With three games down, and only one more game before the likely test XV line-up against Western Province ahead of the first test, the boffins here at The Rugby Blog have put our heads together to come up with our latest predicted XV.
1. Gethin Jenkins – A strong performance against the Golden Lions puts him in the frame.
2. Lee Mears – Ross Ford enhanced his case against the Cheetahs. Mears will need to up it again against Natal if selected.
3. Euan Murray – A close call here with Phil Vickery, but the Scot was immense against both the Golden Lions and the Cheetahs.
4. Alun-Wyn Jones – Arguably the MOM against the Golden Lions, but will feel Nathan Hines breathing down his neck.
5. Paul O’Connell (c) – Inked in from day one, though, he needs to up his game for the first test.
6. Stephen Ferris – A tough call between Ferris and Tom Croft, but the Ulsterman pips it with his all round game.
7. David Wallace – His play against the Golden Lions was immense, and with Martyn Williams ruled out against Natal, Wallace will get another chance to stake his claim for the 7 shirt.
8. Jamie Heaslip – Completes the all-Irish back row.
9. Mike Phillips – His quick ball and ability to go forward strongly set him apart.
10. Stephen Jones – His partnership with Phillips and his reliability edge him ahead at the moment.
11. Ugo Monye – He’s living the dream at the moment, and not doing too badly on the field either. However, it’s all to play for on the wing with numerous contenders still in the hunt.
12. Jamie Roberts – It’s hard to see past Roberts here. Riki Flutey will try to push his case against Natal though.
13. Brian O’Driscoll – Was there ever going to be anyone else?
14. Tommy Bowe – His tries and all round support play against the Golden Lions was a joy to behold. If he’s not already inked in, then he should be!
15. Lee Byrne – A quieter game against the Cheetahs, but Byrne is still marginally ahead of Rob Kearney.
Let us know whether you agree.