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Six Nations: Team Of The Tournament

The 6 Nations came to an end this past weekend and Ireland were deservedly crowned as champions.

Six Nations

The 6 Nations came to an end this past weekend and Ireland were deservedly crowned as champions. Italy and England made some strides as well while Wales had a tournament to forget. Bet Central brings you the best XV of the tournament.

15: Hugo Keenan (Ireland)

Hugo Keenan is such an efficient operator at fullback, he is near perfect and hardly ever makes mistakes, and that helps Ireland a great deal. He was injured by the end of the tournament, but he was still so efficient in his role that no fullback can take this place.

Cameron Winnett is a great talent for Wales, and he will form a big part of the Welsh rebuild.

Honourable mention: Cameron Winnett (Wales)

14: Tommy Freeman (England)

Tommy Freeman had a fantastic tournament in his debut 6 Nations, he was nimble and showed good attacking impetus. His technical aptitude was impressive for someone so new on the Test stage.

Calvin Nash was also impressive, showing that he could hold down the place of Mack Hansen, but Damian Penaud burst into life in the last part of the 6 Nations and sneaked in ahead of Nash.

Honourable mention: Damian Penaud (France)

13: Juan Ignacio Brex (Italy)

An absolute superstar in the final 2 games for Italy. Juan Ignacio Brex was the heartbeat of the Italian defensive effort throughout using his big frame and strength to good effect. He had a lot of deft touches on attack that elevated Italy.

Gael Fickou could have featured in the team, but he has to take some responsibility for France’s defensive woes. On attack, he was physical, strong and good with his feet.

Honourable mention: Gael Fickou (France)

12: Bundee Aki (Ireland)

The only time he was outplayed throughout the 6 Nations was when he faced Ollie Lawrence and even in that game Bundee Aki wasn’t disgraced. He is simply the best player in the world in his current form. He is devastating on the carry and generates so much go-forward for Ireland. He is no slouch on defence either.

Ollie Lawrence showed good signs when he did eventually start for England, but Tommaso Menoncello was absolutely world-class and is a very close 2nd to Aki.

Honourable mention: Tommaso Menoncello (Italy)

11: James Lowe (Ireland)

One of the best things about James Lowe is how fundamentally sound he is, solid under the high ball, an educated boot and a good defensive technique. He is fast evolving into one of Ireland’s most important players on the wing and it helps that he has a bit of X-Factor.

Duhan van der Merwe is a star on his day, but like his nation, he is not consistent enough. He bubbles under Lowe.

Honourable mention: Duhan van der Merwe (Ireland)

10: Paolo Garbisi (Italy)

At the beginning of the tournament, it looked like Jack Crowley might run away with this position as he put in solid performance after performance. But Paolo Garbisi grew stronger as the tournament progressed and ultimately began to show his incredible quality.

As a kicker, as a leader, as a playmaker, Garbisi was quality throughout. The Montpellier flyhalf has truly turned into a supreme Test player and he showed it on the big stage.

Honourable mention: Jack Crowley (Ireland)

9: Jamison Gibson-Park (Ireland)

Jamison Gibson-Park is such an important player for Ireland, he controls the tempo and gives his team direction on every front. He was good again as he helped Ireland win back-to-back 6 Nations campaigns.

Nolan le Garrec was superb from start to finish for France, even in the games when France were lacklustre when he came off the bench, he showed vast improvement. Had he started all 5, this position may have been a different story. Shout out to Alex Mitchell for England.

Honourable mention: Nolann le Garrec (France)

8: Ben Earl (England)

With Ardie Savea currently out of Test rugby, while he plays in Japan, there is a new wrecking ball in town with Ben Earl. The Saracens man doesn’t know the definition of going down easily. Earl’s determined ball carrying made such big difference for England in the 6 Nations. Outdid more established no.8s throughout.

Ross Vintcent of Italy looks like a good prospect, but Caelan Doris despite not being at his fluid best was still comfortably the next best.

Honourable mention: Caelan Doris (Ireland) 

7: Michele Lamaro (Italy)

Sergio Parisse was an iconic player for Italy who led his nation to great heights, but in Michele Lamaro the Italians look like they a players and leaders of similar stature who will lead Italy even further. Lamaro is a defensive master with, a potent breakdown component and he possesses an insane work rate all of which was seen in this 6 Nations.

Tommy Reffell, if not for his nation’s dismal performance might have got in, but Lamaro got the better of him in the final game.

Honourable mention: Tommy Reffell (Wales)

6: Francois Cros (France)

France had a very difficult campaign, but Francois Cros is one of the few players who can hold his head and say he fought from start to finish. He was such a valuable asset in trenches, carrying hard, hitting rucks with incredible accuracy and being a defensive lynchpin.

Ollie Chessum only shifted to the back row for the last 2 games and there is undoubtedly a future for him there with his mobility.

Honourable mention: Ollie Chessum (England)

5: Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)

When all is said and done Tadhg Beirne will join the pantheon of 2nd row greats to come out of Ireland. His mobility and ball skills add to an already impressive package that includes lineout operator and a super sharp rugby brain. He was phenomenal once more for Ireland in 2024.

George Martin came into the starting XV later in the tournament, but he still showed that he is a starter going forward through some excellent showings.

Honourable mention: George Martin (England)

4: Maro Itoje (England)

Joe McCarthy started like a house on fire, but as the tournament wore on, he began to show that he was still new to the Test rugby stage. His physicality is a massive asset and as he learns to use it more, he will become better.

He wasn’t quite consistent enough to make it ahead of Maro Itoje who grew into the tournament as a player of huge influence for England. The pool was shallow as far as 4 lock is concerned, but Maro Itoje is the best of the lot.

Honourable mention: Joe McCarthy (Ireland)

3: Uini Atonio (France)

Perhaps it was due to wanting to go out while still performing at a high level that prompted Uini Atonio to decide to retire from Test rugby at the end of the World Cup. It certainly could have been due to declining performances as he was spectacular throughout these 6 Nations. He is a player that is going to add value for years to come and Fabien Galthie will be pleased he talked him out of retirement.

Tadhg Furlong was solid, and Dan Cole showed some good touches for a 37-year-old as the older tightheads continue to call on their experience.

Honourable mention: Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

2: Dan Sheehan (Ireland)

Dan Sheehan has become Ireland’s premier hooker, and he is living up to the billing. Ireland has a storied history with great hookers with the likes of Rory Best and Keith Wood having donned the green no.2 jersey.

Sheehan is not dropping the standards at all, he had a superb 6 Nations and was by far the best hooker in the tournament.

Julien Marchand’s return to the starting lineup for France has made a huge difference. Jamie George also did well for England.

Honourable mention: Julien Marchand (France)

1: Andrew Porter (Ireland)

Andrew Porter’s conversion from a tighthead prop to a loosehead prop is complete. The versatile prop had another 6 Nations to remember as he made strides as a scrummager to add to a plethora of qualities he shows around the park.

Danilo Fischetti and Cyril Baille were also good contributors for the respective nations.

Honourable mention: Danilo Fischetti (Italy)

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