6N Team of the Tournament
Mon, 19 Mar 2012 00:00
Grand Slam winners Wales predictably lead the way in our Six Nations Team of the Tournament selection but they have plenty of competition with every team represented in our all-star XV.
Wales have five players in our starting line-up and they are followed closely by Ireland who may not have delivered on their potential as a team but certainly have some talented individuals in their ranks.
Wooden Spoonists Scotland can take some solace from the fact that they have two players in the team, which is the same number as a resurgent England side, whilst the team is rounded off by the captains of Italy and France.
Here is our Six Nations Team of the Tournament:
15 - Rob Kearney (Ireland): The Irish fullback rose above the rest of the competition with a series of polished performances. He is excellent under the high ball and able to unleash devastating counter-attacks, which made him a serious threat from the back for Ireland.
Bubbling under: Andreas Masi (Italy)
14 - Tommy Bowe (Ireland): The intimidating wing has plenty of speed and size and he used both those attributes well to punish the opposition often. His defence was rock solid as ever and he always looked dangerous when put in space with the ball in hand.
Bubbling under: Alex Cuthbert (Wales)
13 - Jonathan Davies (Wales): The wily outside centre is the perfect foil for the blunt physicality of his midfield partner Jamie Roberts and on top of his impressive organisation on defence he has proven himself to be a particularly tricky customer to mark.
Bubbling under: Keith Earls (Ireland)
12 - Jamie Roberts (Wales): The Welsh battering ram made a big impact yet again, charging at tentative tacklers throughout the championship and although Wesley Fofana was impressive for France no-one bashes it up like the Welsh giant.
Bubbling under: Wesley Fofana (France)
11 - George North (Wales): The massive wing followed up on a promising start to his career by delivering the kind of consistency expected of a world class performer. He terrorised opposition defences throughout and looks set to become a great for Wales if he continues on this path.
Bubbling under: Andrew Trimble (Ireland)
10 - Jonathan Sexton (Ireland): The Irish playmaker showed good composure under pressure and beats off the challenge of England newboy Owen Farrell who made a steady start to his career.
Bubbling under: Owen Farrell (England)
9 - Mike Blair (Scotland): The nippy Scot kept his backline well serviced despite being behind a pack that was often under pressure which was enough to win him the vote ahaead of the powerful Mike Phillips.
Bubbling under: Mike Phillips (Wales)
8 - Sergio Parrisse (Italy): The Azzurri skipper comes out on top of what is a fierce contest at the back of the scrum. Just about every No.8 in the competition was impressive but Parrisse underlined his class by producing a blend of power and finesse that saw him come out on top once more.
Bubbling under: David Denton (Scotland)
7 - Dan Lydiate (Wales): The fiery Welsh loose forward tackled his guts out in every game, and it is his committed attitude that often gains valuable momentum for his team when they need it most in attack or defence.
Bubbling under: Tom Croft (England)
6 - Thierry Dusatoir (France): The French captain continues to outshine all others on the openside flank thanks to his unbelievable work-rate and solid technique. Sam Warburton was inspirational for his side but in terms of consistency Dusatoir cannot be touched.
Bubbling under: Sam Warburton (Wales)
5 - Paul O'Connell (Ireland): The big Irish bruiser played with his usual ferocity and purpose until being struck down by injury, and the Irish pack were made to look a lot more ordinary in his absence which further undelines his worth.
Bubbling under: Yoann Maestri (France)
4 - Richie Gray (Scotland): The dynamic Scottish enforcer made a telling impact whenever he got the opportunity, charging around and hitting gaps in loose play while being a reliable operator in the set-pieces as well.
Bubbling under: Pascal Papé (France)
3 - Dan Cole (England): His demolition of Irish loosehead Cian Healy at scrum-time was truly remarkable and sees him clinch his spot in our team ahead of some stiff competition. Although Martin Castrogiovanni and Nicolas Mas were imposing, neither of them dominated their opponents like Cole.
Bubbling under: Martin Castrogiovanni (Italy)
2 - Dylan Hartley (England): The England rake was a steady presence at set-piece time and provided some valuable solidity up front in a team that relied on his consistency.
Bubbling under: Rory Best (Scotland)
1 - Gethin Jenkins (Wales): The fearsome front row legend further enhanced his reputation by keeping his pack on the front foot with some powerful displays as they marched unbeaten through the championship.
Bubbling under: Andrea Lo Cicero (Italy)
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