RUGBY.com.au's Super Rugby Team of the Year: Kerevi headlines Aussie best in 2019

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

The Brumbies have dominated RUGBY.com.au's  Australian Super Rugby Team of the Year, with Samu Kerevi and Folau Faingaa the standout individuals.

After every round of the 2019 regular season, RUGBY.com.au has picked a team of the week - based on form, statistics and overall contribution to the team performance - and the final tallies have been used pick a 23 for the season.

The players selected for the most weeks in total, and if a player was picked in the team of the week in different positions, their overall tally was counted in the position in which they got most selected.

In the case where two players finished equal, the player was picked for the most consecutive weeks picked, thus rewarding consistency.

The bench is made up of the next-best selections.

Wallabies resting weeks and injuries obviously mean it is not a perfect science, but it is a reflection of the most consistent performers in Super Rugby this season.

Unsurprisingly, nine of the starting XV are from the Brumbies and another three on the bench. 

Kerevi and Faingaa were both selected in the team of the week nine times, the equal-most. Christian Lealiifano and Alan Alaalatoa were next-highest with eight selections each.

RUGBY.com.au Team of the Year

1. James Slipper - 6 selections

Slipper hasn't missed a beat this season since signing with the Brumbies. He has been formidable in scrums and across the park. Has well and truly put himself back in Test contention and his weekly competition with Scott Sio has pushed them both into some of their best rugby.

2. Folau Fainga'a - 9 selections

The Brumbies were in control early in the game. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyFolau Fainga'a has had a career-best season so far and shown his ability in set piece as well as in open space. Fainga'a might have lost his Super Rugby try-scoring lead this season but he still sits equal second on the tally with 11 five-pointers for the year.

3. Allan Alaalatoa - 8 selections

Alaalatoa has again been a lynchpin of the Brumbies pack and he has pushed himself well and truly to the top of the tighthead pecking order in Australia. He has been ultra consistent this season and along with his front row mates has helped destroy some formidable packs this season.

4. Rory Arnold - 6 selections

Arnold will be sorely missed when he joins Toulouse after the Rugby World Cup. The lock has been at his abrasive best this season and sets the tone for those around him. The Brumbies set piece has been absolutely firing this season and he is shaping up nicely for Test season.

5. Rob Simmons - 6 selections

Simmons rediscovered some of his vintage form at the Waratahs this season. In a tough year for the team, Simmons was one of their most consistent and had an influence in almost every game he featured in. 

6. Luke Jones - 5 selections

Luke Jones in action against the Reds. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyJones made an impact in the second row and at no. 6 for the Rebels this season, in his return from the club. 

7. Michael Hooper - 7 selections

One needs to only look at the Super Rugby tackles stats to see the workload of Waratahs captain Michael Hooper. The openside flanker sat out two matches under the World Cup resting policy and still manage to top the competition for tackles, with 210  for the season - an average of 15 per game. 

8. Pete Samu - 6 selections

Samu has played a range of different roles this season for the Brumbies but the common denominator has been his excellence. Samu needed to step up in the absence of Rob Valetini, David Pocock and Locky McCaffrey at various times this season and that's exactly what he's done. Coming off the bench or starting, Samu has been able to make an impact on most games and his addition to the side has been a valuable one.

9. Will Genia - 5 selections

Genia's finish to the season might not have been as strong as what he would've liked but the Rebels halfback was a key part of their first half of the season surge. 

10. Christian Lealiifano - 8 selections


Lealiifano is back at the peak of his powers - an incredible feat considering he was diagnosed with Leukaemia less than three years ago. The playmaker has shown his game management skills in some tight finishes this season and has a strong ability to pick when to show his hand and when to reel his team in a bit. 

11. Toni Pulu - 5 selections

Pulu basically missed the first-third of the season but the former Chiefs speedster has shown with the rest of the year exactly why he was such a good pickup for the Brumbies. He is a solid all-round winger and though he has genuine pace, he also has a range of other weapons in attack and defence. A great recruit for the ACT this season.

12. Samu Kerevi - 9 selections

There is no way that Samu Kerevi could have been omitted from this team. Kerevi was picked the most of any player this season and his standing in Australian rugby is only rising. The Reds captain leads the competition in carries and defenders beaten, is second in offloads and fifth overall in clean breaks. Not a bad stat sheet in a World Cup year.

13. Tevita Kuridrani - 7 selections

Tevita Kuridrani makes his Super Rugby return in Canberra on Friday night. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyKuridrani has found some of his best rugby in recent weeks and the outside centre has certainly stamped himself as the top no.13 contender for the Wallabies come World Cup time.

14. Marika Koroibete - 5 selections

Koroibete struggled to find the line early in the season but hit his straps in the back end of the Rebels' campaign, pushing to be more involved in play and finishing off as well. He has genuine X-Factor and is developing nicely since switching to Super Rugby.

15. Tom Banks - 5 selections

Banks has been electric this season. With a fullback spot still very much open in the Wallabies side, Banks has pushed his credentials in a timely fashion. Finished fourth overall in metres made this season, and has continued to develop his game on both sides of the ball.

Reserves

16. Alex Mafi - 4 selections

Mafi was a surprise inclusion in a Wallabies camp earlier this year but looking back on his season, it's not really  that surprising. The Reds were patchy this season but Mafi was one of their most consistent players and was a strong anchor for their set piece.

17. Scott Sio - 4 selections

Simliarly to Slipper, Sio has been pushed to his best rugby with the competition between the duo this season. Played his 100th Super Rugby game last weekend and is tuned up nicely for a big finals campaign and Test season.

18. Sekope Kepu - 4 selections

Kepu has had an unprecedented workload this season but he has acquitted himself well with the weight of the Waratahs' props on his shoulders. The tighthead had plenty of influential games this season and finished second to Alaalatoa when it came to counting back the team of the year appearances.

19. Sam Carter - 6 selections

Carter has gone under the radar for the Brumbies a bit this season but he has had one of his most consistent seasons this year. Currently sits fourth in the tackle count for the season, showing his workrate in defence as well.

20. Isi Naisarani - 5 selections

Isi Naisarani has re-signed through to 2021. Photo: Getty ImagesNaisarani did nothing to hurt his World Cup chances after becoming eligible in April this year. The Rebels no. 8 finished in the top five for carries in the competition, a sign of his influence in Melbourne.

21. Joe Powell - 5 selections

Powell played a key role in sparking the Brumbies' attack this season and his fifth spot in assists for the Super Rugby tournament this year shows that. His form has somewhat mirrored that of the Brumbies with a slow start turning into some consistent rugby in recent weeks. 

22. Billy Meakes - 5 selections

Meakes was in and out of the Rebels' starting side this year but he made an impact in almost every game he played. Ultra reliable centre.

23. Jack Maddocks - 5 selections

Maddocks had a quiet second half to the year but he was one of the standouts when the Rebels were hot. Finishes the regular season in the top five try-scorers across the whole competition with 10 tries for the season and showed glimpses of his potential before the Rebels' rough trot.