England player ratings: ‘Masterful’ Freddie Steward dominates the air as Ben Earl shows carrying power

Colin Newboult
Freddie Steward in action for England against Wales in 2024 Six Nations.

Freddie Steward in action for England against Wales in 2024 Six Nations.

Following a narrow a 16-14 victory over Wales in the Six Nations clash at Twickenham on Saturday, here are the player ratings for England.

15 Freddie Steward: A masterful performance from the full-back. As ever, Steward was superb under the high ball but there were several nice moments in attack too. 8

14 Tommy Freeman: Much quieter than last weekend. Didn’t really get the opportunity to run but he was a useful chasing option. 5

Defensive work-ons

13 Henry Slade: Defence still a work in progress, with Wales exploiting that channel a few times, but he is trying to get things moving on both sides of the ball. 5

12 Fraser Dingwall: Not a huge carrying threat but a smart operator. Took his try well and is a good distributor on the gain line, although he needs to show more in the rest of the Six Nations. 6

11 Elliot Daly: Better from the wing. Brilliant skill under pressure to send Dingwall over, his chasing game was on point and there were a couple of nice breaks. 6

Kicking pins Wales back

10 George Ford: The attack still needs plenty of work and there were too many passes which went to floor, but he took control of that game in the final 25 minutes. 7

9 Alex Mitchell: Another good display from the scrum-half. Does the basics really well, with his kicking in particular getting England out of some tight situations. Still waiting for him to truly spark, however. 7

Planet Rugby player ratings key

Planet Rugby player ratings key 10 - Career defining performance 9 - Outright blockbuster effort 8 - Significantly influenced the result of the game 7 - Committed and effective outing 6 - Flashes of brilliance outside of executing fundamentals 5 - Fulfilling the role required by position (base level) 4 - Poor execution of fundamentals 3 - Costly errors and/or discipline in the game 2 - Poor performance that directly impacted the result 1 - Grossly ineffective throughout 0 - Should have carried water instead

8 Ben Earl: Continues to look good at number eight following his World Cup excellence. Some big carries, including one for his well-taken try, and was also a presence in defence. 8

7 Sam Underhill: Some big, big shots in defence. Ideal for this new rearguard but you wonder whether England need more of a poacher in that back-row. 7

6 Ethan Roots: A great debut last week but not so good this time around. The yellow card was needless as all he had to do was hold them up as he had got onto the ball. 4

5 Ollie Chessum: We thought the yellow card was slightly harsh – it was certainly the lower end of the scale – and he then went off for a HIA, but produced a solid effort with some nice moments after the break. 6

Relentless Maro

4 Maro Itoje: Good once again from the lock. Alongside Underhill, led England’s defensive effort and was everywhere during the match. 7

3 Will Stuart: Solid in the scrum and is a useful carrying option in the loose, making a couple of decent dents in this game, but for us has not quite nailed down the starting tighthead shirt. 6

2 Jamie George (c): A good set-piece effort from the hooker, despite a couple of lineout issues, and he also made plenty of tackles. Some better carrying work too. 6

1 Joe Marler: The scrum was not really a factor while he was on the field thanks to some smart (possibly underhand) tactics from the Welsh. 5

Replacements: Those that came on made impacts. Ellis Genge and Dan Cole won some scrum penalties, Alex Coles and Chandler Cunningham-South were a menace defensively, while Theo Dan, despite limited time on the field, carried superbly once again. 7

READ MORE: England dig deep to edge gritty Wales as they go two from two in Six Nations