Western Mail

Brown is the sole Welshman in the PRO14’s top team


ONLY two regional players - and just one Welshman - have made it into the Guinness PRO14 Dream Team for this season.

Dragons prop Leon Brown has been chosen on the tighthead, while Cardiff Blues’ Samoan internatio­nal Rey Lee-Lo gets the nod at outside centre.

Conference A top side Edinburgh have the largest contingent with six players, as some consolatio­n for their last-gasp semi-final defeat to Ulster.

Leinster, who were runaway leaders of Conference B, are next with three representa­tives, all forwards.

Their opponents in Saturday’s Grand Final at the Aviva Stadium, Ulster, have two players on board, while Benetton and the Cheetahs have one apiece.

The Dream Team was chosen by media from across all five countries, including former players and coaches.

Players needed to have made a minimum of eight appearance­s during the league campaign to be eligible.

Brown’s selection is recognitio­n of the strides the 23-year-old has made this season.

He has been a key figure in the Dragons’ improved performanc­es, grafting away at his scummaging and making a big impact with his dynamic ball carrying, scoring rampaging tries in both matches against the Ospreys.

His form saw him called into the Wales squad after missing out on the

World Cup and he featured in all four Six Nations matches, coming off the bench each time to take his tally of caps to ten.

As for Lee Lo, he is now 34, but he remains an absolute class act with his priceless ability to make an outside break, as well as bringing organisati­on in the 13 channel.

Having arrived from Kiwi Super Rugby outfit the Hurricanes in 2015, he has now made 107 appearance­s for the Blues. He makes the PRO14 Dream Team for a second consecutiv­e season.

Other notable selections include Edinburgh’s South African-born winger Duhan van der Merwe, who has proved virtually unstoppabl­e and is now eligible for Scotland on residency.

Meanwhile, Leinster back-rower

Caelan Doris has scooped the NextGen Star of the Season, which was also chosen by the media.

The 22-year-old won two Player of the Match awards and also won his first Ireland cap in this season’s Six Nations.

Other awards have already been announced, with Scarlets flanker Josh Macleod and Dragons second row Matthew Screech among the recipients.

Macleod was crowned Turnover King after topping the turnover charts with 23 to his name, seven more than his nearest rival, last year’s winner Olly Robinson, of Cardiff Blues.

And Screech claimed the Ironman award after figuring in all 15 of the Gwent region’s PRO14 fixtures, playing 1,161 minutes out of a possible 1,200.

The Guinness Players’ Player of the Season and Coach of the Season will be announced tomorrow.

PRO14 Dream Team 2019/20:

1 Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh) 2 Joseph Dweba (Cheetahs)

3 Leon Brown (Dragons)

4 Scott Fardy (Leinster)

5 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh)

6 Max Deegan (Leinster)

7 Will Connors (Leinster)

8 Bill Mata (Edinburgh)

9 John Cooney (Ulster)

10 Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh) 11 Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) 12 Stuart McCloskey (Ulster)

13 Rey Lee-Lo (Cardiff Blues)

14 Monty Ioane (Benetton)

15 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh)

 ??  ?? Leon Brown has been rewarded for a fine season with Dragons
Leon Brown has been rewarded for a fine season with Dragons
 ?? Rey Lee-Lo ?? >
Rey Lee-Lo >

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