2020 Guinness Six Nations – Team of the Tournament revealed

Guinness Six Nations Team of the Tournament
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The 2020 Guinness Six Nations drew to a close on Saturday evening, as Ireland’s defeat in Paris meant England were crowned champions.

Robert Rees selects his 2020 Team of the Tournament.

1. Rory Sutherland

The Scottish loosehead has been in such quality form of late that he’s been tipped as a Lions starter. His set-piece prowess has made Scotland very difficult to defeat up front, whilst he adds a dynamic carrying game to expand their attacking edge.

2. Jamie George

George’s pinpoint accuracy at the lineout and superb carrying ability sees him not only fight of some tough opposition for the England shirt, but makes him the starting hooker in the Guinness Six Nations Team of the Tournament.

His reliability, game after game, ensured England were a sturdy force to be reckoned with.

3. Kyle Sinckler

England’s Six Nations title was largely based on their prowess up front in key moments, providing the platform to get them the points difference that was enough to see them over the line. A rock in the scrum and a powerful gain line breaker, Sinckler is one of world rugby’s premiere props.

4. Bernard Le Roux

Despite appearing in the news last week for his forearm on Alun Wyn Jones, which was later dismissed as not enough for a citing, Le Roux is a defensive frontman for the French pack. His smashmouth style can be close to the letter of the law, but that’s exactly what you want from your lock forward.

5. Maro Itoje

Arguably the best lock in world rugby right now, Itoje’s lineout presence, breakdown disrupting and carrying threat meant he was an all-round threat for the English game when Eddie Jones needed him. His relentlessness in defence sees him take the second lock spot in the Last Word Guinness Six Nations Team of the Tournament.

6. Jamie Ritchie

Scotland’s breakdown success is largely down to Ritchie, who has burst on to the test scene in the last 18 months or so with great success. Matching Watson’s vigorous energy, Ritchie’s never-die attitude when it comes to retrieving ball has earned his side plenty of turnovers, resulting in some positive results over France and Wales this year.

7. Charles Ollivon

French rugby has finally been revived, we think! The typical flair behind the pack is what attracts the most attention, but it’s what appears infront of them that has impressed most this year. Defensive solidity and set piece danger has thwarted most sides, and Ollivon’s strength in those areas places him in the back row. He finished as the top try scorer this year, on four tries.

8. CJ Stander

Ireland’s major ball carrier, Stander has blitzed through defenses this campaign to charge himself to 78 carries, the most in the competition, whilst also earning more turnovers than anyone else, with seven. His threat off phase one ball is enough to trouble any defence, and his gain line breaking carries often put Ireland on the front foot.

9. Antoine Dupont

Surely a leading choice for Player of the Tournament, Dupont’s sharp-mindedness mixed with epic pace from a standing start has made him the best scrum-half in world rugby. His dynamism pushes France to new levels and he can create something out of nothing, which France historically thrives upon.

His quick ball speed and accuracy also contribute to the French flair we all know and love.

10. Romain Ntamack

The Golden Boot winner, ending up on 57 points, Ntamack led France to fresh heights in the 2020 Guinness Six Nations. His depth and variety keep defenders on their toes, and he can make a clean break himself, as he did to start his own try against Ireland in round five. With four assists and three tries of his own, he really is the all-round threat from fly-half.

11. Teddy Thomas

If ever a player gravity defied a player, Thomas would be one of those. His footwork in enclosed spaces is marvellous to behold and his pace ensures any space he is given is soon gobbled up. His style often leaves France with front-foot ball, and gets them behind the defensive line. Something that has yielded several tries this campaign.

12. Bundee Aki

Ireland may have plenty of power upfront, but it’s in midfield where they’ve truly excelled this campaign. Aki has smashed defenders out of the way, providing the offload option or a straight yard gain alternative. His direct threat means Ireland can use him close to the tryline, and he crossed the whitewash against Italy for his rewards.

13. Virimi Vakatawa

The offloading king. Vakatawa has bamboozled defenders with his hard running style, mixed with magician-like hands. Not only can he beat defenders and gain massive amounts of metres, but he can keep the play alive as he goes. Racking up over 200m, the French centre has been one of the players of the campaign.

14. Jonny May

Slamming over 50 metres in England’s crucial bonus point win over Italy, the Gloucester speedster shone throughout this campaign. Way back in the spring he added two tries, and two assists to his international tally and menaced defences with his sprints. His width pulls defences out, which also creates space inside of him for his ball carriers.

15. Anthony Bouthier

The fullback has a cannon boot on him, but also delivers in the aerial battle and in terms of returning the ball in hand. He begins attacks from deep inside French territory, and with 294m to his name this campaign, he was a major go-to guy when their attacks went wide, starting Ntamack’s try vs Ireland.

See the 2019 and 2018 Team of the Tournament article’s, to see if any player mentioned has made multiple selections.

 

Guinness Six Nations – player/team accolades:

Player of the Tournament: Antoine Dupont.

Golden Boot: Romain Ntamack – 57 points.

Top try scorer: Charles Ollivon (4)

Coach of the Tournament: Eddie Jones.

 

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