Defending champions the DHL Stormers have Daniel du Plessis and Steven Kitshoff in the team, while the Vodacom Bulls’ Kurt-Lee Arendse and Grant Williams from the Cell C Sharks were also included in the side.


Leinster’s 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.

Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby), Simone Gesi (Zebre Parma), Gavin Coombes (Munster), Vaea Fifita (Scarlets), 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 Vodacom 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)

8: Gavin Coombes (Munster)
7: Scott Penny (Leinster)
6: Vaea Fifita (Scarlets)
5: Federico Ruzza (Benetton)
4: Niall Murray (Connacht)
3: Finlay Bealham (Connacht)
2: Dan Sheehan (Leinster)
1: Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers)

Places in the Elite XV are the latest prizes to be revealed as part of three weeks of URC Awards announcements. The Try of the Season, Ironman, Gilbert Golden Boot and Vodacom Fans' Player of the Season are too be disclosed next week.

Vodacom URC Awards 2022-23

OFX Top Try Scorer: Tom Stewart (Ulster)
Tackle Machine: John Hodnett (Munster)
Turnover King: Thomas Young (Cardiff)
Next-Gen Player of the Season: Tom Stewart (Ulster)

Elite XV: 15 Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls), 14 Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), 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), 8 Gavin Coombes (Munster), 7 Scott Penny (Leinster), 6 Vaea Fifita (Scarlets), 5 Federico Ruzza (Benetton), 4 Niall Murray (Connacht), 3 Finlay Bealham (Connacht), 2 Dan Sheehan (Leinster), 1 Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers).