6 Nations: Team of the Tournament

by Ultimate Rugby

After 7 weeks, 15 matches and 653 points scored. This year's championship was full of intrigue.

England retained the Six Nations title to give Eddie Jones back-to-back championship triumphs, Ireland’s final-day heroics over England hid their disappointments on the road, France did enough to secure third place for the first time since they won the title in 2010.

Scotland won 3 matches for the first time since 2006, Wales were left frustrated with only two wins (Ireland & Italy) as they narrowly lost to England & the Italians bringing up the rear and claiming the unwanted Wooden Spoon for the 12th time in 18 years.

We pick our starting XV from the tournament.

15 Stuart Hogg

A delight to watch with ball in hand, in attack, Hogg found space for fun throughout the tournament and highlighted his dangerous ability to counter attack from anywhere on the pitch.

Displayed his kicking attributes with some long range efforts. Hogg was one of 8 players to top the try scoring charts with 3 tries. Will provide the Lions with cutting edge.

14 Elliot Daly

Scored the game clinching try in Cardiff as he dotted down in the closing minutes of the game to snatch victory.

Capable of performing on the international stage on the wing or at centre, Daly appeared in all 5 rounds scoring 2 tries and a penalty. His versatility in the backline makes him a front runner for Lions inclusion.

13 Jonathan Joseph

A key member of England’s deadly back-line, Joseph shone against Scotland to set up a grand-slam clash with Ireland. Finished the tournament as joint top try-scorer with 3 tries.

A joy to watch with ball in hand, Joseph remained his high standards to once again lead England to a title.

12 Owen Farrell

Farrell played a pivotal role in retaining the 6 Nations title. The Saracens centre was ultra-reliable with the boot and took pressure off George Ford.

He endured blips against Italy & Ireland but showed his class in securing victories over France, Wales and Scotland.

His distribution unlocked the bags of potential outside him in the England back-line. Provided 63 points with the boot and certain to be a Lions starter.

11 Liam Williams

Williams was Wales most threatening back during the tournament and displayed his talent in attack with tries over Italy, Scotland and England but also was comfortable in defence.

The debate continues as to whether he is most effective on the wing or full-back but he’s proven he’s quite brilliant at both.

Williams’s looks set for a starting place in Warren Gatland’s Lions XV this summer.

10 Finn Russell

The diminutive Scotsman guided Scotland to three Six Nations wins for the first time since 2006. Accurate off the kicking tee with an 88% kicking success.

Russell notched a try in a MOTM performance against Italy in the final-round. Was instrumental in home wins over Ireland & Wales.

Nominated for Player of the Tournament and continues to impress with his game management & distribution skills.

9 Conor Murray

Performed admirably throughout the tournament despite missing the victory over England through injury, further enhanced his reputation as the in-form 9 on the planet.

Murray led Ireland to a crucial home win over France scoring a try en route to victory.

8 Louis Picamoles

The best No.8 in world rugby. His rampaging performance against England wasn’t enough to get his side over the line.

The Saints battering ram made 71 carries for a gain of 362 metres during the tournament, topping the charts for most defenders beaten (24) and most offloads (18).

He was hugely important to the wins over Scotland, Italy and Wales as France claimed a first top-three finish in 7 years.

7 Kevin Gourdon

Provided great balance to the French back-row. Gourdon played every minute of the 2017 Six Nations campaign.

Created the opening try in Les Blues valiant effort at Twickenham. The La Rochelle flanker topped the French tackle count while also contributing heavily in attack, with 13 defenders beaten for a gain of 152m.

6 CJ Stander

The South-African born back-rower put himself firmly in the race for Lions contention with a string of impressive performances

Stander was a man mountain with ball in hand as he made the most carries in the tournament (104), he proved this with a devastating hat trick in Rome, while he displayed his versatility by slotting into the No. 8 jersey for the win against England.

A strong candidate for player of the championship.

5 Jonny Gray

Gray formed a formidable second-row partnership with his older brother during the championship. Produced remarkable tackle counts and plays like a man well above his years.

4 Joe Launchbury

Has taken his opportunity superbly in the absence of George Kruis. Two man of the match performances against Wales & Italy.

A big ball-carrying threat, making nearly 60m alone in the 2nd half revival v Italy, combined with huge defensive shifts topping the England tackle count chart with 85.

3 Tadhg Furlong

The Leinster man was one of Ireland’s most consistent performers. Furlong looks a shoe-in for a Lions starting role in New Zealand.

His performance in the scrum against Scotland was excellent and his work in the loose saw some bullish carries as well as some soft handling at times. Ireland won 33 out of 33 scrums in the 6 Nations. 

2 Ken Owens

Excellent tournament for the Wales hooker. Provided the Wales set-piece with solidity throughout the tournament. Owens has put himself in contention for Lions inclusion after a string of fine performances. He was outstanding in the Welsh victory over Ireland in Cardiff. He offers the side a powerful ball carrier and a leadership presence.

1 Jack McGrath

Part of an incredible Irish front-row, McGrath continued his impressive form from the November Tests into this year's 6 Nations championship.

Caused havoc at scrum time playing a key role in securing 100% success rate.

Article by Ultimate Rugby