Now that the dust has settled in Cardiff, Rome and Paris, Planet Rugby has settled on its Team of Round Five AND the Championship.
Now that the dust has settled in Rome, Cardiff and Paris, Planet Rugby has finally settled on its Team of Round Five AND XV of the Championship.
Before we get to our final weekly pick, let us first give you our Six Nations XV of the Championship. Selection for this side was based on totting up the numbers from past Team of the Weeks in 2013.
Without further ado, here comes our offering – be sure to send in your own 15-1 team selections.
Team of Round Five
15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales) – Kicked well off the tee, returned with interest in yet another solid performance at the back for his country. We recall just one mistake being made from the number fifteen in a no nonsense performance that takes him clear of his British and Irish Lions rivals.
14 Alex Cuthbert (Wales) – Finished the Six Nations as top try-scorer on four, two of those coming at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Mike Brown will want to forget Cuthbert's first score but in truth, many an opposition would have struggled to stop this potent finisher. It is worth mentioning he is also top try-scorer in the Heineken Cup, despite being in a Cardiff Blues side that won just one of their five Pool games.
13 Jonathan Davies (Wales) – Up against England's main threat, Davies more than held his own alongside Jamie Roberts. Both were solid to give Mr Gatland a welcome headache to battle with over whether to choose Tuilagi, Davies or Brian O'Driscoll in the Test series.
12 Wesley Fofana (France) – He played every minute of every game this Six Nations, two of those matches being out of position. But since moving back into number twelve, Fofana has been superb. His try against Scotland in the wet of Paris on Saturday oozed class.
11 George North (Wales) – Growing into a high class international wing. Amazingly still only 20 years old, Wales again have themselves a quality player wearing their eleven jersey.
10 Dan Biggar (Wales) – It is always good to see someone silence their critics and boy has Biggar done that in the past few weekends. He's gained in confidence over this Six Nations Championship and his drop-goal and all-round organisation proved just that in Cardiff.
9 Mike Phillips (Wales) – Seemed to salivate over the title decider and definitely got the better of Ben Youngs. He made 65 metres, beating three defenders, while his big hit on Geoff Parling made a statement. Thankfully he mixed the physical with quick service.
8 Sergio Parisse (Italy) – At the core of Italy's stellar championship, Parisse constantly lives up to his billing. Italy's top metre maker with 82 against Ireland and by some distance, Parisse did it all – winning line-outs and causing Ireland problems on the deck. It has been one of his better Six Nations, which in many ways tells you everything about Italy's success. Credit to Toby Faletau and Tom Wood.
7 Justin Tipuric (Wales) – Outstanding. Made his mark in a Wales shirt on the biggest of stages, proving that whilst renowned for his work at the breakdown he also has a significant turn of pace. Left Mike Brown spinning for Cuthbert's try and combined well with Sam Warburton. Now a contender to start for the Lions.
6 Sam Warburton (Wales) – The number of people queuing up to apologise to Warburton should just about stretch around the Millennium Stadium. Since coming back into the side against Scotland, the Blues flanker has been electric. Ten tackles against England and the initial burst for Cuthbert's second score dictated the game, along with four line-out takes and plenty of metres made.
5 Geoff Parling (England) – One positive for England on a tough afternoon. Parling has improved on a game-by-game basis and deserves to start for the Lions against Australia based on his current form. There was little left in the legs by the end, but after 18 tackles, a fine break and crucial turnovers in the first half, the Leicester lock can hold his head high.
4 Quintin Geldenhuys (Italy) – Close competition here for the Italian from Welsh lock Ian Evans, but Geldenhuys was a rock for the Azzurri against Ireland, capping a good championship with another solid defensive showing and doing his bit at the breakdown. Combined well with second-row partner Joshua Furno.
3 Adam Jones (Wales) – Ruthlessly took apart Joe Marler on his side of the scrum and sent a message to Lions rival Dan Cole over on the other. Showed little respite when Mako Vunipola arrived later on as Wales won nine penalties in total at the scrum. A world-class performance from a player who many have tried to sign over the years. Also made his share of tackles.
2 Richard Hibbard (Wales) – A late contender for the Lions hooker slot. Hibbard, a son of Ospreylia, has made his name in this Six Nations and will now certainly tour to face the Wallabies. Against England he was bullish, carrying into double figures and difficult to contain. Only one stolen line-out to boot.
1 Gethin Jenkins (Wales) – Captain for the day, Jenkins had one of his best games in recent memory. He dominated Cole, which not many people can say they have done in his fledgling international career, and led by example in the loose. After an unhappy season with Toulon in the Top 14, this was just reward for man set to return to Cardiff.
By Adam Kyriacou and Ben Coles
@PlanetRugbyAK and @bencoles_