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The Easofen Six Nations Team Of The Tournament

The Easofen Six Nations Team Of The Tournament
By Conor O'Leary

It was a Six Nations tournament that took a while to fire, but once it did - boy did it deliver. There were some outstanding individual performances across the competition, with newcomers and veterans stepping up.

Some debutantes like Mark Bennett, Jonathan Joseph and George Ford had brilliant championship, while some players like Jack McGrath and James Haskell stepped up in the absence of the regular first choice to enhance their reputations.

With that, here is a compilation of the best performing XV of the last seven weeks, and you can vote for yours below:

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Here is the Balls.ie Six Nations Team Of The Tournament:

15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

Scotland came into this competition with a new wave of optimism. If you had ignored the results, the play of the field was very encouraging from the northerners. A big reason for that was Stuart Hogg who was both devastating with ball in hand, and his doggedness to deny England easy tries. Pushed hard by Leigh Halfpenny, but Hogg is the form fullback in the Northern Hemisphere.

14. Anthony Watson (England)

It wasn't a thrilling tournament for wing play, but the 20 year old Bath flier was very good. His speed and balance is probably more suited to fullback, but he has shown in the last two months that he is capable at this level.

13. Jonathan Joseph (England)

Possibly the most highly contested spot with Mark Bennett and Luca Morisi becoming the focal points of their team's attacking play. The Bath centre started the tournament on fire and ended up as the top try scorer with four. One small blip against Ireland doesn't stop him claiming the prize.

12. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)

For his first Six Nations, he was outstanding. So outstanding in fact, that he was in Stephen Jones' top five players of the tournament. He lead the team through the first few weeks.

11. Jack Nowell (England)

Like Watson, England may have found two outstanding outside backs in this tournament. Could conjure up some magic in attack, and threatened a lot in the three games he played.

10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)

Missed the first game, had a blip in Cardiff and was pushed extremely hard by the unflappable George Ford. But, knowing that I'd be marched out of the country for not selecting Johnny Sexton means that his kicking and distribution was enough to have him selected.

9. Ben Youngs (England)

His performance against France in the final game was the standout performance of the entire tournament. It actually changed my mind and meant he pipped Rhys Webb who also had a good tournament. Youngs managed England's game very well, changing the tempo when needed and made breaks almost at will.

1. Jack McGrath (Ireland)

Had dominant moments in the scrum, telling turnovers in the breakdown, made strong carries and rarely missed a tackle. His form was fantastic in the tournament, and is fast becoming a complete prop.

2. Guilhem Guirado (France)

I have a weakness for the skills Guirado displayed in the final game for Mermoz's try was so good he pips Scott Baldwin for the spot. Guirado's defensive displays earlier in the tournament were very good, and he was in contention. How can I deny a ball handling hooker?

3. Nicolas Mas (France)

France's scrum turned into a dominant force when Nicolas Mas was re-instated into the squad, and there is no one single tighthead that can make a similar claim.

4. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

I'm frightened to thing that Jones is only 29. He is playing the best rugby of his life, leading the team with huge tackles and workrate.

5. Paul O'Connell (Ireland)

Ireland's colossus. The leadership he displayed against Wales and Scotland will take a lot to be beaten in Irish sport. He is the most important Irish rugby player, even ahead of Sexton.

6. James Haskell (England)

Taking away the Herculean performance from Peter O'Mahony against Scotland, his tournament was quite muted. Haskell displayed consistency from game to game racking up a monster number of tackles, and rarely putting a foot wrong. The highlight of his bally carrying may have been when he ran into the Cardiff post.

7. Sam Warburton (Wales)

It looks like the Welsh captain is getting even better. There used to be murmurs from the Welsh fans to put Justin Tipuric ahead of him, but no longer. Warburton is growing into a leader on the level of O'Connell, and Wales owe a lot of their success to his breakdown work.

8. Sergio Parisse (Italy)

When the first official RBS Six Nations video creates a masterclass of one player's performance you know it's good. It's ridiculous how good he is able to stay in a bad and regressing team, but he remains the elite no.8 in the northern hemisphere.

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See Also: Italy Have Twice As Many Players In The Sunday Times Team Of The Tournament
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