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Six Nations: Team of Round Four

11th March 2013 08:16

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Six Nations Team of Round Four

Made it: Masi and Warburton

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 Four.

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

15 Andrea Masi (Italy) - This, simply, was the performance of a former Six Nations Player of the Championship. Masi was rock solid for Italy on Sunday as he carried, defended and got stuck into England in an aggressive yet intelligent manner.

14 Giovambattista Venditti (Italy) - Carried very well on the wing as the Azzurri back-three got the better of their English counterparts. Venditti made 48 metres - most of them by bouncing off would-be tacklers - in an impressive effort on Sunday.

13 Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland) - Maybe harsh on Manu Tuilagi, who made inroads, but for what O'Driscoll gave to the Irish cause we had to pick him. Concussed and not wanting to leave the field, it was a gritty shift in what could be his last game for his country at the Aviva Stadium.

12 Gonzalo Garcia (Italy) - Came in, did a job, won his personal battle. Garcia was rock solid for Italy, demonstrating how he was not going to let his opportunity to cement his place in the team slip by. It is no coincidence that fly-half Luciano Orquera's game improved because of Garcia's strong performance.

11 Luke McLean (Italy) - George North didn't put a foot wrong against Scotland but how could we leave out McLean? Chris Ashton needed a big game but he was completely outplayed by the Treviso wing, who deserved his and the game's only try at HQ.

10 Dan Biggar (Wales) - If he was doing the goal-kicking and knocked over 100 percent from the tee then people would be talking about an excellent showing from Biggar. Due to Leigh Halfpenny having those responsibilities, Biggar's mature performance somewhat slipped under the radar. It's good to see him growing into the Welsh fly-half jersey.

9 Conor Murray (Ireland) - Man-of-the-match despite being brought off after 62 minutes at the Aviva Stadium. We guess the question is, why was he replaced so early in Dublin?

8 Louis Picamoles (France) - Outstanding again. 90 metres racked up but five of those were key to the result in Dublin. Picamoles powered over from a tap penalty with the extras tying the scores. Yes, it was extremely tough to leave out Mr Italy himself, Sergio Parisse.

7 Sam Warburton (Wales) - Critics silenced. Man-of-the-match for Warburton, who is set to retain his place in the side on Saturday, but this week should be joined by Justin Tipuric due to Ryan Jones' injury. So, will the captaincy now go back to the Cardiff Blues flanker?

6 Alessandro Zanni (Italy) - He broke out from Parisse's sizeable shadow with an excellent showing on Sunday. Got the better of James Haskell in an all-action display that saw him make ten tackles to go with his 62 metres made. One of the game's under-rated players.

5 Ian Evans (Wales) - Quietly going about his business in a Welsh jersey. A titanic shift.

4 Quintin Geldenhuys (Italy) - Geoff Parling is beginning to become England's most consistent player. Another strong display from him before being forced off injured on 45 minutes. However, Geldenhuys gets in here following an abrasive hour at Twickenham. Thirteen tackles in defence were made by the lock who combined well with Johsua Furno.

3 Adam Jones (Wales) - We have Jones ahead of Dan Cole right now for the British and Irish Lions starting jersey. Both have been consistent this season but Jones seems to have a slight scrummaging edge that was evident again against Scotland at Murrayfield.

2 Tom Youngs (England) - Credit to Richard Hibbard for his display but we just felt Youngs gave a more rounded effort. England lost some dynamism when Dylan Hartley started in Round Three but with Youngs back, his running took some of the weight off the back-row.

1 Mako Vunipola (England) - Quite a starting debut. Stuart Lancaster is now well stocked in the loosehead department as Vunipola joins Joe Marler and Alex Corbisiero (when fit) as capable starters. Carried strongly while Cian Healy was another to do well last weekend.

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