Nine with SA rugby roots nominated for PRO14 Dream Team

Nine with SA rugby roots nominated for PRO14 Dream Team

Nine players who learned their rugby in South Africa are among the 45 names from which the 2018/19 PRO14 Dream Team will be selected.

With 297 internationals who played in this competition between the 14 teams of Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy and South Africa, the nomination of nine South African players partly tells the story of why the South African teams struggle in the Super Rugby series with so many class players plying their trade in Europe.

Although only the Cheetahs wing Rabz Maxwane, who equalled the record of 14 tries in a season set by Tim Visser was nominated from the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings sides, five of the nominated players from South Africa have played test rugby.

They are Marcell Coetzee (Springbok, Ulster), CJ Stander (Ireland, Munster), WP Nel (Scotland, Edinburgh), Rob Herring (Ireland, Ulster) and Braam Steyn (Italy, Bennetton).

Pierre Schoeman and Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh), former Western Province and Stormers scrumhalf Dewalt Duvenage and of course Maxwane complete the list of the nine players who played their rugby for South African sides.

The final team will be revealed on Thursday, 23 May.

Pro14 dream team nominees (SA Players in bold) –

Fullback: Dan Evans (Ospreys); Mike Haley (Munster); Matthew Morgan (Cardiff Blues)

Right wing: Monty Ioane (Benetton Rugby); Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets); Ratuva Tavuyara (Benetton Rugby)

Outside centre: Tom Farrell (Connacht); Rey Lee-Lo (Cardiff Blues); Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors)

Inside centre: Bundee Aki (Connacht); Willis Halaholo (Cardiff Blues); Stuart McCloskey (Ulster)

Left wing: Darcy Graham (Edinburgh); James Lowe (Leinster); Rabz Maxwane(Cheetahs)

Flyhalf: Jack Carty (Connacht); Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors); Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh)

Scrumhalf: Caolin Blade (Connacht); John Cooney (Ulster); Dewaldt Duvenage(Benetton)

No 8: Marcell Coetzee (Ulster), Bill Mata (Edinburgh), CJ Stander (Munster)

Openside flank: Colby Fainga’a (Connacht), Braam Steyn (Benetton); Hamish Watson (Edinburgh)

Blindside flank: Max Deegan (Leinster); Peter O’Mahony (Munster); Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues)

No 4 Lock: Tadhg Beirne (Munster), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Federico Ruzza (Benetton Rugby)

No 5 Lock: Scott Fardy (Leinster); Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors); Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys)

Tighthead prop: Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), WP Nel (Edinburgh), Marco Riccioni (Benetton Rugby)

Hooker: Epalahame Faiva (Benetton Rugby); Rob Herring (Ulster); Ken Owens (Scarlets)

Loosehead prop: Dave Kilcoyne (Munster); Eric O’Sullivan (Ulster); Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh)