SYDNEY – Four players from South African franchises were named in the Super Rugby's Team of the Year which Sanzaar announced on Tuesday.
The players are lock Lood de Jager, hooker Malcolm Marx (Lions), flank Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks) and prop Sten Kitshoff (Stormers).
The Bulls are the only SA franchise not represented.
The Super Rugby Team of the Year has players from 12 of the teams and like the regular season is based on a comprehensive statistical index that monitors in detail every action of every match.
Player of the year is Chiefs' play-maker Damian McKenzie.
McKenzie's statistics are pretty impressive and earned him the flyhalf spot in the Team of the Year; including beating 74 defenders and amassing 177 points during the season.
The Super Rugby's Team of the Year is:
15 Israel Folau (Waratahs):
Scored nine tries in his final eight games of the season, and made 11.4 carries per game - the most of any outside back (minimum 10 games).
14 Solomon Alaimalo (Chiefs):
Made more clean breaks (43) than any other player, while only Taqele Naiyaravoro (1,478) gained more metres than the Chiefs' flyer (1,447).
13 Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs):
Beat 53 defenders, made 22 offloads, and was one of just three outside centres to make five or more clean breaks in a single game.
12 Michael Little (Sunwolves):
Finished the campaign with 22 clean breaks and 56 defenders beaten - a team-high in each category.
11 George Bridge (Crusaders):
Scored a club-record 15 tries in a single season and gained the third most metres of any player in the competition.
10 Damian McKenzie (Chiefs):
Beat a joint-high 74 defenders for the season, kicked 62/80 goals, and scored more points (177) than any other New Zealand-based player.
9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes):
Was directly involved in 10 tries for the campaign (4 tries, 6 assists), and won 11 turnovers - four more than any other scrumhalf.
8 Akira Ioane (Blues):
Beat a joint-high 74 defenders while no forward made more clean breaks (18) than the Blues backrow, he also scored the second most tries of any forward (8).
7 Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks):
Made 31 offloads for the campaign, four more than any other player in the competition.
6 Pablo Matera (Jaguares):
Won 13 turnovers (five more than he conceded) and was one of just three players to average 10+ carries and 10+ tackles per game.
5 Lodewyk De Jager (Bulls):
Won 63 lineouts for the season, the equal third most of any player in the competition, including five lineout steals.
4 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs):
Only two forwards (Marx, A Ioane) scored more tries than Retallick (6) this season, who also made 17 offloads and 106 carries.
3 Taniela Tupou (Reds):
No prop forward scored more tries (4) or beat more defenders (24) than the Reds' Taniela Tupou.
2 Malcolm Marx (Lions):
Marx scored 12 tries - the most of any forward in a single Super Rugby season - while he won the second most turnovers of any player (27).
1 Steven Kitschoff (Stormers):
Made the most carries (117) and beat the second-most defenders (17) of any prop.
African News Agency (ANA)