From Stuart Hogg to Alun Wyn Jones - Six Nations team of the tournament
The Guinness Six Nations was once again highlighted by memorable individual performances as the title race went down to being decided on a Friday night in Paris, with France’s defeat handing the championship to Wales.
Here, the PA news agency picks a team of the tournament, captained by Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones.
15: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
Scotland captain Hogg scored two tries against Wales and was consistently his team’s most potent attacking threat. A match-winning talent with an ability to deliver special moments.
14: Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
Made a stunning impact in his first Six Nations tournament, scoring four touchdowns, including a double against Scotland. At just 20 years old, he is pure box-office.
13: George North (Wales)
Switched from wing to centre by Wales head coach Wayne Pivac, and it proved a masterful decision as North excelled. Reached 100 caps for his country, and was a towering figure in attack and defence.
12: Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
A model of consistency in Ireland’s midfield, his bone-crunching defensive work and ability to put others into space proved key ingredients for his team. Must be nailed on for the British and Irish Lions this summer.
11: Anthony Watson (England)
Bath back Watson shone in an England back division that did not rip up many trees during the Six Nations. So consistent in everything he does, scored four tries and looks a Lions certainty.
10: Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
Ireland captain Sexton will be 36 in July and is one game away from 100 caps for his country. He remains a master tactician who pulled the strings majestically in the victory over England. World-class.
9: Antoine Dupont (France)
Last season’s Six Nations player of the tournament reached similar levels this time around, scoring tries and creating havoc for opposition defences through his devastating running lines. Brilliant player.
1: Wyn Jones (Wales)
They say that international props mature like a fine wine, and in his 30th year, Wales loosehead Jones confirms that theory. His set-piece work was outstanding, helping to give Wales a solid foundation. Lions certainty.
2: Ken Owens (Wales)
Hooker Owens was injured for the Autumn Nations Cup campaign earlier this season, and how Wales missed him. A combative presence in the tight and loose, and a natural experienced leader, he ticks every box.
3: Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
Tighthead prop Furlong looked back to his best when Ireland dismissed England, leading a dominant display by the Irish scrum. Also makes a considerable impact in the loose, and a second Lions tour beckons.
4: Maro Itoje (England)
Discipline was an issue, particularly against Wales when the Saracens lock conceded five penalties, but his overall qualities cannot be ignored. Pound for pound, one of the world’s best players who will roar with the Lions.
5: Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
Wales’ captain marvel continues to perform outstandingly at the highest level. With a remarkable 157 Test match appearances to his name for Wales and the British and Irish Lions, and sustained world-class form, he looks a Lions leader as skipper against South Africa this summer.
6: Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
Topped the possession turnover chart in this season’s Six Nations with 10 – four more than any other player – and was third on the lineout list with 13 takes. Comfortable in the second-row and back-row, his work-rate is frightening.
7: Charles Ollivon (France)
Faced stiff competition from rival sevens Tom Curry and Justin Tipuric, but the France captain shades it. Top ball-winner in the lineouts, a superb leader and all-action dynamo, there is little not to like.
8: Taulupe Faletau (Wales)
Made 77 tackles and 66 carries during a Six Nations to remember for the Wales number eight. Back to his blistering best following a number of injury problems, he is not only a Lions certainty, but for the Test team as well.
Replacements: 16 – Julien Marchand (France), 17 – Cyril Baille (France), 18 – Kyle Sinckler (England), 19 – Iain Henderson (Ireland), 20 – Tom Curry (England), 21 – Conor Murray (Ireland), 22 – Dan Biggar (Wales), 23 – Gael Fickou (France).
Join RugbyPass+ now and be a part of the conversation with all-new commenting!