Six Nations XV of the Tournament: Wales dominate

Team of the Tournament

Eurosport

15. Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)

This was a toss-up between Halfpenny and Ireland's Rob Kearney as either could claim the number 15 shirt in the British and Irish Lions team next summer. But the Welshman edged it; he has emerged as a quality goal-kicker during this championship. Kearney might be better at dealing with the high ball, but Halfpenny's all-round play is excellent.

14. Tommy Bowe (Ireland)

For Oval Talk there was little debate on either wing. Bowe was the leading try scorer in the championship with five and he is simply awesome when in full flight.

13. Jonathan Davies (Wales)

Davies is very physical and always a threat with the ball in hand; he scored two important tries against Ireland. Davies also excels in defence and made a number of crunching tackles which will live long in the memory.

12. Wesley Fofana (France)

Fofana has been France's most dangerous player throughout this tournament with four tries to his name. He has established himself as a guaranteed starter and will feature heavily for years to come. He was also very useful when making a tackle.

11. George North (Wales)

This man is only 19 and already seems to have it all: power, pace, skill and a solid temperament. He has 21 caps for his country, more than any other teenager in history and has scored 50 points in the process. The scary thought for his opponents is he can still improve.

10. Owen Farrell (England)

Farrell is by no means the finished article but he has shown he is completely at ease competing at the highest level. His goal-kicking and tackling are almost flawless. Farrell still has work to do on his attacking game but that will come and when it does he could be in danger of wearing the 'new Jonny Wilkinson' tag.

9. Mike Phillips (Wales)

There was not a lot of quality in this department but that does not take anything away from Mike Phillips. A lot criticise him for being too slow at the breakdown, but he is by far the standout choice for the Lions next year.

1. Gethin Jenkins (Wales)

Superb in the tackle, superb at the breakdown, superb in the scrum. Jenkins should also get more credit for his work around the field because he is very effective.

2. Rory Best (Ireland)

The Ulster hooker has had a marvellous championship: consistent at the lineout, a terrier in the scrum and not too shabby in the loose, either. Best also celebrated his first match captaining Ireland in a Six Nations, against Scotland, by scoring a try.

3. Adam Jones (Wales)

He is always one of the first names on the sheet. Jones looks like a blast from rugby's amateur past but his performances ooze professionalism and he is the most destructive tight-head in the game.

4. Richie Gray (Scotland)

Like Parisse for Italy, Gray must sometimes wish he was playing with a more gifted group of players. That try against Ireland would have got him in the team on its own, but he is just a magnificently consistent player.

5. Ian Evans (Wales)

OT likes the story behind Evans. He nearly quit a few years ago because of injury but has perservered and is now a key part of a Grand Slam-winning side. Evans's work rate is phenomenal. He charges balls down, never loses a lineout, is immense in defence and is just outstanding.

6. Tom Croft (England)

This was not easy. There are a few players who could easily have claimed this spot. Thierry Dusautoir was not playing at his best, or at least the levels he reached at the World Cup. Stephen Ferris and Dan Lydiate have been brilliant for Ireland and Wales respectively. But Croft demonstrated against France that he is back to his best - and in that form, nobody compares.

7. Sam Warburton (Wales)

Warburton is already Wales' talisman and a natural-born leader. His performance against England was scintillating. They should take Warburton's work ethic at the breakdown and put it in a textbook. An exceptional player.

8. Sergio Parisse (Italy)

OT just loves this guy. Parisse would walk into any team in the world and must have been born with a number 8 etched into his back. Ben Morgan, Toby Faletau and David Denton have also impressed this championship, but Parisse is the complete player. One can only wonder how he manages to keep himself motivated when playing for a team who cannot compete against the best.

View Comments (0)