After five exciting rounds of Northern Hemisphere Test rugby, Ireland was crowned 2023 Six Nations champions after winning all 5 games, Bet Central has put together the Team of the Tournament that thrilled throughout the competition.
15. Thomas Ramos (France)
What makes France so dangerous is they can hurt you with ball in hand and off the boot and a huge part of the kicking assault came off the boot of Thomas Ramos, he also isn’t bad under the high ball and on attack. Ramos was a points machine for France throughout the 6 Nations.
Hugo Keenan and Freddie Steward will also be happy with their outputs for this tournament.
Honourable mention: Hugo Keenan (Ireland)
14. Mack Hansen (Ireland)
Damian Penaud’s body of work in this year’s 6 Nations would ordinarily be enough to earn him selection in this team, but so good was Mack Hansen that the French star has to contend with being backup. Hansen was not only slippery, but his game intelligence also stood as he made difficult situations easier.
The next best thing on the tightly contested right-wing berth was Scotland’s Kyle Steyn.
Honourable mention: Damian Penaud (France)
13. Ignacio Brex (Italy)
Italy may not have won a game, but there is progress under Kieran Crowley that was evident in this competition. One of the better performers for Italy was Ignacio Brex, the Argentine-born centre was a menace with ball in hand and displayed astute decision-making in an overall excellent campaign for the 30-year-old.
Huw Jones, Garry Ringrose, Gael Fickou, all of them had their hits and misses, but Brex proved to be the more consistent of these 3.
Honourable mention: Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Scotland)
The return and form of Jonathan Danty for the final 2 rounds suggest he may have had a say in this selection, but he didn’t play long enough. Sione Tuipulotu, on the other hand, was a constant threat with ball in hand, an incisive runner and a sharp decision-maker, he troubled opposition defences while he gave Scotland good go-forward momentum.
Joe Hawkins was trusted by Warren Gatland in the inside centre berth and despite the team’s struggles, Hawkins is showing a lot of promise to become a very good centre.
Honourable mention: Joe Hawkins (Wales)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)
Duhan van der Merwe scored arguably the try of the tournament against England and it set the tone for the rest of the competition as he played a huge role in a much-improved effort from Scotland in this 6 Nations. He was a bustling presence out wide using his pace and power to good effect to score and create attacking opportunities.
Young Rio Dyer had his moments for Wales and showed real promise, but ultimately the man who backs up van der Merwe is the irrepressible James Lowe who was crucial in Ireland
Honourable mention: James Lowe (Ireland)
10. Romain Ntamack (France)
Found his best form towards the end of the competition, but even before that his influence was telling for France with his assured kicking and playmaking, he is an artist when he plays ball in hand and that was there for all to see in the final 2 games – a vital cog for Fabien Galthie’s way.
Jonathan Sexton was solid without being spectacular for Ireland, add a few points for great leadership, Finn Russell on the other hand was his usual enigmatic self – prone to brilliance, prone to brainfarts. Ntamack was just the better 10 all around.
Honourable mention: Jonathan Sexton (Ireland)
09. Antoine Dupont (France)
Officially Josh van der Flier may hold the title of the best player in the world, but if the award were to be handed out today, French captain Antoine Dupont would win it hands down and that is all we have to say on the matter – a master of his craft.
Rhys Webb impressed in the latter stages for Wales, while Connor Murray rolled back the years in a few vintage performances. Scotsman Ben White however was the best of the rest.
Honourable mention: Ben White (Scotland)
08. Caelan Doris (Ireland) – Player of the Tournament
Caelan Doris was Ireland’s best player and our Player of the Tournament; he was at the heart of everything for Ireland. He used his big frame to good effect on the carry and his subtle skills helped Ireland on their structured attack. He was a dynamic presence at the back of the scrum and at times was almost unplayable. It was a coming of age for the 24-year-old loose forward.
Gregory Alldritt only really fired on all cylinders in the final 2 games, Matt Fagerson had his moments while Taulupe Faletau is a model of consistency, but Alldritt still did enough to bubble under the hulking frame of Doris.
Honourable mention: Gregory Alldritt (France)
07. Josh van der Flier (Ireland)
Josh van der Flier was superb throughout the tournament, a terrier at the breakdown and a source of suffocating defence, the World Rugby Player of the Year enhanced his reputation by also showing his temperament when he made sure the Irish lineout didn’t fall apart in the penultimate round.
Charles Ollivon started slow but generally finished the tournament very well. Jack Willis was also good in parts for England.
Honourable mention: Charles Ollivon (France)
06. Peter O’Mahony (Ireland)
Peter O’Mahony is an unsung hero for Ireland, he tackles like a madman and disrupts the opposition ball successfully more often than not. He is always on hand to truck the ball up and gains valuable yardage. Add to that his supporting leadership and you have a valuable asset in the veteran flanker.
Sebastian Negri can almost do all these things with the same efficiency, but what O’Mahony has as an edge this time is the fact that he ended up as the 6 Nations champion.
Honourable mention: Sebastian Negri (Italy)
05. James Ryan (Ireland)
The Irish rugby fraternity will breathe a sigh of relief after seeing James Ryan find his way back to his best form in this tournament. James Ryan wielded influence at the lineout to ensure Ireland had well structured ball to launch their attacks, he was also a man mountain on defence and will be hugely satisfied with his efforts in the 2023 6 Nations.
Ollie Chessum and Frederico Ruzza were bright sparks for England and Italy respectively, but Chessum edges it over Ruzza.
Honourable mention: Ollie Chessum (England)
04. Thibaud Flament (France)
In their victorious 2022 6 Nations campaign France’s find of the tournament was Cameron Woki who donned the no.4 jersey, in 2023 it’s the same jersey, but a different player, this time Woki’s former u20 teammate Thibaud Flament is their find of the competition. A tackling machine whose soft hands and mobility were used to good effect in the French campaign. He leaves Galthie with a selection head when Woki returns from injury.
Richie Gray, now in the twilight of his career, made an impressive return to the 6 Nations before he got injured
Honourable mention: Richie Gray (Scotland)
03. Zander Fagerson (Scotland)
Zander Fagerson is one of the most underrated tighthead props in the game, but he is an excellent anchor to the scrum and it showed throughout the tournament, the Scottish scrum fell apart in almost all the games that he went off. He carried with purpose and put in a defensive shift across all games. He will reflect on this tournament fondly as he emerged as the best tighthead.
France and Ireland employed several different tightheads across the tournament, so it was hard to judge them, Kyle Sinckler is off his best, but he was solid for England.
Honourable mention: Kyle Sinckler (England)
02. Dan Sheehan (Ireland)
The one position where it had to come to the final round to pick between Dan Sheehan and Julien Marchand who both did very well in the 6 Nations, it was a choice between the breakdown-savvy and hard-carrying Frenchman or the hustle and energy of the Leinster hooker. Sheehan had an excellent game against England to edge out Toulouse man Marchand.
George Turner is a player worth noting in future for Scotland.
Honourable mention: Julien Marchand (France)
01. Cyril Baille (France)
Is there a better ball-carrying prop than Cyril Baille in the world? High unlikely. After calls for Baille to be dropped after an indifferent Autumn Nations Series, he responded in the best way possible by having an excellent 6 Nations. He was a monster with ball in hand, ferocious on defence and handy at the set-piece. It is crucial he stays fit because he is so important for France.
Pierre Schoeman and Danilo Fischetti will also both be hugely satisfied with their performances for their respective nations
Honourable mention: Pierre Schoeman (Scotland)