An entertaining 6 Nations has come to a close, and pundits have published their Team of the Tournament. But what about when opinion is replaced with objective figures? We compiled a team from Fantasy Rugby statistics alone. Only those who played in three games or more were considered, which is the only reason Italian superstar Capuozzo misses out. A few names may surprise you.
6 Nations Team of the Tournament
1. Ellis Genge The Leicester captain’s ball-carrying and tackle stats were far superior to most other props in the competition. This was the case even before the France game, where he was tactically chosen to carry the ball on kick-returns. Of course, his scrummaging masterclass against Tadhg Furlong will be a personal highlight. 2. Dan Sheehan The Ireland hooker scored the highest points in Fantasy Rugby of any player in the front 5. Having started the competition behind Kelleher in Ireland’s pecking order, the Leinster-man has certainly made a case to start in future. 3. Tadhg Furlong Whilst the England game wasn’t his best at scrum-time, Furlong continues to stand out in his position of tighthead. The prop carried an average of over 26 metres per game and made two dominant tackles in the tournament. 4. Tadhg Beirne Listed on Fantasy Rugby as a back-row option, Beirne had an exceptional 6 Nations at lock. Perhaps most underrated is his ball-carrying, with the lock racking up an average of 40 metres per game. Probably most memorable was his 50/22 against Wales, showing his broad skill set. 5. Jonny Gray We are yet to see the Scotsman appear on any Team of the Tournament, but the stats show how good he was. Gray once again highlighted his consistency in defence, making an average of just under 16 tackles per game. 6. Hamish Watson Last year’s player of the tournament continued to impress for Scotland. Incredibly, he has now broken a 6 Nations record of most consecutive tackles without missing.
163 – @Scotlandteam‘s Hamish Watson made 14/14 tackles against England and has now made 163 tackles in a row in the #GuinnessSixNations without missing, surpassing Lionel Nallet (154) for the longest run of tackles made without a miss in Six Nations history. Complete. pic.twitter.com/Djcm7thHg9
— OptaJonny (@OptaJonny) February 6, 2022
7. Josh van der Flier If the Lions were touring this year, this man would arguably be the starting 7. No forward scored more points in Fantasy Rugby. Van der Flier achieved an average of nearly 53 metres with ball-in-hand, scored two tries, and earned a player of the match award. 8. Gregory Alldritt Arguably the best Number 8 in the world, Alldritt was crucial to taking the ball forward for France. He achieved an average of over 63 metres per game and made the most carries of any player. 9. Antoine Dupont The world’s best player won two man-of-the-match awards, scored two tries, and broke 13 tackles across the tournament. Perhaps most surprising is that he made 3 dominant tackles. Most flankers didn’t manage that, and it’s especially impressive given his small stature.
15 – Antoine Dupont made 15 tackles against England, the joint most ever by a @FranceRugby scrum half in a @SixNationsRugby match, alongside Fabien Galthié who made 15 against England in 2002. Protégé. pic.twitter.com/U93sBBLIWM
— OptaJonny (@OptaJonny) March 19, 2022
10. Marcus Smith The Harlequins pivot finished the competition as the top points scorer by a margin of almost 20 points. His hype will no doubt continue after scoring two tries, and racking up the 5th highest metres in the tournament. 11. James Lowe Lowe bounced back superbly from missing out in the early rounds. The Leinster winger scored three tries and notched up 146 metres in just 3 games. 12. Jonathan Danty The French battering ram is such a scary sight for the opposition. Danty broke 7 tackles, and bulldozed through 224 metres across the tournament. Additionally, Danty won 5 turnovers at the breakdown, the most of any back.
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13. Garry Ringrose It’s great to see the Leinsterman back in his best form. Ringrose has effectively used his pace to dent the opposition defense. He broke 11 tackles throughout the tournament, scoring an excellent try against Wales in Round 1. 14. Gabin Villière Anyone who can overtake Teddy Thomas in the pecking order is clearly special. The Italians in particular will know the threat Villiere poses after the winger scored a hatrick against them. Yet Villiere offers so much more, securing 4 turnovers at the breakdown. 15. Stuart Hogg Whilst the Scotland captain made some costly mistakes, he continues to be vital to Scotland’s attack. The Exeter Chief made more metres than anyone else in the tournament, breaking 15 tackles in the process. It’s worth bearing this mind against the backdrop of criticism against him.
Numbers can’t tell the whole story, and one flaw of Fantasy Rugby is that it doesn’t include some fundamental aspects of the game (such as scrum penalties and turnovers). But, a few names here arguably haven’t had the recognition they deserve.
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