Ireland loose forward Caelan Doris. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth narrowly missed out on being crowned the Autumn Nations Player of the Series.
Etzebeth was one of six players nominated for the award, with rugby fans given the chance to vote for their best players on the international stage in the November Test window.
Ireland loose forward Caelan Doris won gold with 26% of the votes, followed by Etzebeth with 22%.
The other players on the list were England fullback Freddie Steward (20%), France scrumhalf Antoine Dupont (14%), England flyhalf Marcus Smith (10%) and France pivot Romain Ntamack (8%).
Etzebeth was colossal for the Boks in their tour wins over Wales (23-18) and Scotland (30-15), as well as the 27-26 defeat to England.
Against Scotland, Etzebeth made the most runs with ball in hand (12) and was also the joint-highest for most tackles (7), while against Wales he made the second-most tackles in the side (9) and the second-most carries (7).
He kept his best for last, though, as he made a team-high seven carries for 46 metres against England, while he also made 13 tackles.
But voters opted for 23-year-old Doris, who started the campaign at blindside flank in Ireland’s comprehensive 60-5 victory over Japan, making 11 carries for 39 metres and also contributing nine tackles – more than any of his team-mates.
The official Autumn Nations Series website described Doris’ performances as follows: “His pièce de resistance was the performance in the historic 29-20 victory over the All Blacks as he popped up everywhere to complete 12 tackles, carry for 84 metres and beat two defenders.