The 2020 Super Rugby season will be remember but not fondly. In addition to being just 7 games in before a worldwide pandemic postponed it indefinitely, it was also marred by Australia and New Zealand voting to kick South African teams out future tournaments. Despite all of this, there was some great rugby and a few stand-out performances. In honour of the season that spelled the end of Super Rugby as we know it, we have picked our all-star Super Rugby XV.
15 Aphelele Fassi – Sharks
A clear stand out on not only a dominant Sharks team but throughout the entire tournament. Fassi’s ability on attack and reliability in the air makes him a natural successor to Willie le Roux when we get the gift of international rugby again.
14 Andrew Kellaway – Rebels
When it comes to the right wing it’s hard not to pick the player who topped the 2020 tournament’s try scoring table. Kellaway scored twice more than any other player with seven tries, more than one a game over the Rebels’ six-game season.
13 Lukhanyo Am – Sharks
The World Cup winning Lukhanyo Am lead from the front as captain of the Sharks and is the only choice at outside centre.
12 Ngani Laumape – Hurricanes
The latest in a long line of great New Zealand centres, Ngani Laumape was out to prove something after being left out of an ultimately disappointing 2019 All Black Rugby World Cup campaign. Laumape is potent on attack at the suspension of the Super Rugby season, had beaten 23 defenders and managed 11 clean breaks.
11 Mark Telea – Blues
Although two tries behind Kellaway, Mark Telea’s five-try haul in the 2020 Super Rugby season was enough for him to be the second-highest try scorer of the tournament. The Blues speedster beat an impressive 54 defenders during the team’s seven-game season, more than any other player in the tournament.
10 Curwin Bosch – Sharks
One more Shark to add to the tank. Although potentially not the best fly-half of the tournament, Curwin Bosch’s 86-point haul during the 2020 Super Rugby season was a full 40 points ahead of his nearest competitor. With kicking ability like that, there really is no other choice.
9 Tate McDermott – Reds
Equalling the likes of Mark Telea and Makazole Mapimpi, Tate McDermott scored an impressive five tries during the 2020 Super Rugby season. The scrumhalf has been devastating with ball in hand and has worked hard to steady a struggling Reds side.
8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe – Sharks
A weird one here. Despite being potentially the third or fourth picked number 8 for the South African national team behind the likes of Juanro Augustus and Duane Vermeulen, Sikhumbuzo Notshe has been a stand out number 8 in the 2020 Super Rugby. This is emblematic of how spoilt for choice the Springboks will be at the number 8 position in the future.
7 Tom Christie – Crusaders
Few positions in world rugby have more reverence than that of Crusaders’ open-side flank. The jersey held by the great Richie McCaw for a staggering 145 caps now has a worthy successor in Tom Christie. The 22-year-old Christie made a staggering 111 tackles in just 6 games, 23 more than any other player in the tournament.
6 James Venter – Sharks
Our last Shark on the list, James Venter was not only good on defence and at the breakdown during the 2020 Super Rugby season, he was also a menace with ball in hand. Venter is all but guaranteed to get a nod for his Springbok debut when international rugby is back.
5 Michael Stolberg – Sunwolves
The Australian lock playing for the only Japanese team in the tournament was a beacon of hope for the struggling Sunwolves. In addition to making the third most tackles in the tournament, Michael Stolberg also topped the charts for most lineouts won during the season.
4 Guido Petti Pagadizábal – Jaguares
The lone Argentinian on the list, Guido Petti Pagadizábal impressed in not missing a single tackle in any of the seven games the Jaguares played.
3 Taniela Topou – Reds
An absolute unit with ball in hand, Taniela Topou scored an impressive three tries during the 2020 Super Rugby season. The Reds tight-head also gained more meters than any other prop in the tournament.
2 Codie Taylor – Crusaders
There were many worthy candidates for the number 2 jersey but in the end, there can only be one. As our starting XV is skewed heavily toward open attacking rugby, Codie Taylor’s acumen with the ball in hand makes him the best fit for our squad.
1 Steven Kitshoff – Stormers
The Springbok prop played an important role during South Africa’s successful 2019 World Cup campaign as a devastating replacement. Kitshoff has carried this form into 2020 showing he intends to cement his place in the green and gold.