South African Super Rugby XV of the season

Rugby Player scores try

With the curtain having come down on what has been yet another marathon of a Super Rugby season, Shaun Goosen picks his in form South African XV of the tournament.

15. Warrick Gelant (Bulls)
Gelant has been electrifying all season long. His speed and vision from the back led to many a Bulls try in 2018, and the Springboks will definitely miss him as he sits out the next several months through injury.

14. Sbu Nkosi (Sharks)
Boasting both power and pace, Nkosi certainly looks likely to be a long-term starter on that right wing for the Boks in the years ahead. The 22-year-old has all the raw ingredients to make it on the Test stage.

13. Lukhanyo Am (Sharks)
Arguably one of the most consistent performers this year, Am continues to grow week in and week out. His defensive awareness and silky skills were crucial to the Sharks’ quarter-final run.

12. Andre Esterhuizen (Sharks) Another player who has seriously evolved his overall game this season, Esterhuizen’s skill set has come on in leaps and bounds in 2018. He also remains as physical as ever in the centre of the park.

11. Aphiwe Dyanti (Lions)
This was an incredible breakthrough season for the young man, who seemingly came out of the blue to obliterate all before him. Alongside Nkosi, Dyanti may well go on to nail down that left winger spot at national level for the foreseeable future.

10. Handre Pollard (Bulls)
Consistently the best all-round fly-half in the country, Pollard remains Rassie Erasmus’ best bet going forward. He does need to start getting back to the form he showed in 2014/15, however, if he is to take his game to the next level.

9. Ivan van Zyl (Bulls)
South Africa’s scrumhalf depth (or lack thereof) has been much publicized of late. If anything, van Zyl represents the best of a mediocre bunch.

8. Warren Whiteley (Lions)
Despite being injured for much of the season, Whiteley has put in some solid shifts over the past few weeks. He seems to be getting back to his very best and his return to the national fold will be a huge asset to the Springboks in the upcoming Rugby Championship.

7. Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks)
While the 113 kg behemoth may still be a few seasons away from reaching his peak, there’s no doubt he would add a physical dimension to any team. His handling has improved too, with a personal offloads tally of 28 being the second-best in the competition.

6. Kwagga Smith (Lions)
Ranked second in the competition for turnovers won and third for tackles made, the man-terrier that is Kwagga can be more than proud of his showings this season. His performance in the semi-final against the Waratahs was monumental.

5. Franco Mostert (Lions)
Mostert remains Swys de Bruin’s line-out kingpin, with the rangy second rower being ranked first in the tournament for line-outs stolen (13), minutes played (1433) and line-outs won (77). A shoo-in for Bok selection.

4. RG Snyman (Bulls)
The versatile Snyman can fill both lock voids with aplomb and has proven his worth to a Bulls side on the up. His phenomenal running game has also seen him rack up the third-highest number of offloads (27).

3. Ruan Dreyer (Lions)
While he may give away the odd penalty at scrum-time, Dreyer remains one of the unsung heroes in Johannesburg. His hard graft lays the platform for his teammates to express themselves, and at just 27, his best is yet to come.

2. Malcolm Marx (Lions)
Marx is far and away the best hooker on the planet and as pointed out by Nick Mallett in the SuperSport studio recently, there are hardly any weaknesses to his game. His numbers speak for themselves: first in 2018 for turnovers won (24) and fourth for tries scored (12).

1. Beast Mtawarira (Sharks)
The Bok centurion has wound back the clock in a year that has seen the return of his startling ball-carrying, as well as some masterful scrummaging in the front row.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets

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