s ruck speed.
6. Jack Willis
Willis makes another appearance in our Team of the Week, and there’s no surprise with a monumental effort in both attack and defence to help Wasps crawl over the winning line against Bath. His monstrous tackling and destructive carrying made for a hard day in the Bath defensive line.
5. Jonny Hill
Hill becomes only the second lock in Gallagher Premiership history to bag a hat-trick when he took the accolades against Worcester on Sunday. His barnstorming carries and lineout presence was also felt by Worcester, who probably had nightmares of Hill that night.
4. Maro Itoje
Saracens dominant display against London Irish saw their pack revert back to their top class form, despite losing some faces temporarily to other clubs. Itoje was everywhere on Monday, 14 tackles made and over 20 hard metres grafter for, he takes the second slot in our Gallagher Premiership Team of the Week.
3. Fraser Balmain
Often underrated by Gallagher Premiership fans outside of Gloucester, Balmain proved why he was one of the best tightheads in the league this weekend. In an un-prop-like fashion, Balmain made the most offloads of anyone in the league this weekend, also contributing with some hefty carries and a couple of defenders beaten. He was also a rock at the set-piece.
2. Jamie George
George bagged a brace of tries in Sarries destruction of London Irish, but was superb all round as he led the team around the field. 100% tackle rate and some strong carrying too, his lineout platform also gave Saracens a chance to go strong at the start of each attack they utilised it from.
1. Richard Barrington
It’s not often two members of the front row bag a brace, but that’s exactly what Saracens managed. His close-quarters carrying and powerful scrummaging enabled Sarries to get on top and keep their grip on the game throughout.
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