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Gallagher Premiership Team of the Week: Northampton Saints and Exeter Chiefs lead the way

After another fantastic round of Premiership action, it’s time for our Gallagher Premiership Team of the Week! 

The action began on Friday night with two huge games. Newcastle Falcons gave Bath a scare at Kingston Park, with Bath scraping a 28-17 win. Sale Sharks also held off a competitive Leicester Tigers side 31-22 to climb back into the top four.

These two games set the bar high, but Saturday’s games exceeded all expectations. Northampton ran riot at Franklin’s Gardens, as they thrashed Gloucester 90-0 to book a home semi-final. Saracens also laid down a marker to the rest of the league, as they downed the in-form Bristol Bears 41-20. Finishing off the weekend, an inspired second-half performance from Exeter Chiefs saw them beat Harlequins 58-26.

But which players stood out above the rest? Here is our Gallagher Premiership Team of the Week!

Gallagher Premiership Team of the Week: Northampton Saints and Exeter Chiefs lead the way

15: Sam James

A Man of the Match performance on his final home game for Sale, can’t get much better than that. James was great across the park against Leicester. George Furbank pushed him close though

14: Immanuel Feyi-Waboso

Immanuel Feyi-Waboso-Credit: IMAGO

Yet another great showing from the man of the moment. The England international was great against Harlequins, and played a big role in their dominant second-half showing.

13: Henry Slade

Slade has been one of Exeter’s best for some time now, but his performance against Harlequins rubberstamped just how vital he is to this particular group at Sandy Park. He also went 100% off the tee, which helped his side bag a huge tally.

12: Tommy Freeman

The Northampton Saints back has been shifted across to 12 for our Team of the Week, but he was brilliant in the number 13 shirt against Gloucester. He chipped in with an impressive three assists in the 90-0 win, but he was able to break through the Gloucester line with ease on Saturday. He is also really growing into this new role, which only adds to his overall game.

11: Ollie Sleightholme

Ollie Sleightholme-Credit: IMAGO

Surely he has to be in the England squad this summer? The Saints winger was a constant threat with ball-in-hand, and he notched a superb hat-trick for his efforts.

10: Harvey Skinner

Harvey Skinner-Credit: IMAGO

Skinner saved his best performance for when it mattered most. The Chiefs fly-half really grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck against Quins, and put in a fantastic performance. He also grabbed two tries for his efforts.

9: Ivan van Zyl

He might not be a headline grabber, but Saracens scrum-half Ivan van Zyl was great against Bristol. He notched two vital turnovers, and combined well with Owen Farrell to steer the defending champions to victory.

1: Alex Waller

Alex Waller-Credit: IMAGO

Another departing star finishing on a high. Northampton’s scrum was so dominant all afternoon against Gloucester, and Waller was at the heart of it. He also added his name to the scoresheet on his last regular season game at Franklin’s Gardens

2: Curtis Langdon

Langdon is quickly becoming one of the best impact subs in the Premiership. He is such a dynamic hooker, and working as a rotating unit with Sam Matavesi really allows Northampton to win the battle up-front. His brace also helped guide Northampton to victory.

3: Thomas du Toit

Thomas du Toit-Credit: IMAGO

Thomas du Toit has been fantastic for Bath all year, and he again showed on why he is widely regarded as one of the best tightheads in the league on Friday night. He locked down the scrum yet again, and he grabbed his 11th try of the season in all competitions.

4: Maro Itoje

Maro Itoje-Credit: IMAGO

England international Maro Itoje is really starting to find his best form again. His two tries dragged Saracens back into the game after a slow start, but he was a real force on both sides of the ball, and was typically good in the lineout.

5: Dafydd Jenkins 

Exeter skipper Dafydd Jenkins might not get the plaudits his fellow teammates get, but he is still incredibly valuable to his team. He is your typical workhorse second-row, and against Harlequins he really made himself busy on both sides of the ball. He also grabbed a well-deserved try too.

6: Juan Martin Gonzalez

Argentina international Juan Martin Gonzalez grew into the game as it went along, and he became such an influence on Saracens victory. He really made himself known in defence, but especially in the breakdown. He was also solid in attack, and notched a try in the process.

7: Ben Earl 

Form player in the world right now? Former Bristol man Ben Earl put in a brilliant defensive effort at Ashton Gate, and like his fellow flanker Gonzalez, really limited Bristol’s ability to get quick ball. Despite his spell on the naughty step, he was arguably the best player on the pitch.

8: Greg Fisilau

Greg Fisilau-Credit: IMAGO

The Exeter Chiefs number eight was sensational against Harlequins. He grew into the game as it went on, and became Exeter’s main threat in the tight. He also dragged Exeter over the gainline consistently, which really put a dent in Harlequins hopes of a comeback. Is he a potential bolter for the England summer tour?