Six Nations: Two Cents Rugby picks his top five players from the final round

Two Cents Rugby
Six Nations: Split with van der Merwe, Sheehan and Ntamack

With the Six Nations having come to a close, Two Cents Rugby picks five of the best players from the final round, with Ireland and France leading the way.

In no particular order, the YouTube star selected three forwards and two backs, so without further ado, here they are. Have your say in the comments.

Two Cent Rugby’s five top players

Cyril Baille (France)

The French loosehead seems to have improved game-by-game in the Six Nations this year. Rock solid at the set-piece, which is his bread and butter, but also very effective with his ball carries this week.

He’s credited with six carries, including one almost to the line and drawing in Welsh defenders one phase before Uini Atonio’s try. He had a perfect tackle completion with his eight and not a single penalty conceded. Fabien Galthié will be pleased with his efforts.

Ryan Baird (Ireland)

With Tadhg Beirne and Iain Henderson absent, it was a big game for Baird to move into Ireland’s starting line-up. It was pleasing to see him step up and give Andy Farrell more to think about with selections going forward.

We don’t really think of second-rows as the most dynamic ball carriers, but with Baird a towering lock/loose forward hybrid, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see him carry more than double the metres of any other lock this week with 30.

Add to that his 11 tackles, four lineout wins and a key turnover when Ireland were looking to shift momentum, it was a great performance from the big man.

Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)

He’s been a danger man on that left wing for Scotland all tournament. He finishes the tournament with easily more broken tackles than any other player. But how good was his finish for Scotland’s first? The big man was more like a ballerina with the skills to keep his feet in the air while still forcing the ball down.

Eight defenders beaten, a great pass for the final try setting up Blair Kinghorn and a couple of clean breaks to boot. Another week where he proves to be a real handful.

Dan Sheehan (Ireland)

We weren’t even sure Sheehan would be playing this week after the knock he took against Scotland, but he walked away with Player of the Match. He certainly brings a bit of X-Factor to the Irish front-row with his ability to carry – you’d swear he’s a centre trapped in a hooker’s body.

He carried for 55 metres against England, more than both of his midfield teammates Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw. The lineout set play which saw Josh van der Flier put Sheehan into space highlighted precisely what a team can do with a player of his skill set.

One moment he was seemingly lethargic, setting for a maul, the next he was exploding into the space. Not many hookers could produce that turn of pace.

Romain Ntamack (France)

The French fly-half has been pulling the strings nicely all campaign, but this week he probably looked his most dangerous. He broke the Welsh line early, fending off Nick Tompkins to set up their first try. Directly involved again when he popped the ball to Gael Fickou which secured France’s try bonus-point.

His confidence to offload in the tackle was also more on display this week compared to his previous games, but so was his ability with the boot. He may not be asked to place kick with Thomas Ramos taking that duty, but this was the first week we saw him put in far more kick metres than Antoine Dupont.

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