Team Of The Month In Autumn Nations Series. Over the past five weekends, all of the best teams in the world competed, with Ireland and France maintaining their top rankings after three straight victories.
On the other hand, while the others may look to the bright side as the Rugby World Cup in 2023 approaches, Wales and England had a dreadful November.
Today, when the finest of north and south competed in their penultimate meeting before the World Cup, we’re highlighting the individual performances of players that shone out for their respective nations in this Autumn Nations Series.
Australia’s James Slipper, South Africa’s Malcolm Marx, and France’s Frans Malherbe (South Africa)
In the previous month, Wallabies captain James Slipper put in an endless amount of work for their nation, playing nearly the entire 80 minutes in three pivotal matches against Scotland, France, and Ireland while actually taking the lead.
Malcolm Marx is unquestionably one of South Africa’s main players, and whether he began the game or came off the bench, he had a huge influence.
Frans Malherbe received high plaudits for crushing the England scrum, and he also played admirably in France’s and Ireland’s close defeats.
Ireland’s Tadhg Beirne and Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)
Tadhg Beirne was one of just a handful of players to start for Ireland in all three tests this month, despite not being quite as outstanding as he was in New Zealand during the summer.
Eben Etzebeth is a clear option for the second row and is really unlucky to lose out on a spot in the official World Rugby team of the year given how excellent he was in the Rugby Championship as well. He is still as physically intimidating as ever.
Ardie Savea, Josh van der Flier, and Caelan Doris are all from Ireland (New Zealand)
Caelan Doris consistently produced front-foot ball while also breaking through a significant amount of tackles, which was essential for Ireland’s back row in the close victories over South Africa and Australia.
Josh van der Flier was also clearly outstanding because, following a few standout performances this month, he was named the World Rugby men’s 15s player of the year.
Ardie Savea was one of the top players on the world, as seen by his performance in November, yet he received no credit at the World Rugby awards.
Aaron Smith and Finn Russell, both from New Zealand (Scotland)
veteran scrum-half of the All Blacks With a fantastic performance against Wales, Aaron Smith shown that he is still at the top of his game. In addition, he led New Zealand to a commanding lead against England that was only lost after he was substituted.
Finn Russell was outstanding in Scotland’s valiant loss to the All Blacks and followed it up with a decisive victory over Argentina, yet he wasn’t even selected for the first Autumn Nations Series team.
Len Ikitau and Jordie Barrett (both from New Zealand) (Australia)
Jordie Barrett of New Zealand can reportedly slot in anywhere in the backline, but his recent switch to inside center has shown great promise as he didn’t make a single mistake against Wales and England.
Len Ikitau, who is only 24 years old, has already played a crucial role for Australia. He participated in every minute of his nation’s five test matches and routinely discovered openings in midfield.
Ange Capuozzo, Kurt-Lee Arendse, and Damian Penaud are all from France (Italy)
Kurt-Lee Arendse, a similarly gifted Springboks winger who just made his national team debut this year, scored five tries in four games this month.
Damian Penaud, a guy for big situations, consistently manages to score a try for France at a key time. For example, he scored twice against Japan and touched over late to seal the victory for Les Bleus against Australia.
During the Six Nations, Ange Capuozzo made his international debut. He has since maintained his extraordinary climb by scoring outstanding tries against Australia and South Africa.