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Five Irish Players Make BBC Sport's Rugby Weekly Summer Test XV

Five Irish Players Make BBC Sport's Rugby Weekly Summer Test XV
By Colman Stanley

Ugo Monye and Chris Jones of the BBC's Rugby Weekly Podcast, had a go at naming their best XV from the recent Summer Tests.

Five Irish players made the XV, with Tadhg Beirne and Josh Van Der Flier slotting into the pack at 4 and 7 respectively, while Johnny Sexton and Robbie Henshaw were at 10 and 12.

There were a couple of positions that were undecided, one of them being the no. 15 shirt, with Monye and Jones unable to decide between Hugo Keenan and England's Freddie Steward.

The breakdown of nationalities was as follows; 5 Irish, 4 South Africans, 4 English, 2 Welsh, 1 All Black, 1 Argentinian.

There were close calls between Andrew Porter and Ellis Genge at loosehead, Caelan Doris and Billy Vunipola at 8, and Josh Van Der Flier and Tommy Refell at 7, but we were able to read between the lines and deduce which players Monye was leaning towards.

BBC Sport Rugby Weekly Podcast Summer Tests XV:

  1. Ellis Genge
  2. Bongi Mbonambi
  3. Trevor Nyakane
  4. Tadhg Beirne
  5. Eben Etzebeth
  6. Courtney Lawes
  7. Josh Van Der Flier
  8. Billy Vunipola
  9. Kieran Hardy
  10. Johnny Sexton
  11. Emiliano Boffelli
  12. Robbie Henshaw
  13. Lukhanyo Am
  14. Will Jordan/Louis Rees-Zammit
  15. Freddie Steward/Hugo Keenan

It's a balanced team from the BBC Sport duo, who managed to stray from the temptations of bias and the over-selection of Series winning English players.

9 July 2022; Irish Rugby XV : Peter O’Mahony of Ireland kicks the ball downfield during the Steinlager Series match between the New Zealand and Ireland at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

From an Irish rugby perspective, the glaring omission is Peter O'Mahony, who along with Sexton, Van Der Flier, and Beirne, had a legitimate case for being the best player on the best team of the Summer.

However, Lawes had himself a stunning end of year tour as well and was England's best player over their three Tests against the Wallabies.


O'Mahony may also have slightly overshadowed by the ridiculous performance of his Munster teammate Beirne in the third Test against the All Blacks, and in particular those legendary final ten minutes.

SEE ALSO: Rugby : Sam Prendergast And His Starring Role For The Irish U20s Side This Summer

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