Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU Team of the Season

Tue, 04/05/2021, 08:20 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
James O'Connor leads the Team of the Season after being named MVP. Photo: Getty Images

The Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU Final is now set with the Queensland Reds set to host the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium on May 8.

Throughout the eleven weeks of the competition, there have been plenty of standouts that have made their name as they press for the title and Wallabies selection.

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With the Final just days away, Rugby.com.au has selected their Team of the Season after consulting with experts and selections in the Team of the Week.

Toni Pulu sees red for a tackle on Irae Simone.

1. Tom Robertson – Force

Robertson might not have attracted the fanfare of teammates Rob Kearney, Tomas Cubelli and Domingo Miotti on arrival, however, the former Waratah has been an essential signing to the Force's push to the finals. His presence at scrum time along with several crucial carries in crunch time allowed their pack to gain ascendency late in the season.

2. Feleti Kaitu’u – Force

Kaitu'u has emerged as a legitimate contender for the Wallabies ahead of the July series. Along with Robertson, Kaitu'u has been a monster at set-piece time as well as providing some much-needed attacking prowess, evident in his try against the Waratahs in Round Nine.

3. Taniela Tupou – Reds

Tough to miss out on the MVP award, finishing second behind O'Connor. Tupou continues to develop and reach his potential, putting himself in serious discussions as one of the best props in the world as he continues to dominate Super Rugby.

4. Cadeyrn Neville – Brumbies

As the Brumbies push for back-to-back titles, Neville is one of the more underrated players in their side. The lock has been the backbone of their impressive line-out, ranked top in the competition (43), and has impressed with his work rate in both attack and defence.

Neville finishes off a cracking team try

5. Trevor Hosea – Rebels

Hosea's development has been evident to see as he tried to will the Rebels to the finals. With the second-row depth in the country under question at the start of the year, Hosea has made a major statement through his reliable hands at line-out time and his explosive carries over the advantage line.

6. Rob Valetini – Brumbies

Valetini is more than living up to the hype and potential he showed when he burst onto the scene as a 19-year-old. The 22-year-old has been the dominant blindside flanker in the country through his bulldozing runs and strong defence, all the more remarkable when you consider he prefers to play as a number eight.

7. Fraser McReight – Reds

Often earmarked as the seven of the future, McReight's development and level of performance in 2021 has many questioning the security of Wallabies captain Michael Hooper's hold on the jersey. McReight has been essential to the Reds' title aspirations, producing game-winning plays on multiple occasions in attack and defence as he quickly becomes a fan-favourite.

8. Harry Wilson – Reds

Wilson has emerged as the cornerstone of the Reds' backrow, stepping up in Liam Wright's absence. The hard-hitting number eight has shown no sign of second-year syndrome as he continues to barge his way over the advantage line along with making a mountain of tackles to help the Reds into the Final.

Tate just doing Tate things

9. Tate McDermott – Reds

Once again, Tate McDermott has effortless steered the Reds around the pack to make the finals. Sometimes it's easy to forget he's 22, however, McDermott's passing game and lightning speed around the ruck has allowed him to carve up opposition defences throughout the season.

10.James O’Connor – Reds

MVP. And rightfully so as O'Connor's steady hand and play-making abilities have been crucial to the Reds' season. With a plethora of young halves emerging, O'Connor's brilliant season has all but secured the Wallabies flyhalf jersey for their upcoming series against France.

11.Andy Muirhead – Brumbies

Whilst he hasn't received the hype of his other back three companions, Muirhead's contribution and influence on the Brumbies can not be understated. In an era of giant, powerful wingers, Muirhead's speed and skill has made him a nightmare to stop close to the line.

12. Hunter Paisami – Reds

Finishing in the top three for MVP voting, Paisami's continual transition to inside centre has been a joy to watch. Paisami's brutal defence and barnstorming runs have changed the game on a number of occasions, with his injury (facial) a massive loss for the Reds ahead of the Final.

READ MORE:

PRESSURE'S ON: White plies it on

JOC MVP: O'Connor voted winner by fans

GRANDSTAND TO GF: Scott-Young continues rise

13. Len Ikitau – Brumbies

Ikitau has stepped up as a leader for the Brumbies, which has been more than evident on the field. The 22-year-old has made the position his own, carving up defences with his unique blend of strength and speed, proving tough to bring down.

14. Marika Koroibete – Rebels

In a year where Koroibete struggled to find the line, the Rebels winger found plenty of ways to influence the course of a match. He led the comp in carries (86), tackle busts (26), offloads (10) as well as sitting second for line breaks (11).

15.Tom Banks – Brumbies

With the Wallabies fullback job up for grabs, Banks has established himself as the premier fullback in the country. Banks easily leads the comp in metres gained and line breaks, whilst his kicking game continues to step up the Brumbies impressive rolling maul.

It’s a rematch of the 2020 Super Rugby AU decider as the Reds host the Brumbies on Saturday 8 May at Suncorp Stadium, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST.Click here to purchase tickets to one of the most anticipated Rugby matches of the year.

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