Fantasy Rugby: The Ultimate Uncapped XV

Three of our writers pored over squad lists for hours to pick their ultimate uncapped XVs – which do you like the look of the best? Check out the teams below, and then vote for your favourite in the poll at the bottom!

Alex Shaw@alexshawsport

slater1. Florian Fresia (Toulon)
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
3. Steven Kitshoff (Stormers)
4. Paul Willemse (Bulls)
5. Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers)
6. Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)
7. Will Fraser (Saracens)
8. Gillian Galan (Toulouse)
9. Sarel Pretorius (Cheetahs)
10. Demetri Catrakilis (Stormers)
11. Henry Speight (Brumbies)
12. Kyle Godwin (Western Force)
13. Elliot Daly (London Wasps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath)
15. Andre Taylor (Hurricanes)

I have cheated somewhat in the pack, picking two loosehead props and two openside flankers, but their ability and potential meant that I had to commit the age-old sin of picking players in their less accustomed positions. The front row are all young players with bright futures ahead of them, and Fresia is certainly one to keep an eye on, as he is currently earning himself significant playing time amongst the star-studded Toulon front row. Ed Slater is a player who is unlucky to not have a cap as of yet, especially when you consider his form last season, but England seem settled now with their duo of Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury, and he may have to continue being patient. Two exciting opensides in Savea and Fraser hold down the flanks, whilst the gargantuan Galan rounds off the forwards, and must be pushing for a place in France’s Six Nations squad.

A relatively experienced half-back pairing, as both Pretorious and Catrakilis have a number of Super Rugby caps to their name, but are also both unlikely to represent South Africa, who seem committed to going in different directions at their respective positions. Godwin and Daly offer an exciting combination in the midfield, and both have another string to their bows, as they are more than useful with the boot too. Lots of talented players missed out in the back three, such as Jack Nowell, Cheslin Kolbe, and Jordan Williams, but a trio of Speight, Watson, and Taylor provides a good blend of experience, pace, and footwork.

Jamie Hosie@jhosie43

rokoduguni1. Nathan Catt (Bath)
2. Scarra Ntubeni (Stormers)
3. Ben Tameifuna (Waikato Chiefs)
4. Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers)
5. Craig Clarke (Connacht)
6. CJ Stander (Munster)
7. Julian Salvi (Leicester Tigers)
8. Fritz Lee (Clermont Auvergne)
9. Rory Kockott (Castres)
10. Brock James (Clermont Auvergne)
11. Tim Nanai-Williams (Waikato Chiefs)
12. Robert Ebersohn (Montpellier)
13. Robbie Fruean (Waikato Chiefs)
14. Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath)
15. Gareth Anscombe (Waikato Chiefs)

I’ve gone for a team with a mixture of fantastic potential and overlooked talent. In the front row there are three youngsters with a big future ahead of them – England’s Nathan Catt, who has formed part of a hugely impressive Bath unit this season, Scarra Ntubeni, who is the latest off the South African hooker production line and toured with them recently, and big Ben Tameifuna, one of the most destructive ball-carrying props in world rugby.

The lock partnership combines the athleticism of Graham Kitchener with the leadership of Craig Clarke (how he has never been capped is beyond me), while in the back row Munster’s excellent young South African CJ Stander provides ballast, while Julian Salvi has been terrorising breakdowns in the Premiership for years now. For most other countries, he would be a test match veteran. Fritz Lee is a bit of a left-field selection, but he is a scarily good ball carrier who has just signed for Clermont – watch out for him over the rest of this season.

Three Chiefs make my backline, two from their title winning side last season. Tim Nanai-Williams (cousin of Sonny Bill and brother of Ulster’s Nick) is one of the most electric attackers around, while at the back Gareth Anscombe is also rapid and has a brilliant boot on him. Robbie Fruean is a new signing at the Chiefs, but it is surely only a matter of time before his talent is recognised on the biggest stage.

The selection of Rory Kockott at scrum-half means Brock James can do what he does best – namely, be the playmaker – without having to worry about goal-kicking, while outside him Robert Ebersohn joins Fruean in what is a hugely talented centre partnership. On the other wing, Semesa Rokodoguni is scoring tries for fun at Bath, and completes a ruthless looking backline. There are too many honourable mentions to list here – suffice to say, I changed my mind on several positions countless times!

