At the end of another round of action in the Six Nations we pick out the best players from Round 4 to make our team of the week.
Wales, France and England all won over the weekend, with England wrapping up the title to set-up a Grand Slam chance in Dublin this weekend.
Let’s see who makes the cut.
15 Brice Dulin (France): The French full-back ran circles around Italy as Dulin managed to wrack up 126 metres while evading six defenders, breaking the line twice. He also made two great offloads before scoring a try in the 77th minute to end off a satisfactory performance from France. Leigh Halfpenny cracks a mention after contributing seven points to his side’s tally and also assisting a try.
14 George North (Wales): The giant winger’s brace put Wales into the lead and kickstarted Wales’s dominance over the game. He also ran a whopping 102 metres and beat eight defenders after five clean breaks, puncturing the Irish defensive line at will. Looked back to his best.
13 Jonathan Joseph (England): The England star scored three tries in England’s grilling of the Scots at Twickenham. He scored a five-pointer in the third minute to get an early psychological advantage over the visitors. Joseph wasn’t done there though as he assisted with a try and beat five defenders on the day. Scotland’s Huw Jones and French midfielder Gaël Fickou deserve mentions after Jones scored a brace for the losing side while Fickou nabbed a five-pointer and made 11 tackles against Italy.
12 Owen Farrell (England): Farrell was phenomenal once again after scoring an unprecedented 26 points against the Scots, having nailed 11 kicks through seven successful conversions and four penalties with a kicking success rate of 92 percent.
11 Virimi Vakatawa (France): The Fijian-born colossus ran the poor Italians ragged after making 126 metres with ball in hand, which kept his side constantly on the front foot. He broke the line cleanly four times while leaving eight Italian defenders in his wake. Vakatawa also contributed to the scoreline after nabbing a try in the 48th minute sparking an extremely positive second half for the French. England flyer Anthony Watson deserves a shout for scoring a try and beating three defenders after coming on in the 16th minute.
10 Camille Lopez (France): The French number ten contributed an excellent 20 points to his side’s tally from the boot after kicking over four penalties and four conversions. He was decent with ball in hand as well after beating two defenders while on the run. His defence was also air tight, after making 14 tackles. George Ford deserves a mention for assisting with two tries in his team’s resounding triumph.
9 Rhys Webb (Wales): The number nine was instrumental in his side’s win over Ireland. He performed his positional duties well after making 87 completed passes while booting nine well-placed kicks to keep the Irish tracking back. He went above and beyond his duties though after assisting North’s try with a smart pass and making a clean break. Danny Care deserves a mention after scoring a brace for his side.
8 Louis Picamoles (France): The French legend scored a try in his side’s routing of Italy in the 67th minute in what of would have been the proverbial dagger that finished off Italians before Dulin’s try. He produced six offloads and beat seven defenders on the run while being industrious in defence after making 14 tackles.
7 Justin Tipuric (Wales): The Welsh fetcher was all over the field on the weekend, putting a stop to anything the Irish tried after making 20 tackles. He made physical runs to beat Ireland back while offloading to keep his side moving forward. Hamish Watson gets a nod after making a solid 19 tackles against England.
6 Sam Warburton (Wales): The former Wales captain was industrious as ever after making an incredible 21 tackles to keep the opposition at bay, while making eight barnstorming runs into the Ireland defence. Maro Itoje gets a shout after making 11 tackles and completing an all-round astute attacking performance while CJ Stander gets a nod for a strong showing with ball in hand and making nine tackles.
5 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales): Delivered a colossal shift at the coalface of Wales’ forward effort in that epic win over Ireland. The Ospreys stalwart captained his side superbly, was superb on defence with 18 tackles made and also impressed in the lineouts and even stole two of Ireland’s balls in the set-piece. Courtney Lawes also impressed for England.
4 Joe Launchbury (England): Another solid display as a ball-carrier, Launchbury gained regular metres from seven carries in his side’s triumph over Scotland at Twickenham. It was the Wasps man’s defensive effort which caught the eye, however, as he made an incredible 22 tackles.
3 Dan Cole (England): The Leicester Tigers man stood up well in the scrums against the Scots but also did well in defence and eventually completed five tackles. France’s front-row Rabah Slimani also did well in his side’s win over Italy in Rome.
2 Ken Owens (Wales): Like his captain Jones, Owens was superb in Cardiff. Put his body on the line in defence and eventually finished with 15 tackles made most of them around the fringes of the rucks and mauls. Also impressed with accurate throw-ins at the lineout and cleaned out the rucks with great intent.
1 Joe Marler (England): Did well in his core duties but was particularly impressive in his defensive duties and completed 13 hits. Also scrummed well and just beats out Rob Evans of Wales who was one of his team’s unsung heroes against Ireland.