Six Nations 2018: Sexton, Murray, Bastareaud – Rugby Union Weekly
Eire received solely the third Grand Slam of their historical past as they claimed all of the prizes on supply within the 2018 Six Nations Championship.
Wales had been the perfect of the remainder, whereas Scotland secured three victories for the second successive season to take third – however what number of inexperienced shirts had been they in a position to preserve out of the Rugby Union Weekly podcast’s crew of the match?
A usually unpredictable France facet simply completed forward of final yr’s champions England, who slumped to fifth, and Italy collected a 13th picket spoon. Which of those nations failed to supply a single participant for the line-up?
Former England and British and Irish Lions wing Ugo Monye and BBC commentator and reporter Chris Jones have chosen their beginning XV. Take a look at their picks beneath…
Full-back – Matteo Minozzi (Italy)
UM: 4 tries in Italy’s previous 4 video games, the primary Italian participant to do this. It has been a superb breakthrough season for the 21-year-old in a shedding trigger. He is likely one of the causes head coach Conor O’Shea is so optimistic about Italy’s future.
Proper wing – Keith Earls (Eire)
CJ: Eire coach Joe Schmidt named Earls on the podcast as a participant bang in type earlier than the match, and whereas Jacob Stockdale has been ripping up bushes, the Munsterman has been all class on the opposite wing. A relentless risk going ahead and able to very important defensive performs, akin to his determined tap-tackle on Elliot Daly in opposition to England.
Outdoors centre – Garry Ringrose (Eire)
UM: I do know he solely performed two matches, however he was unbelievably good in opposition to Scotland – dominating the beforehand excellent Huw Jones – earlier than scoring a attempt within the Grand Slam recreation at Twickenham. He’s an distinctive expertise, reiterating the power in depth Eire have constructed.
Inside centre – Mathieu Bastareaud (France)
CJ: A person who was within the headlines for the improper causes earlier than the match confirmed on the pitch why successive France coaches carry on returning to this distinctive and gifted centre. He was a power of nature in opposition to Italy and England, is powerful over the ball and typically unstoppable going ahead. Hadleigh Parkes deserves a point out after a high quality debut Six Nations for Wales, as does the persistently wonderful Owen Farrell.
Left wing – Jacob Stockdale (Eire)
UM: Seven tries from the person who’s having an unimaginable debut season in worldwide rugby. He has not misplaced a recreation in an Eire shirt, has smashed the Six Nations try-scoring document – and now has a Grand Slam.
Fly-half – Johnny Sexton (Eire)
UM: He may very well be within the crew for that drop-goal in Paris alone, which arrange Eire’s Grand Slam marketing campaign. The shortage of a Slam was beforehand a gap on his CV however that has now been deservedly stuffed by one of many modern-day greats.
Scrum-half – Conor Murray (Eire)
CJ: Murray must be on this crew alongside his companion in crime Sexton at half-back. Composed, authoritative, correct – and Murray even stepped as much as kick some essential objectives when required. World class.
Free-head prop – Rob Evans (Wales)
CJ: A part of a Wales and Scarlets entrance row beginning to excel with the ball in hand in addition to on the set-piece. Simply edges out Eire’s Cian Healy.
Hooker – Rory Greatest (Eire)
UM: Guilhem Guirado has been wonderful for France as a hooker and captain, however we can’t omit the Grand Slam-winning skipper. He’s a pillar for Eire on and off the sphere.
Tight-head prop – Tadhg Furlong (Eire)
UM: Now we have had a operating debate on the podcast about whether or not this man will go down as one of many nice tight-head props of all time – he’s actually top-of-the-line on the earth in the mean time. He completed the championship with a man-of-the-match show at Twickenham, which included a pleasant ball to Bundee Aki to arrange Stander’s essential attempt.
Second row – James Ryan (Eire)
CJ: Whereas the Grand Slam is the crowning glory for the likes of Greatest, Murray and Sexton, Ryan is a part of a brand new breed of Irish gamers who’ve appeared to the manor born at Check stage and turn into accustomed to profitable. The 21-year-old has the potential to be a lock for the ages.
Second row – Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
CJ: 117 caps and counting, Jones continues to be an inspirational lock and chief for Wales, with a usually relentless shift in opposition to France. He’s absolutely now in each dialog in the case of all-time Wales greats. His second row companion Cory Hill has additionally proved himself, whereas Eire’s Iain Henderson was excellent in opposition to England.
Blind-side flanker – John Barclay (Scotland)
CJ: Scotland weren’t fairly in a position to kick on from their stirring Calcutta Cup triumph, shedding in Dublin and scraping previous Italy, however their skipper has stood out on the flank. Sensible in victory in opposition to England; an actual chief of males. Sebastian Negri has additionally been excellent for Italy, as has Aaron Shingler for Wales.
Open-side flanker – Dan Leavy (Eire)
UM: With a lot deal with the breakdown this Six Nations, Leavy has been excellent for Eire within the unfastened and the tight, filling in fantastically for the injured Sean O’Brien – one other indicator of the rising Irish depth. Hamish Watson additionally deserves a point out for his work on the ground.
Quantity eight – CJ Stander (Eire)
CJ: A relentless presence behind the scrum for the champions, he capped his marketing campaign with a decisive attempt in opposition to England. His tally of 96 carries throughout the match was the second most ever. The earlier greatest was 104 in 2017 which was set by… CJ Stander.