With the first block of Gallagher Premiership fixtures finished, Crashball Rugby's latest addition Matt Hardy picks his form XV so far this season.
1 - Joe Marler
One of the toughest picks of the XV is at prop, where Joe Marler gets the nod over Mako Vunipola. The Quins front rower has been strong in the scrum this season, providing a stable platform throughout the opening six games. Marler has also shown great mental strength in the way he has played during the announcement that he is retiring from international rugby.
2 - Harry Thacker
Hookers don’t just throw and hook a ball in the modern rugby world, they charge, run and sidestep through defences. Harry Thacker has been doing just that all season for Bristol. The Leicester-born hooker has shown why not all hookers need to be 17 stone bulldozers. It is for that reason he beats Jamie George to this spot.
3 - Will Stuart
Another tough pick at prop where this time Will Stuart wins the battle to partner Marler and Thacker. A standout out at Wasps this season, he has carried well and been very stable at the set piece. Wasps are facing a mini prop crisis, but Stuart is playing like he is the first-choice tighthead.
4 - Maro Itoje
Saracens have a wealth of talent at lock, as does the Premiership, but Itoje is always at the top of that order. The Saracens second-row has been instrumental in the success of the club this season. He takes two defenders with him per carry, he defends incredibly well and he is always in the right place at the right time – a trait synonymous with the greats of the game.
5 - Callum Green
Green has won the most lineouts this season with 32 and has played all but 13 minutes of the opening six games. The Newcastle second-row has been a standout player in Northern England across the park. For a player tipping 18 stone, Green has agility across the park with the pace to match.
6 - Jake Polledri
With his regular barnstorming runs that have left many a defender in his wake, Jake Polledri is an easy pick in the Premiership XV of the opening six games. The Gloucester back-rower has been sitting down the biggest of defenders and running through holes even wingers relish. The flanker has proven he’s no one season wonder and he may have given Eddie Jones thought as to why the England boss let him play for Italy so easily.
7 - Don Armand
Partnering Polledri in the backrow is Don Armand, the Exeter flanker. While still somehow excluded from Eddie Jones’ set up, the number seven has shown his ability both on and off the ball. Armand has proven himself to be a strong ball carrier while having a level of agility that most sevens lack in the Premiership.
8 - Sam Simmonds
Controlling the ball at the base is Sam Simmonds. The Exeter number eight played well throughout the early season until he picked up his injury. Five tries in his first three appearances for the club this season shows his ability on the ball, but Simmonds is also sound in defence. He takes his well-earned spot at number eight.
9 - Danny Care
The man, the whippet, the legend. Danny Care made his 250th Quins appearance last week in their loss to Saracens. The scrum-half has scored in four of his six games and has given Harlequins the fast ball they need in attack. Care brings composure to a Quins side that at times look panicked.
10 - Danny Cipriani
The man with the golden wrists takes his place inside the all Danny half-back partnership. Danny Cipriani has always had the ability and style, and at Gloucester, he’s running the show. The former Wasps ten has overcome off-field obstacles to be the standout fly-half in the Premiership across the opening six games. Just go and look at that try assist against Wasps!
11 - Joe Cokanasiga
When Matt Banahan left Bath, fans were worried. However, Joe Cokanasiga has been a revelation in the West Country. The winger shrugs off tacklers like they’d never been there and always seems to make yards with the ball. The 20-year-old is likely to be a stalwart in the Bath backline for seasons to come and let’s be honest, would you want to tackle him?
12 - Ryan Mill
A potential world cup bolter in the centre? Ryan Mills has been playing out of his skin for Worcester Warriors this season. The centre has carried and defended well but his distribution skills have allowed for Worcester to make gains across the pitch. Could we be seeing a potential Farrell-Mills ten-twelve partnership?
13 - Will Hurrell
Partnering Mills in this XV is Will Hurrell. The Bristol centre has been a revelation for the West Country side. He has stepped up well and is helping Bristol to hold their own. Incredible in the opening fixture against Bath, Hurrell has looked sharp and stylish in a Bears squad displaying a great number of internationals.
14 - Charlie Sharples
What Premiership XV would be complete without the top try scorer? Charlie Sharples has so far amassed eight tries for Gloucester, in just six games! The right winger may not be the big ball carrier that his opposite wing, Matt Banahan, has proven to be, but his ability to run supporting lines and turn on the gas means he can practically score from anywhere.
15 - Alex Goode
Full-back, a position where you often catch a high ball and carry directly into contact, but not Alex Goode. The Saracens full-back always evades the contact, often making 20+ metres and offloading to a star-studded cast of players to continue his work. Goode has been the standout full-back this season and the first name in this team sheet. Defence, attack, leadership, he has it all.