Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Six Nations Team of the Tournament by Mark Jackson


Well the last few weeks have thrown up a lot of talking points and discussions not least officiating, red cards and potential Lions. 

One thing is for sure is that we have been entertained and enthralled with the annual Northern Hemisphere shindig. 

I have put together my pick of the players whom impressed throughtout and am sure a few will disagree but isnt that the beauty of opinions 😉. 

15. Stuart Hogg (SCO) An impressive series from a player who has found his form after a quiet year or two..just edges Brice Dulin.

14. Louis Rees Zammit (WAL) Not just a gas man impressive skills and a fine kicking game too. The gas certainly helps.

13. Robbie Henshaw (IRE) A quality run of games in both 12 and 13 jerseys. His gainline successes and defensive nous were vital in Irelands 3 wins on the trot. Both Jonathan Davies and George North unlucky to miss out 

12. Gael Fickou (FRA) Still only 27 and improving year on year. Always been a danger ball in hand has become Shaun Edwards' defensive leader. Felt his move to wing made France weaker vs Scot but he was still a standout. 

11. Duhan Van der Merwe (SCO) 6 ft4 and 16 st plus is not easy to stop as France and England found out..still prone to the odd defensive lapse but what a handful. Anthony Watson unlucky to miss out on selection. 

10. Matthieu Jalibert (FRA) Not a vintage tournament for fly halves ..all had ups and downs. Jalibert's body of work was strongest for me , his link and support play were top notch and has improved his kicking game. 

9. Antoine Dupont (FRA) Easiest selection ..EVER. Next 

8. Taulupe Falatua (WAL) Excellent throughout after a full recovery from a few niggles over past two years. One of many Lazarus type comebacks from the Welsh in a Lions year. 

7. Hamish Watson (SCO) Edges Justin Tipuric in what was prob tightest call for me. Huge workrate and carrying and a nause at the breakdown. Rather have him with you than against you.

6. Tadgh Beirne (IRE) Finally getting a consistent run and showing his vast array of skills on and off the ball. Huge engine and deservedly nominated for Player of Tournament.

5. Iain Henderson (IRE) The talent was never in doubt ,simply the consistency. Finest series to date and stepped up on leadership front excellently. 

4. Alun Wyn Jones (WAL) Whatever they feed him in Wales..Unicorn or Dragon blood prob...they shpuld licence it. Simply immense..when he eventually retires not sure who's filling that void. 

3. Tadgh Furlong (IRE) All dancing possibly all singing too ..the Jukebox can scrummage a bit too. Ireland blessed w the two best tightheads in Europe at the moment. Porter will keep the Wexfordman on his toes.

2. Julien Marchand (FRA) More explosive with the ball in hand sees him take the 2 shirt from Ken Owens (Welsh Lazarus #3) another tight call. 

1. Cyril Baille (FRA) The Toulouse Teapot (trademark pending) had a strong tournament, in the tight and loose and allied w his club mate could be a thorn in more Irish scrums this coming weekend.


Mark Jackson (@hoomanbear) : An Irishman in London....lover of rugby, NFL and family n friends not always in that order..consumer of meat, best friend to Wayne Barnes. All views my own and always open for a lively debate. Ireland, Leinster and the New York Giants fanatic.

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Taken by JLP from RDS press box on Nov 16, 2019