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Foley and four Springboks named in Japan league's team of the year

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Four Springboks players and Wallabies No10 Bernard Foley have been selected on the Japan league’s team of the year following last weekend’s conclusion of the 2023 season. Hooker Malcolm Marx finished the campaign as a league champion following Kubota Spears’ 17-15 win over Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights and the South African front-rower has now been named in an end-of-season best XV.

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Keeping him good company are two fellow Springboks forwards, back-rowers Pieter-Steph du Toit and Kwagga Smith, while scrum-half Faf de Klerk, who finished his season with Yokohama Canon Eagles with a 26-20 win over Tokyo Sungoliath in the third-place play-off, was named the stand-out No9 in his first season in Japan since joining from Sale in England.

Elsewhere, Wallabies out-half Foley got the nod as the best No10 following his exploits as a Spears’ teammate of Marx.

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Japan Top League team of the season 2023:
1. Keita Inagaki (Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights)
2. Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears Funabashi/Tokyo Bay)
3. Opeti Helu (Kubota Spears Funabashi/Tokyo Bay)
4. Warner Dearns (Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo)
5. Harry Hockings (Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath)
6. Kazuki Himeno (Toyota Verblitz)
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz)
8. Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs)
9. Faf de Klerk (Yokohama Canon Eagles)
10. Bernard Foley (Kubota Spears Funabashi/Tokyo Bay)
11. Haruto Kida (Kubota Spears Funabashi/Tokyo Bay)
12. Dylan Riley (Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights)
13. Tomoki Osada (Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights)
14. Seiya Ozaki (Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath)
15. Ryuji Noguchi (Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights)

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