Six Nations XV

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 15:10

The Six Nations started in 2000 with the introduction of newboys Italy.

The team we are going to pick is, therefore, 2000 to 2017. It cuts out great postwar players like JPR, Serge Blanco, Gerald Davies, Barry John, Gareth, Butterfield and Davies, Philippe Sella and, even further back, Adrian Stoop and Wakers Wakefield.

It means that the players now fall within the compass of most rugby watchers, and their chance - again - to know better than the selectors.

First of all the selectors have invited players to trials

Fullbacks: Mike Brown, Leigh Halfpenny, Cédric Heymans, Stuart Hogg, Rob Kearney

Wings: Philippe Bernat-Salles, Tommy Bowe, Vincent Clerc, Ben Cohen, Christophe Dominci, Yoann Huget, Rory Lamont, George North, Aurélien Rougerie, Tony Trimble, Shane Williams

Centres: Gordon D'Arcy, Wesley Fofana, Scott Gibbs, will Greenwood, Brian O'Driscoll, Jamie Roberts, Mike Tindall

Flyhalves: Owen Farrell, Neil Jenkins, Christophe Lamaison, Ronan O'Gara, Jonathan Sexton, Gregor Townsend, Jonny Wilkinson

Scrumhalves: Fabien Galthié, Rob Howley, Greig Laidlaw, Conor Murray, Alessandro Troncon, Dimitri Yachvili

Looseheads:  Christian Califano, Cian Healy, Jason Leonard, Mako Vunipolo

Hookers: Rory Best, Jamie George, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Raphaël Ibañez, William Servat, Keith Wood

Tightheads: Martín Castrogiovanni, Pieter de Villiers, John Hayes, Adam Jones, Sylvain Marconnet, Nicolas Mas, Euan Murray, Phil Vickery 

Locks: Steve Borthwick, Ian Gough, Danny Grewcock, Richie Grey, Martin Johnson, Alun Wyn Jones, Paul O'Connell, Fabien Pelous

Flanks: Neil Back, John Barclay, Mauro Bergamasco, Colin Charvis, Thierry Dusautoir, Nick Easter, Anthony Foley, Richard Hill, Sean O'Brien, Chris Robshaw

No.8: Taulupe Faletau, Imanol Harinordoquoy, Olivier Magne, Sergio Parisse, Louis Picamoles, Billy Vunipola

After we have watched them in the trials and discussed their performances, the selectors will sit down for the unforgiving task of  picking their team.

The chairman of selectors will announce the team to the world. The press will be excited, the players relieved or disappointed. Then chairman will give no reasons for selections or non-selections, as that will only add fuel to the fire.

Six Nations 2000-17 XV

15 Rob Kearney
14 Shane Williams
13 Brian O'Driscoll
12 Will Greenwood
11 Christophe Dominci
10 Jonny Wilkinson
9 Conor Murray
8 Sergio Parisse
7 Thierry Dusautoir
6 Richard Hill
5 Richie Grey
4 Martin Johnson
3 John Hayes
2 Keith Wood
1 Jason Leonard
Replacements: 16 Raphaël Ibañez, 17 Martín Castrogiovanni, 18 Christian Califano, 19 Fabien Pelous, 20 Olivier Magne, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Aurélien Rougerie

And the captain is Martin Johnson

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