Nine Ireland players make UK agency’s Six Nations Team of the Tournament, including a ‘major contender’ to captain the British and Irish Lions

Jared Wright
Italy centre Juan Ignacio Brex, Ireland back-rower Clean Doris and Scotland's Duhan van der Merwe during the 2024 Six Nations.

Italy centre Juan Ignacio Brex, Ireland back-rower Clean Doris and Scotland's Duhan van der Merwe during the 2024 Six Nations.

UK news agency PA Media have named their Six Nations Team of the Tournament, a side that features an impressive nine players from Ireland, who sealed back-to-back titles.

Ireland finished five points clear of the chasing pack on the overall table, with France, England, Scotland, Italy and Wales trailing behind.

While Wales failed to win a single Six Nations match in 2024, one player still managed to make their selection, and Scotland also had just one star making the cut.

The Ireland players were split, with five backs and four forwards named in PA’s XV.

France and Italy also have just one player represented, with England claiming two spots.

PA’s Six Nations team of the tournament

Ireland full-back Hugo Keenan and winger James Lowe both fill spots in the back three, with Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe claiming the final outside back position.

Van der Merwe scored five tries in the tournament, including a breathtaking hattrick against England.

Lowe’s exceptional performances in the tournament caught the eye of the PA writers, who wrote that he is “arguably the best all-round wing in Britain and Ireland”.

Ireland centre Bundee Aki takes the number 12 jersey, with PA hailing him as “one of Ireland’s most consistent players” and an “inspiration to those around him”.

Our Six Nations Team of the Tournament: Ireland and Italy lead the way as one country misses out

Aki is named in the midfield alongside Italy’s Juan Ignacio Brex, who picked up successive Player of the Match awards and “forged an outstanding centre pairing with Tommaso Menoncello for the resurgent Azzurri.”

Following Johnny Sexton’s retirement, Jack Crowley impressed in the fly-half jersey for Ireland and fills the number ten jumper in PA’s team with the writers noting that he “stepped up in magnificent fashion, barely putting a foot wrong.”

He completes the backline with teammate Jamison Gibson-Park who was “hugely influential” for the title-winners.

The forwards

The agency believes that Ben Earl “made an extremely strong case to be named player of the tournament” as he locks down the number eight jersey while Wales’ Tommy Reffell takes the number seven jumper and Ireland’s Caelan Doris completes the loose trio.

Reffell “provided some rare highlights” for Warren Gatland’s side, while Doris had a standout tournament with PA, stating that he is a “major contender to captain the British and Irish Lions in Australia next year.”

Tadhg Beirne was the “beating heart of Ireland’s pack” and is joined in the second row by England’s Maro Itoje.

Ireland prop Andrew Porter and hooker Dan Sheehan fill the front row alongside France’s “juggernaut prop” Uini Atonio.

State of the Nation: Wales must cling to hope after winless Six Nations

PA’s team in full

Six Nations Team of the Tournament: 15 Hugo Keenan (Ireland), 14 Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland), 13 Juan Ignacio Brex (Italy), 12 Bundee Aki (Ireland), 11 James Lowe (Ireland), 10 Jack Crowley (Ireland), 9 Jamison Gibson-Park (Ireland), 8 Ben Earl (England), 7 Tommy Reffell (Wales), 6 Caelan Doris (Ireland), 5 Tadhg Beirne (Ireland), 4 Maro Itoje (England), 3 Uini Atonio (France), Dan Sheehan (Ireland), 1 Andrew Porter (Ireland)

READ MORE: Rating every Wales player from their disastrous Six Nations campaign: ‘All-action hero’ a clear standout