Six Nations: Team of the Tournament

Date published: March 21 2016

Now the dusted has settled on another Six Nations championship, we sit down to select our team of the tournament.

England’s Grand Slam triumph sees them come through with five players, including both second rows, while all six of the countries are represented.

Let’s dive in to see who made the cut.

Six Nations: Team of the Tournament

15 Stuart Hogg (Scotland)Excellent tournament for Scotland’s star player. His cute assist for Tim Visser’s try against France was followed up by a superb solo score in Dublin on Saturday. Three assists in total. Mike Brown also went well.

14 Anthony Watson (England)Quick enough to always trouble defences Watson also proved time and again how capable he is under the high ball. Still just 22 and only going to get better. Finished with three tries, taking his total in Tests to eleven.

13 Michele Campagnaro (Italy)Horrible seven weeks for the Azzurri  but Campagnaro at least gave them some hope with his performances in midfield. Scotland’s Duncan Taylor pushed him close.

12 Owen Farrell (England)Huge claims here for Jamie Roberts but Owen Farrell’s goalkicking against Wales and in the Stade de France were vital to England winning the Grand Slam. Three assists too and the tournament’s top points scorer with 69.

11 George North (Wales)Back to his best. North scored four tries in four straight games and tore up the stats with ten clean breaks, beating the most defenders, making the most metres and with his cracking try against Italy topping the try scoring charts as well. Virimi Vakatawa showed flashes of real promise.

10 Jonathan Sexton (Ireland)Forgetting his final few minutes against Scotland this was a fine tournament from Sexton, who wins a fairly subdued race for the fly-half spot in this side.

9 Conor Murray (Ireland)Gareth Davies was a constant threat in open space for Wales while Danny Care and Ben Youngs had their moments for England when called up, but Murray gets the nod after finishing with three tries.

8 Billy Vunipola (England)Took the tournament by storm from his first thundering run at Murrayfield through to the end. Has noticeably developed his game and looks fitter than ever. In ahead of Taulupe Faletau.

7 John Hardie (Scotland)The former Highlanders openside offers so much quality at the breakdown and in defence for Scotland, instantly becoming a mainstay in the back row. Also the top tackler in the Six Nations with 67. In ahead of James Haskell.

6 CJ Stander (Ireland)Tough to leave a rejuvenated Chris Robshaw out but Stander’s impact has been enormous for Ireland at six. Stander carried his heart out, leading the competition with 79.

5 George Kruis (England)Bizarrely overshadowed for the player of the tournament shortlist, few were better than Kruis during England’s run to the Grand Slam. Great engine, fine balance of athleticism and physicality and led England’s excellent lineout, finish with six steals.

4 Maro Itoje (England)Besides combining brilliantly with his club team-mate Kruis, Itoje looks set to live up to the hype. His carry in the build-up to Watson’s try against Wales felt like a coming of age moment.

3 WP Nel (Scotland): Always effective at scrum-time but Nel gets about the pitch as well to make his tackles and force turnovers at the breakdown. Vital for an improving Scotland.

2 Guilhem Guirado (France)The new French captain led his team admirably despite their obvious list of problems. Two tries for the Toulon hooker as he gets the nod over Dylan Hartley.

1 Rob Evans (Wales)Life after Gethin Jenkins doesn’t seem so uncertain now for Wales following the emergence of Evans, who has responded superbly to missing out on the Rugby World Cup. Good in the scrum and not shy of an offload. Credit to Jack McGrath.