Ball Handling Hooker@BallHandlingHooker

payne1. Emmanuel Felsina (Toulon)
2. Deon Fourie (Stormers)
3. Ben Tameifuna (Waikato Chiefs)
4. Hugh Pyle (Melbourne Rebels)
5. Craig Clarke (Connacht)
6. Robin Copeland (Cardiff Blues)
7. Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)
8. Josh Strauss (Glasgow)
9. Rory Kockott (Castres)
10. George Ford (Bath)
11. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
12. Kyle Godwin (Western Force)
13. Robbie Fruean (Waikato Chiefs)
14. Henry Speight (Brumbies)
15. Jared Payne (Ulster)

The wingers were tough to choose, with David Smith and Eli Walker very close. Admitedly I had Smith in ahead of Nowell before this week, but a reminder of his talent and huge potential has tipped my view in his favour. Fly-half was also difficult – Henry Slade pushed close, but of all the young, uncapped English out halves George Ford is the best and the one with the most potential in my view. I really, really wanted to put Kieran Marmion in at nine – actually, scratch that, I want him capped for Ireland already. He was magnificent on Sunday against Toulouse, but the one man Castres team that is Rory Kockott deservedly gets the spot.

Deon Fourie is consistently one of the best hookers in Super Rugby. If it wasn’t for the abnormalities that are Bismarck du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss he would be more involved. Added to his reliable darts and good scrummaging, Fourie is one of the best in the world at the breakdown. Big Ben Tameifuna gets in over Martin Moore, mostly because I might be being biased in saying Moore, but also because of the rampaging ball carrying that Big Ben gets through. A mountain of a man.

You can’t select Craig Clarke without mentioning his leadership skills. He captained the Chiefs to two Super Rugby titles, before leading Connacht to that result on Sunday. He is one of the biggest Northern Hemisphere coups from the summer. The Chiefs will miss him next season.

There are a number of Australian second rows that impressed me in last year’s Super Rugby, and while Graham Kitchener also came close, for me Hugh Pyle is supremely talented and at 25, has a lot of Wallaby caps ahead of him. Ardie Savea will be the next All Black openside for years to come – even ahead of Sam Cane, which is saying something. An openside with the pace and skill of a back.

Tanimer Latimer keeps Sam Cane out of the Chiefs side, and is more than worthy of a spot in this side. Josh Strauss was for years the heartbeat for the Lions in South Africa, but then Glasgow signed him and he has since showed the PRO12 what a beast he is.

Which is your favourite Uncapped XV?

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Think you can do better? Name your team below!

Photos by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

12 thoughts on “Fantasy Rugby: The Ultimate Uncapped XV

  1. thought i’d join in with my own XV. It’s far more difficult than I had anticipated.

    1. Emanuel Felsina
    2. Liam Coltman
    3. Ben Tameifuna
    4. Ed Slater
    5. Craig Clarke
    6. TJ Ioane
    7. Ardie Savea
    8. Dave Ewers

    9. Rory Kockott
    10. George Ford

    11. Tim Nanai-Williams
    12. Luther Burrell
    13. Elliot Daly
    14. Henry Speight

    15. Benji Marshall

    ps. I really wanted to include Tim Mikkelson due to his 7s ability but alas

  2. S Kitsoff
    Craig Burden (i believe still uncapped)
    Hoani Tui
    Craig Clarke
    Ed Slater
    Matt Garvey
    Will Frasier(next McCaw)
    Fritz Lee

    Benoît Paillaugue
    Jules Plisson
    Anthony Watson
    Tim Bateman
    Andrew Bishop
    Jack Nowell
    Elliott Daily

  3. Oops dunno what happened there? Couldn’t amend til now.

    Had tried to state that whilst these teams are an interseting concept, I don’t know enuff about enuff of the players to give an objective opinion.

    However, S15’s Ardie Savea & George Moala a couple to watch for me. Surprised the former wasn’t on the last Autum tour.

  4. brighty

    Confess I don’t really know the guy. New to me, but I guess Wales are entering/already into a 2nd wave of raids, but this time by it’s own rather than RL.

    PS Did respond to a prev comment of yrs on the ‘Between the legs BOD’ blog btw, altho maybe 2 old hat now.

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