Paul Cully: More Lions than All Blacks in test rugby's Team of the Week

OPINION: Seven British and Irish Lions and six All Blacks have been selected in Stuff's international rugby Team of the Week.

The starting XV is rounded out by Scotland pivot Finn Russell and South African flanker Siya Kolisi.

The bulk of the British and Lions pack that demolished New Zealand Maori in Rotorua and four All Blacks outside backs after their stunning 78-0 win over Samoa.

New Zealand-born midfielder Ben Te'o was the only Lions back to make the Team of the Week.

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No Australians made the cut after their home defeat to Scotland.

But Russell has.

The Scotland No.10 was excellent in Sydney. Not only did he manipulate Wallabies' defence with his sleight of hand and distribution skills but he pulled off a fantastic try-saving tackle on Israel Folau in the dying minutes.

It was a dominant display by the No.10 and although he has been called into the Lions squad to help out their midweek side against the Chiefs on Tuesday, it's a bit of a backhanded compliment. Warren Gatland erred in not taking him in the first place and Russell proved his point on Saturday.

The Lions were completely in control against an outclassed Maori tight five earlier on Saturday but for the second weekend in a row failed to create a try for their backs. Their lack of creativity will ultimately be their undoing.

It is still too early to talk about a Springboks renaissance but a second convincing win against France showcased their increasing cohesiveness and willingness to work for each other in defence.

Personnel-wise the Springboks aren't that much different from last year, although the investment in new captain Warren Whiteley seems to be paying off.

There is clearly a strong Lions influence running through the spine of the side but everyone appears to be buying into the new direction – No.12 Jan Serfontein just hurled himself into French bodies. They have definitely taken some positive steps.  


15. Ben Smith (New Zealand)

14. Israel Dagg (New Zealand)

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand)

12. Ben Te'o (British and Irish Lions)

11. Julian Savea (New Zealand).

10. Finn Russell (Scotland)

9. Conor Murray (British and Irish Lions)

8. Taulupe Faletau (British and Irish Lions)

7. Siya Kolisi (South Africa)

6. Jerome Kaino (New Zealand)

5. Maro Itoje (British and Irish Lions)

4. Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)

3. Tadhg Furlong (British and Irish Lions)

2. Jamie George (British and Irish Lions)

1. Mako Vunipola (British and Irish Lions)

 - Stuff