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Under-20 Six Nations Summer Series Team of the Week: Round 3

Shalva Aptsiauri celebrates after scoring a try with Lasha Tsikhistavi

Four Georgian forwards make the team of the week for Round 3 of the Under-20 Six Nations Summer after a thoroughly dominant display against Scotland.

The Junior Lelos boast a total of five names in this week’s team, more than any other side has contributed in each of the previous two rounds.

That reflects their ruthless eight-try win over Scotland, which sets up a mouth-watering play off for fifth against France.

And we start in the front-row with one of their try-scorers, Alexandre Kuntelia. The tighthead was a constant force at the scrum, as was his loosehead partner Giorgi Mamaiashvili, who also makes the XV.

With the scores level at 12-all, the duo forced an unlikely scrum turnover on Scotland’s own line. Kuntelia was then on hand to score a couple of phases later and from that moment on there was no stopping Georgia.

Between that burly pair is Ireland’s James McCormick, who having endured a tough start to the Summer Series was back to his Six Nations best against England on Tuesday night.

McCormick and Italy’s Lapo Frangini are the only two hookers to have all started all three matches so far and the Ulsterman capped his return to form with a score.

Moving into the second row, Beka Shvangiradze led the Junior Lelos for carries and successful tackles against Scotland. Add to that his two tries and he fully merits his inclusion in the side.

He is partnered by Wales’ Christ Tshiunza, a scorer in Wales’ late win over Italy. The Exeter Chiefs second row led his side for metres made, with his most devastating carry coming on the stroke of half-time when he muscled his way over from a close-range tap penalty.

Georgia’s final pack representative is Rati Zazadze, who like Shvangiradze notched two tries in the success against Scotland, while averaging 8.4m per carry, a remarkable figure for a forward.

On the opposite flank is Ruan Venter, the third forward in the side to have crossed twice in this round. Cameron Hanekom had been South Africa’s primary ball-carrier in Rounds 1 and 2 but Venter outperformed his No.8 this week, topping the Junior Springbok charts for carries and metres made.

And completing the pack is Ireland’s Lorcan McLoughlin, who made two seismic contributions at the end of each half in Ireland’s win against England. Having extended Ireland’s lead just before the break, it was his tackle in overtime which forced a knock-on from England’s Chandler Cunningham-South that confirmed victory.

Tasked with marshalling that frightening group is South Africa’s Neil Le Roux, whose quick thinking brought about South Africa’s second try in their win over France.

His half-back partner is Sam Prendergast. The Leinster fly-half kicked Ireland to their first tournament victory with a late strike against England.

As did Wales’ Joe Hawkins in their win over Italy.

The Welsh captain showed no signs of nerves despite kicking for just the first time in the Series on Wednesday evening, nailing the match-winning points with just four minutes to play to ensure Wales’ spot in the series finale and a second-consecutive appearance in the Team of the Week for the Ospreys centre.

Giovanni Sante is tackled by Joe Hawkins

Outside Hawkins is Fionn Gibbons, a scorer for the second time in the tournament after a try under the sticks against England.

George Hendy starts at full-back after his two scores for the junior Red Roses in that epic, while Baby Bok Imad Khan earns a place on the left-wing after a try on his first start of the tournament.

Rather fittingly, the final place in the side goes to Georgia’s Shalva Aptsiauri, who scored arguably the pick of Georgia’s tries in Round 3 with a cheeky dive in the corner after an extraordinary reverse dunk pass from flanker Lasha Tsikhistavi.


15. George Hendy (ENG)
14. Shalva Aptsiauri (GEO)
13. Fionn Gibbons (IRE)
12. Joe Hawkins (WAL)
11. Imad Khan (RSA)
10. Sam Prendergast (IRE)
9. Neil Le Roux (RSA)

1. Giorgi Mamaiashvili (GEO)
2. James McCormick (IRE)
3. Alexandre Kuntelia (GEO)
4. Christ Tshiunza (WAL)
5. Beka Shvangiradze (GEO)
6. Rati Zazadze (GEO)
7. Ruan Venter (RSA)
8. Lorcan McLoughlin (IRE)