Per Simon Galinier
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15. Julien Dumora (Castres)
Safe value of the Top 14, the Castres Julien Dumora (34 years old) is a model of constancy and regularity. Rarely injured (27 games in the Top 14), which celebrated its 200the with the CO still very clean in its placement and kicking game, and is among the most underrated players in the league. Although it was not easy to decide with the international Thomas Ramos, author of a good season, the bearnais took charge of his front in the semifinals of the Top 14 and therefore deserves his place in this type XV. of the 2021-2022 season.
14. Aymeric Luc (Touló)
Unfortunate hero of the access-match against Biarritz, the former Bayonne Aymeric Luc (24) has managed to recover perfectly from Toulon. During the first part of the season, he kept afloat a team from the Var adrift, which in early February occupied the last place in the Top 14, and was one of the great architects of the rise of the RCT, who did not qualify on the last day on the Racing 92 turf. The player trained at the Boucau-Tarnos Stade even took advantage of Virimi Vakatawa’s last-minute package to receive his first call-up to the Blue, in October of 2021.
13. Waisea Nayacalevu (French stadium)
The Fiji International Waisea Nayacalevu (32 years old; 26 national teams) led, almost alone, the Stade Français this season. Top scorer in the Paris squad (9 tries in 22 games), he was above all the blaster of the Paris bottom line and made people forget the departures of internationals Jonathan Danty and Gaël Fickou as well as the very slow first season of Ngani. Laumape. His great athletic qualities, speed and technique will benefit Toulon next season.
12. Jan Serfontein (Montpellier)
Finally saved from the physical problems that affected him last season, the Springbok Jan Serfontein (29 years old; 35 games) spent a full season with Montpellier. The former Bulls player does not disappoint and when he is standing he is a must for the MHR (18 starters in 18 games this season and 17/17 last year). Decisive in the semifinals of the Top 14 against UBB, he was also very solid in the final against Castres and led the Cistas to their first Brennus shield.
11. Raymond Rhule (La Rochelle)
It has long been boycotted by the Springboks, the South African end Raymond Rhule (29 years old; 7 national teams) won in exile in France, first in Grenoble (2018-2020) and then in La Rochelle, where he has just made a very successful second season (22 matches of which 19 starters in the Top 14) . Often used on the sidelines and sometimes in the center, the former Ghanaian-born Cheetahs player is one of the spearheads of the maritime attack, thanks to his great qualities of speed and support.
10. Benjamin Urdapilleta (Castres)
At 36, Benjamin Urdapilleta He has less and less hair on his head, but the first Argentine goalkeeper has not lost any of his eyesight, aggression and thirst for victory. He showed it again in the semifinals of the Top 14 against Stade Toulousain, with brilliant inspirations at the feet of which he has the secret. The Puma (16 teams), which has extended its contract for another year and wants to participate in the 2023 World Cup in France, is the stand of the values of the Tarn club which are combativeness, character and the gift of myself. His premature departure to the final of the championship against Montpellier greatly altered the whites and blues, orphans of his Argentine master.
9. Maxime Lucu (Bordeaux-Begles)
Reliable against the posts and brilliant in the game of employment and pressure, the international Maxime Lucu (29 years old; 7 selections) has established himself as the head of the UBB game. His coach Christophe Urios explains that he is THE “essential transmission belt in the Girondins match” and was even surprised “by his impressive regularity in the quality of his game”. Benefits that propelled him to Blue last fall and make him a true replacement for Antoine Dupont. The latter, voted best player in the world 2021, could also have appeared in this type XV, as did Lyonnais Baptiste Couilloud, who finished among the top 14 goal scorers with 11 tries in 16 games.
8. Zach Mercer (Montpellier)
It is THE favorite for the title of 14 best players of the 2021-2022 season. It landed last summer from Bath, Montpellier’s English No. 8, Zach Mercer (25, June 28), quickly made a name for himself in the Top 14 (32 games, including 24 starters in all competitions). Thanks to his overflowing activity, his sense of play and combat, he brought the MHR towards the first shield of Brennus in its history, mainly by the fact of being voted man of the party in the end against the Castres. And to think that the coach of the XV de la Rosa, Eddie Jones, has rejected him for a long time through the Canal …
7. François Cros (Toulouse)
A discreet but so beautiful warrior, François Cros he is one of the most consistent and indispensable players in the Top 14. A complete player who knows everything and excels especially in defensive tasks and ruck areas. This season, he played 16 league games, before injuring his left knee in the playoffs against La Rochelle. His absence in the semifinals against Castres was greatly missed at the Stade Toulousain, orphaned by his brain and touch captain.
6. Cameron Woki (Bordeaux-Begles)
Whether he plays second line with the XV of France and third with Bordeaux-Bègles, the French international Cameron Woki (23; 19 games) is still brilliant. His above-average physical qualities make him a complete player in all areas. Fast, resilient, technical, he also excels in contact thanks to his science of alignment and locking. This season, the player trained in Massy has played 18 games in the Top 14 and has scored 4 tries.
5. Tom Staniforth (Castres)
The Australian rock of Castres, Tom Staniforth (27), is one of the great revelations of the Castres season, and not only for its magnificent mullet cut. A model of regularity and consistency, he played 26 games, all as a starter, and the vast majority in full (1,960 minutes played in the Top 14, an average of 75 minutes / game). Combat leader, but also captain of the CO, he quickly established himself as a key piece of the Tarn herd.
4. Florian Verhaeghe (Montpellier)
Montpellier alignment control tower, Florian Verhaeghe (25 years old) was one of the great architects of the great season of the Hérault who finished in the first shield of Brennus of the MHR. The former Stade Toulousain player, an international on all youth teams, has an atypical slender profile that makes him a mobile player and very valuable in touch and defense. He also knows how to be decisive in the big matches, as he was the author of the second try of the Cistas in the final of the Top 14 against Castres. It is not for nothing that he was called up to Blau last February and is part of the small roles of the staff of the XV of France.
3. Wilfrid Hounkpatin (Castres)
Massive and explosive, the international Wilfrid Hounkpatin (30 years; 1 selection) has established itself as one of the most successful and regular right pillars of the Top 14 (24 starters in 26 games). Author of 4 tries, specifically two doubles against Toulon and Biarritz, also takes advantage of its impressive size (1.92 m; 132 kg) to wreak havoc when thrown 5 meters from the opponent in goal, in addition to perfectly stopping the Tarn scrum. This season, he has extended his contract until 2026 at the Tarn and wants to finish his career at the CO, to the delight of white-and-blue fans.
2. Pierre Bourgarit (La Rochelle)
The international prostitute Pierre Bourgarit (24; 5 games) made a full season with La Rochelle (22 Top 14 games, including 20 starters). His mobility, his ease with the ball in his hand and his great ability to break tackles and constantly put his team at the forefront make him a valuable player. This season, the Gersois trained at Gimont have gained in consistency and regularity. Gradually, he also managed to get off the referees ’radar and calm his mood swings. A test that is on the right track.
1. Cyril Baille (Toulouse)
Considered one of the world leaders in his position, the French international Cyril Baille (28 years old; 36 shots) is without a doubt THE BEST LEFTLINE in the Top 14. A complete player, solid in the melee and endowed with an impressive individual technique, has all the qualities of a modern pillar. It is not for nothing that this season has taken on a gigantic dimension in the club, as in the national team, and has participated a lot in the Grand Slam of the XV of France. During the duplicates, his absence to the left from the Toulouse struggle was felt enormously and the results of the Rouge et Noir suffered greatly.
Simon Galinier, with the editor
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