South African Players Abroad XV: Better Than the Rest?

South African Players Abroad

Another week of rugby where we saw our Super Rugby sides produce bitter sweet performances. All focus is on them but I am keeping a keen eye on Europe as their season starts to wind down. There are 2 reasons for this: one is to showcase and keep everyone in the loop as to performing South Africans up north but the other to keep an eye on who Eddie Jones will bring to our shores in the 3 match Test Series against England.

Again this week provided myself and @RugbyMadsa with a few selection headaches, but that is a great position to be in if you ask me. See below as we both string together rather formidable South African sides made up of players who played this weekend and are able to play for the Bokke.


  1. Francois van Wyk (Northampton Saints)
  2. Jody Jenneker (Castres)
  3. Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors)
  4. Franco vd Merwe (London Irish)
  5. Paul Willemse (Montpellier)
  6. Ruan Ackerman (Gloucester)
  7. Jono Ross (Sale Sharks)
  8. Jacques Engelbrecht (Montauban)
  9. Ruan Pienaar (Montpellier)
  10. Pat Lambie (Racing 92)
  11. Duhan vd Merwe (Edinburgh)
  12. Francois Steyn (Montpellier)
  13. Paul Jordaan (La Rochelle)
  14. Louis Ludik (Ulster)
  15. Willie le Roux (Wasps)


Some tough calls to make this weekend with a number of Saffas performing for their respective sides.

Francois van Wyk, Bismarck du Plessis and Lourens Adriaanse bid up front, while Paul Willemse locks up with former Sharks second-rower Peet Marais. The loose trio provided the biggest headache for me with Rynhardt Elstadt, Willem Alberts and Gerrit-Jan van Velze all playing superbly but are ousted by Francois Louw, Ruan Ackermann and Jono Ross.

In the backline, Ruan Pienaar’s masterclass against La Rochelle sees him beat off Faf de Klerk, James Hall and Piet van Zyl. Pienaar pairs up with Burton Francis who amazingly beats Lambie to the no.10 jersey. Francois Steyn and Johann Sadie make up my midfield while Duhan van der Merwe, Louis Ludik and Willie Le Roux form a dangerous back three.

  1. Francois van Wyk (Northampton Saints)
  2. Bismarck du Plessis (Montpellier)
  3. Lourens Adriaanse (Pau)
  4. Ruan Ackermann (Gloucester)
  5. Paul Willemse (Montpellier)
  6. Jono Ross (Sale Sharks)
  7. Francois Louw (Bath)
  8. Gerrit-Jan van Velze (Worcester Warriors)
  9. Ruan Pienaar (Montpellier)
  10. Burton Francis (Grenoble)
  11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh)
  12. Francois Steyn (Montpellier)
  13. Johann Sadie (Agen)
  14. Louis Ludik (Ulster)
  15. Willie Le Roux (Wasps)

Agree with our picks? Or not? Let us know on Twitter at @thePunditsSA, @judgeRugby and @RugbyMadsa

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