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Rugby World Cup: Team of The Round

Bet Central has put together the Rugby World Cup Team of the Round as the pool stage games produced some memorable games.

England's Henry Arundell and Marcus Smith celebrate the win after the Rugby World Cup 2023, Pool D match at the Stade de Nice, France. Picture date: Friday September 23, 2023.

The third round of the World Cup pool stage fixtures produces some memorable games, from Wales and Australia to Ireland and the Boks. Bet Central has compiled the Rugby World Cup Team of the Round.

15. Liam Williams (Wales)

Liam Williams was masterful at the back as the Welsh put the Wallabies to the sword. Tactically astute with his boot and an able playmaker when called upon to attack – solid decision-making.

Damian Willemse was brilliant for the Springboks, and equally so Marcus Smith had a great outing against Chile.

Honourable mention: Marcus Smith (England)

14. Henry Arundell (England)

This was a hotly contested spot as the right-wingers this week looked classy all-round. There’s the small matter of Damian Penaud’s uncanny finishing ability which was in full view against Namibia.

Emiliano Boffelli was instrumental in getting Argentina over the line against Samoa. But Henry Arundell’s 1st World Cup start was memorable as he crossed the whitewash a whopping 5 times – he’s our man on the right.

Honourable mention: Emiliano Boffelli (Argentina)

13. George North (Wales)

Very few outside centres have been able to shut down Jordan Petaia at 13 during this World Cup, but George North managed to do so and not only that – he fractured the Wallabies defence with every bustling carry in midfield. An excellent outing for North.

Garry Ringrose had a commendable game against the Springboks, typically Gael Fickou was also brilliant for France on and off the ball.

Honourable mention: Gael Fickou (France)

12. Bundee Aki (Ireland)

One struggles to think of a better inside centre at this World Cup thus far – Bundee Aki is in imperious form at the moment. A big ball-carrying presence in midfield who took the physical challenge to South Africa in a titanic battle. It was yet another phenomenal game for the Irish centre.

It’s unfortunate that Nick Tompkins had one of his best games for Wales a day after Aki was unstoppable otherwise he was a shoo-in for this round’s team. 

Honourable mention: Nick Tompkins (Wales)

11. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)

When Duhan van der Merwe gets going, there are rarely any defenders who can contain him and the Tongans found that out the hard way on Sunday. The 28-year-old made metres with every carry and was on hand to score as Scotland overcame Tonga.

Louis Bielle-Biarrey looks like an incredible prospect for France, the way he’s taken to international rugby is impressive. He was a star against Namibia. 

Honourable mention: Louis Bielle-Biarrey (France)

10. Gareth Anscombe (Wales)

The best performance of the weekend from a player who probably didn’t expect to play 68 minutes. Gareth Anscombe came on to devastating effect for Wales after an early Dan Biggar injury. He marshalled his backline and showed his dynamism on attack as Wales gave the Wallabies no chance.

Finn Russell and Johnny Sexton were instrumental in their respective nations’ victories over the weekend.

Honourable mention: Finn Russell  (Scotland)

9. Gareth Davies (Wales)

Scored a very well-taken try to start the rout and looked sharper as the game went on, his tactical kicking was superb and he took a huge amount of pressure off the shoulders of Anscombe. A superb game for the Welshman.

Jamison Gibson-Park controlled the tempo for Ireland while Ben White was calm and composed inside Finn Russell.

Honourable mention: Jamison Gibson-Park (Ireland)

8. Taulupe Faletau (Wales)

Has there ever been a better Welsh 8thman than Taulupe Faletau in their history? It’s highly doubtful has, been that he continues to be a model of consistency after churning out world-class performance after world-class performance for over 10 years now is testament to his greatness. He was world-class once again against the Wallabies.

Jack Dempsey’s 2nd shot at a Test career is going spectacularly with Scotland. Another good game for the 8thman.

Honourable mention: Jack Dempsey (Scotland)

7. Jac Morgan (Wales)

There are shades of Sam Warburton in Jac Morgan, not in terms of playing style, but with regards to how they stepped up as young leaders to lead their nation, yet in equal measure maintain a very high standard of play. Like Aki, Morgan has likely been the best of the bunch at openside flanker and he was once again brutally effective against the Wallabies.

Michele Lamaro was outstanding in Italy’s victory over Uruguay early last week, but not quite up to Morgan’s standards.

Honourable mention: Michele Lamaro (Italy)

6. Pablo Matera (Argentina)

Pablo Matera hasn’t quite been at his best this season, but against Samoa, faced with the prospect of going head-to-head with Theo McFarland, he stepped up to the plate and dominated at 6. He carried strongly and was a tackling machine. 

Peter O’Mahony was influential in those small moments that contributed to a massive output by the team. A warrior in the trenches. 

Honourable mention: Peter O’Mahony (Ireland)

5. Federico Ruzza (Italy)

Federico Ruzza was everywhere for Italy against Uruguay, the 2nd rower had a hand in just about everything for Italy without failing in his core duties at the set-piece. A fine game for the 29-year-old. 

Adam Beard was similarly influential for Wales on a day when they needed their tight 5 to step up.

Honourable mention: Adam Beard (Wales)

4. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)

Rarely do we see Eben Etzebeth outclassed in the 2nd-row battles, but on Saturday he was outshone by Tadhg Beirne who was all over the park in an industrious effort in an arm-wrestle between 2 great teams. 

Etzebeth himself did not disappoint, but it was the Irishman who looked slightly better.

Honourable mention: Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)

3. Tomas Francis (Wales)

It didn’t all go Tomas Francis’ way on Sunday in the 1st half at the scrum, but he grew into the match as it progressed. Angus Bell has been a titan for the Wallabies, but in Francis, he met a more than worthy opponent. Apart from the scrum, he was a Trojan on defence and carried well.

Tadhg Furlong had a super game in the tight-loose, it was his scrumming that let him down a bit. 

Honourable mention: Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

2. Theo Dan (England)

He is a different type of hooker to Jamie George, but Theo Dan is making his own mark in the English national setup. Against Chile he was by far England’s best forward and his set-piece work was exemplary.

Julian Montoya was impressive for Argentina against Samoa in a much-improved performance.

Honourable mention: Julian Montoya (Argentina)

1. Thomas Gallo (Argentina)

Thomas Gallo is a very good player in the loose, but it’s his scrumming that lets him down at times. But against Samoa he stepped up in that department as well, causing plenty of problems for the Samoan tightheads, he laid a platform for a good performance. 

Andrew Porter has quite the engine on him for a prop and his long shift against the Springboks made a massive difference 

Honourable mention: Andrew Porter (Ireland)

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