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Six standout players from stellar International weekend

The international season is well and truly upon us, with three brilliant games getting things underway. 

The action began in Tokyo, as England ran in eight tries against Eddie Jones’ Japan side. We quickly shifted the focus to Twickenham for two blockbuster games.

Kicking things off, South Africa fought off a spirited Wales side to clinch a 41-13 win, and bringing the weekend to a close, the Barbarians defeated Fiji in an entertaining 45-32 thriller.

But with so many talented players on display across the weekend, which players stood out above the rest? With that in mind, here are our six standout players.

Six standout players from stellar international weekend

Edwill van der Merwe 

Credit: IMAGO

What a debut for the Springboks winger! He grabbed a fine solo try to round off an impressive win over Wales on Saturday, and was overall incredibly busy on both sides of the ball. South Africa are blessed with quality wingers (scrum caps optional), but he really proved he could step up for the box-office series against Ireland.

Marcus Smith

Credit: IMAGO

Saturday was a huge test for Smith, but he passed it with flying colours. Smith has been in the shadow of both Owen Farrell and George Ford for some time, but this is his chance to properly take the reigns of the England attack. His try from a silky lineout strike move was quintessential Quins, and his fingerprints were seen throughout England’s play.

READ MORE: England player ratings: Half-backs shine in huge England victory in Tokyo

Chandler Cunningham-South

Credit: IMAGO

Quins back-rower Chandler Cunningham-South proved he could be the man to replace Courtney Lawes moving forward. He is an incredibly powerful player to deploy in the tight, and he put this to good use against Japan. He really packed a punch in defence, and was just as effective in dragging England over the gainline.

Interestingly, he was used as a tip option outside of players like Ben Earl, which allowed him to really utilise his skillset with ball-in-hand.

Dewi Lake 

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Wales might have been bested by South Africa at Twickenham, but skipper Dewi Lake was very impressive. He brought heaps of physicality, and matched his South African counterparts in the contact areas. He also gave Wales a decent platform from the lineout, and grabbed a try for his efforts too. A true captain’s performance.

READ MORE: Wales player ratings: Dewi Lake leads from the front despite defeat

Ox Nche

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Ox Nche is already revered for his scrummaging, but he took it to another level against Wales. He really went on the attack from the off against Keiron Assiratti in the first-half, and got even better later on too. Nche was that dominant he, bizarrely,  even conceded penalties too! The dominance in the scrum really helped the Springboks get the upper hand in the early exchanges, which eventually saw them win the game.

Jonny May

Credit: IMAGO

It was rather fitting Jonny May grabbed two tries on his Twickenham swansong. In what could potentially be his final game on English soil, May was a constant threat with ball-in-hand, and was at the heartbeat of most good things for the Barbarians in their win over Fiji. A really nice way to send him off to France.

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