Surprise leaders in the Six Nations’ individual stats as Ireland stars miss out

Dylan Coetzee
Finn Russell and Duhan van der Merwe during a game for Scotland.

Finn Russell and Duhan van der Merwe during a game for Scotland.

Scotland – and not Ireland – lead several of the individual statistics for the 2024 Six Nations with only two rounds to go, despite the dominance of Andy Farrell’s men this season.

Ahead of the final two weekends, Planet Rugby takes a closer look at which players are leading the way in the different facets of the game.

Top points scorer

At the top of the points category is Scotland’s maverick fly-half Finn Russell, who not only has been a joy to watch this campaign but he has also been pinpoint with the boot notching up 38 points.

He will continue to be a focal point for Scotland’s attack as he pulls the strings so it would be difficult to bet against him staying at the top after the next round.

Runners-up: Not far behind on 34 points is England’s George Ford, then Ireland’s Jack Crowley on 33 before Duhan van der Merwe and Frenchman Thomas Ramos round out the top five with 25 points apiece.

Top try-scorers

A rampant hat-trick tends to shoot a player up the Six Nations scoring charts and that is what it did for Duhan van der Merwe, who was simply outstanding against England.

The gargantuan wing is on five tries and only three short of the record for a single campaign that has been held for 110 years. He is certainly within a shout and he will be eager to score against Italy.

Runners-up: Dan Sheehan from Ireland is one back on four tries whilst team-mates James Lowe, Tadhg Beirne and Calvin Nash are on two each.

Top try assists

Yet another category dominated by Scotland and this time two of their stars lead the way on three assists with the creative Russell being joined by elusive outside centre Huw Jones, who is fresh off a brace of assists against England.

Russell is in pole position to build on his position in this category as the side face Italy next up, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the totals added to.

Runners-up: Elliot Daly (England), Matthieu Jalibert (France), Jamison Gibson-Park (Ireland) and Stuart McCloskey on two each.

Most carries

The first facet of the game that is not led by a Scot and instead England’s passionate number eight Ben Earl, who has a whopping 42 carries averaging over 10 per game in the Six Nations.

He is a crucial component of England’s attacking play as one of the chief battering rams and that will not change. Neither will Earl’s general output which, to his credit, is consistently high and has been since before the Rugby World Cup last year.

Runners-up: Welsh duo of Aaron Wainwright and Cameron Winnett are on 38 and 37 respectively, whilst Monty Ioane (Italy), Caelan Doris and Jack Crowley (both Ireland) sit on 34.

Most tackles made

Once again it is no surprise to see Italian skipper Michele Lamaro leading the tackle count after another big shift for his side when they drew to France last time out.

The flank currently sits nine tackles ahead of anyone else on 55 and he will be adding to this again in the last two rounds as he empties his tank over and over again.

Runners-up: Wales star Tommy Reffell is on 46 with Niccolo Cannone (Italy) on 45, Wales captain Dafydd Jenkins on 41 and Les Bleus star Francois Cros on 40.

Most breakdown turnovers

‘Turnover Tommy’ (Reffell) is a player born for this category and looks by far the most adept at influencing the breakdown as his six steals suggest.

Reffell is constantly on the prowl to get over the ball at the breakdown and make a steal. His timing is usually brilliant, as is his strength to remain in position, so no doubt he will add to his tally in the final two rounds.

Runners-up: England’s Sam Underhill has produced an impressive four turnovers, as has Gianmarco Lucchesi, with France’s Gregory Alldritt on three. England’s Maro Itoje and Les Bleus star Cros round out the top five with two each.

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