SA players dominate URC Dream Team
Local players stamped their mark in inaugural competition
SA players dominate the United Rugby Championship Dream Team with five players from the Stormers making their way into the select XV.
The Lions are the only South African franchise not represented in the team that was selected by a panel of rugby scribes from the competition's different territories.
The team that was essentially selected based on performances in the league stages of the competition features 10 South Africans and, perhaps curiously, just one player from Leinster, which topped the points table after the regular season.
Players had to have made a minimum of nine appearances to be considered, with the media panel given a shortlist of 10 players per position, provided by URC StatMaster. The player with the most votes in each position earned a place in the team.
After a slow start SA teams made an impression once they started playing at home in the URC. The fact that three SA teams made the knockout stages may have influenced the voting panel.
Fullback Warrick Gelant, who was injured for parts of the campaign, top try-scorer left-wing Leolin Zas, right-wing Seabelo Senatla, inside centre Damian Willemse and No8 Evan Roos are the Stormers who cracked the nod.
Flank Marcell Coetzee, Lock Ruan Nortje and hooker John Grobbelaar were the selections from the Bulls, while Sharks' props Ox Nché and Thomas du Toit also made it in.
Nortje was named Ironman of the competition for the sheer amount of time he spent on the pitch.
Ulster duo Nick Timoney and James Hume, Leinster's Ross Byrne and Munster scrumhalf Craig Casey and second row Jean Kleyn make up the non-South African contingent.
URC Dream Team: Warrick Gelant (Stormers); Seabelo Senatla (Stormers), James Hume (Ulster), Damian Willemse (Stormers), Leolin Zas (Stormers); Ross Byrne (Leinster), Craig Casey (Munster); Evan Roos (Stormers), Nick Timoney (Ulster), Marcell Coetzee (Bulls); Ruan Nortje (Bulls), Jean Kleyn (Munster); Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Johan Grobbelaar (Bulls), Ox Nché (Sharks).
URC Award Winners List 2021-22
Tackle Machine: Alan O’Connor (Ulster)
Turnover King: Jac Morgan (Ospreys)
Golden Boot: Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys)
Top Try Scorer: Leolin Zas (Stormers)
Ironman: Ruan Nortje (Bulls)