11 May 2023

~3 minutes read

URC Awards: 2022/23 Elite XV Has Been Named – Two Connacht Players selected

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URC Awards: 2022/23 Elite XV Has Been Named – Two Connacht Players selected

All five participating nations were represented in the United Rugby Championship Elite XV for the 2022/23 season.

Ireland accounted for six of the 15 players selected, which were determined by a media vote, with four coming from South Africa, two each from Scotland and Italy and one from Wales.

A total of 11 teams – and seven of the top eight sides – had at least one player included, with Leinster leading the way with three.

Dan Sheehan, who pipped OFX Top Try Scorer Tom Stewart to the hooker position, Scott Penny and Ross Byrne were nominated – the latter the only player to have made the Elite XV for two successive seasons.

Defending champions the DHL Stormers had Daniel du Plessis and Steven Kitshoff in the team while Connacht duo Finlay Bealham and Niall Murray were also chosen.

Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby), Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls), Simone Gesi (Zebre Parma), Gavin Coombes (Munster), Vaea Fifita (Scarlets), Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) and Federico Ruzza (Benetton) made the cut as well.

Players had to have made a minimum of nine appearances to be considered, with the media panel given a shortlist of 10 players per position, provided by URC StatMaster. The player with the most votes in each position earned a place in the team.

URC Elite XV

15: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls)

14: Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby)

13: Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors)

12: Daniel du Plessis (DHL Stormers)

11: Simone Gesi (Zebre Parma)

10: Ross Byrne (Leinster)

9: Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks)

1: Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers)

2: Dan Sheehan (Leinster)

3: Finlay Bealham (Connacht)

4: Niall Murray (Connacht)

5: Federico Ruzza (Benetton)

6: Vaea Fifita (Scarlets)

7: Scott Penny (Leinster)

8: Gavin Coombes (Munster)

Places in the Elite XV are the latest prizes to be revealed as part of three weeks of URC Awards announcements.

The Next-Gen Player of the Season will be announced on Wednesday with the Try of the Season, Gilbert Golden Boot and Ironman disclosed next week.

The BKT Coach of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season and Vodacom Fans’ Player of the Season are then revealed in the build-up to the Grand Final.

URC Awards 2022-23

Top Try Scorer: Tom Stewart (Ulster)

Tackle Machine: John Hodnett (Munster)

Turnover King: Thomas Young (Cardiff)

Elite XV: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls), Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors), Daniel du Plessis (DHL Stormers), Simone Gesi (Zebre Parma), Ross Byrne (Leinster), Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), Dan Sheehan (Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht), Niall Murray (Connacht), Federico Ruzza (Benetton), Vaea Fifita (Scarlets), Scott Penny (Leinster), Gavin Coombes (Munster)

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