Ireland’s Dan Sheehan could break a 110-year-old Six Nations record

Dylan Coetzee
Ireland hooker Dan Sheehan scores against Italy.

Ireland hooker Dan Sheehan scores against Italy.

Ireland hooker Dan Sheehan is on track to break one of the Six Nations’ oldest records as the competition enters its third round of the 2024 campaign.

In addition to Sheehan’s possible landmark moment, Planet Rugby has taken a look at all the top individual performers in this year’s Championship so far.

Top try scorer

Sheehan leads the way with three tries in two games so far this Six Nations, which is no surprise considering Ireland’s dominance in the tournament to date.

The record for most tries in a single campaign is eight and was first set by England’s Cyril Lowe in 1914 and equalled by Scotsman Ian Smith in 1925. Now, Sheehan is averaging 1.5 tries per game at this stage meaning if he continued at that rate he would end up with at least seven in this campaign.

Of course, that number is short of the eight but with the way the modern game is set up, hookers are the beneficiaries of maul tries, putting Sheehan in a solid position. What makes the Irishman a good candidate to get the record is his impressive mobility in open play in addition to the maul opportunities. Ultimately it would take an impressive effort to break the record but it is certainly possible with the way the green machine is operating.

Runners-up: Just behind Sheehan is his teammate Calvin Nash, who has remarkably scored a try in each of his first two Six Nations caps. Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe and Alex Mann of Wales both have two tries apiece whilst a bigger group trails with one try each.

Top points scorers

The pragmatic and astute England fly-half George Ford leads the way with 23 points in the first two games as he guided the Red Rose to back-to-back victories, leaving the side as the only team other than Ireland with a chance at the Grand Slam.

Level with Ford is Scotland co-captain Finn Russell, who did everything in his power to get one over France last time out, but it was not to be after great controversy at the death. Still, one would expect the Scotsman to stay near the top of this category throughout the Championship.

Runners-up: Ireland’s new star fly-half Jack Crowley comes in just one point behind with 22 in front of France star Thomas Ramos on 17 and Sheehan on 15.

Most carries

After the second round, there is a new leader atop the carry stats with England workhorse Ben Earl soaring to the top with 26.

The Englishman’s presence in this category is no surprise as the Red Rose have constantly used him as a battering ram since he cemented his place in the side before the Rugby World Cup. The back-row is incredibly committed and hard-working, meaning he is a top contender to finish the competition with the most carries.

Runners-up: Welsh duo of Aaron Wainwright and Cameron Winnett are two behind Earl with 26 whilst England’s Freddie Steward and Italian Paolo Garbisi have 23 each.

Most tackles made

The industrious Italian skipper Michele Lamaro leads the Six Nations tackle count with a whopping 37 tackles in two games, which is at an average of 18.5 per match – a remarkable figure.

Lamaro is a classic lead by example kind of captain and with those tackle numbers it is safe to say he is doing just that. Best believe the flank will be in and around the highest tackles of Round Three come the end of the weekend.

Runners-up: A full seven tackles behind Lamaro is Frenchman Francois Cros on 30 alongside Italy’s Gianmarco Luchesi on the same number. Niccolo Cannone (29) and Les Bleus flank Charles Ollivon (28) round out the top five.

Most breakdown steals

Surprise, surprise – it is Tommy ‘turnover’ Reffell leading the way as the king of the breakdown in the Six Nations.

The Leicester Tiger has been sublime for Warren Gatland’s men, notching up an impressive five turnovers in two games at the breakdown. There is no way his influence stops there and we expect Reffell’s name to be near the top or on top of this stat category throughout the Championship.

Runners-up: Two behind the Welshman is Gregory Alldritt followed by England’s Maro Itoje and Lucchesi of Italy on two whilst a host of players have made one steal at the breakdown.

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