Planet Rugby



Six Nations: Team of Round One

04th February 2013 11:33


Six Nations Team of Round One

Immense: Parisse and Twelvetrees

Now that the dust has settled across Europe, Planet Rugby thought it was only right to hand out some praise to the stars of Six Nations, Round One.

Without further ado, here comes our offering - be sure to send in your own 15-1 team selections.

Team of Round 1

15 Stuart Hogg (Scotland) - The top performer wearing blue at Twickenham. Hogg cut loose early on with a fantastic break that saw him travel 50 metres, which led to Sean Maitland going over for a try on debut. Hogg also got a score late and becomes latest name with 'Lions bolter' attached.

14 Simon Zebo (Ireland) - Both Chris Ashton and Alex Cuthbert performed admirably while Italy's Giovambattista Venditti was solid. But with a metre-making Englishman selected on our other touchline, we had to make room for this Irish youngster who continues to mature. He took his try well and was a decent outlet in Cardiff.

13 Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland) - That Zebo try was down to this returning veteran's fine offload after drawing two Welsh tacklers. BOD, in what is set to be his last Six Nations, rolled back the years on Saturday in a superb performance that has already whet the appetite ahead of next weekend's game against England.

12 Billy Twelvetrees (England) - Note to self: Never doubt Stuart Lancaster. Have England found the missing midfield gem they were looking for? It seems so after Saturday's debut showing from Twelvetrees. Duck to water and all that, he was outstanding in all facets.

11 Mike Brown (England) - The Harlequin was the top metre maker (133) in the opening round of Six Nations 2013 and continues to prove that he deserves his place in the Test XV, even out of position. One kicking error led to a Scotland score but other than that, superb.

10 Luciano Orquera (Italy) - A watching Diego Dominguez must have been delighted to see the Azzurri seemingly discover a long-term fly-half option to move forward with. Orquera was sublime on Sunday and led Italy's backline with a calmness and clear head that they have long been lacking. We feel that mentions should also go to his scrum-half Tobias Botes, centres Tommaso Benvenuti and Alberto Sgarbi and of course the man wearing 8.

9 Ben Youngs (England) - There were a few grumbles when Lancaster opted for Youngs over the in-form Danny Care but once again the coach's decision proved a successful one. Youngs took the right calls all day and played a heads-up style when England were going forward. Life may be a good deal tougher in Dublin as the Irish pack is a much sterner test.

8 Sergio Parisse (Italy) - Italy's talisman was not alone in excellent Azzurri performances, but led from the front as always. His try opened matters and his workrate was exceptional.

7 Sean O'Brien (Ireland) - The Leinster flank is making his mark on the Lions pecking order - any man who makes an astonishing 23 tackles in a game deserves to wear the red jersey.

6 Alessandro Zanni (Italy) - One of Italy's most productive runners, Zanni was everywhere against the French - carrying productively and regularly evading defenders on Sunday.

5 Joe Launchbury (England) - The young Wasp carried on from where he left off against Scotland after an outstanding November. A dynamic runner and effective line-out option.

4 Andrew Coombs (Wales) - Wales were atrocious in the first half, but Coombs epitomised their second-half comeback. His work ethic was summed up by an impressive 17 carries.

3 Martin Castrogiovanni (Italy) - A crucial try for Leicester's finest swung the momentum back the way of Italy with the clock ticking away in the second half. Nine carries and no missed tackles reflect his performance statistically, but the emotion on his face said more.

2 Rory Best (Ireland) - Whilst his line-out work was not always accurate, the Ulster hooker seems set for the British & Irish Lions starting jersey on the back of another strong Test performance. Plenty of carries and a crucial charge-down proved his class once again.

1 Cian Healy (Ireland) - 15 tackles and a smartly taken try from close range land Healy a spot in the side, continuing his impressive Leinster form on the international stage. Dan Cole awaits next week in Dublin in what should be a titanic battle at the Aviva Stadium.

By Adam Kyriacou and Ben Coles
@PlanetRugbyAK and @bencoles_

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