After a hard fought RBS Six Nations, Wales were left victorious after destroying an England side who seemed to be suffering from ‘Rabbit in the Headlights’ syndrome! The Millenium Stadium atmosphere proved too much for Stuart Lancaster’s men but how many of them got into our Team of the Tournament.
15. Leigh Halfpenny – A fantastic talent who has been ever so consistent for Wales since this group of players started to play together. Honerable mentions: Alex Goode, Stuart Hogg
14. Alex Cuthbert – The Welshman showcased his awesome try scoring ability, leaping clear of all other Northern Hemisphere wingers.
13. Manu Tuilagi – Is there a better offensive outside centre in the world? Brian O’Driscoll is getting older by the second and whilst his performances were admirable they just aren’t up to the level of this great Englishman. He breaks so many tackles and strikes fear into every opposing defender. Honarable Mention: Mathieu Basteraud
12. Wesley Fofana – Wonderful feet from the French back led to one of the tries of the tournament. He might not be as defensivly sound as Barritt but his attacking prowess earns him a place on this teamsheet. Honorable Mention: Brad Barritt
11. George North – Is he the successor to Shane Williams? North has it all: power, pace and trickery. Whilst he didn’t score more tries than Cuthbert, the Scarlets winger danced around more defenders than we would care to mention. Most of the left wingers played very well in this tournament. Honarable Mentions: Mike Brown, Luke McClean
10: Owen Farrell – The shining beacon of hope for English rugby, Farrell has the talent to lead his nation and club to considerable silverware over the next decade or so.
9: Mike Phillips – No scum half stood out for me but Phillips seemed to make the least amount of mistakes. Greg Laidlaw kicked pretty well but is that enough to be the best in your position? Honorable Mention: Greg Laidlaw
1. Ryan Grant – I thought the Scot gave himself a great chance of being named to the Lions squad after a fantastic tournament. I will admit that I had never heard of Grant before February so let’s hope this isn’t a one off. Honorable Mention: Gethin Jenkins
2. Richard Hibbard – The whole of the Welsh front row was epic, especially against England, and thus it seemed only right that Hibbard be placed in this team. Almost a certainty to start for the Lions in Austrailia.
3. Adam Jones – He is the best tight-head in the North and that’s all that needs to be said. Watch the game against England for further proof of that.
4. Donnacha Ryan – Whilst he received a very silly sin bin, his overall play was good whilst his command of the Irish line-out was phenomenal. I see more than a little Paul O’Connell in this fellow. Honorable Mentions: Geoff Parling, Alun Jones
5. Ian Evans – Whilst Alun Wyn Jones was injured, Evans showed everyone just how talented he is. Don’t be surprised to see Jones and Evans as the second-row pairing in Austrailia.
6. Alessandro Zanni – I would go so far to say that Zanni might be the best blindside flanker in the world, though I wouldn’t want to be too controversial. His ability on the ball is what separates him from the rest. A massive player for the Italians who had their best campaign yet.
7. Kelly Brown – People will be surprised that I haven’t picked Chris Robshaw but he was torn apart by Warburton and Tipuric. He has limitations in what he does but sometimes doesn’t seem to know them. Brown on the other hand knows that he is a one man wrecking machine and looked on a war path. Honorable Mention: Chris Robshaw
8. Sergio Parisse – This was perhaps the most difficult decision I had to make but I plumped for the Italian no. 8 over Louis Picamoles due to his defensive ability. The Frenchman doesn’t defend all too much and whilst he was probably the best offensive player in the tournament, there is no substitute for an all-rounder. Parisse showed his unbelievable ability on the ball as well as off it. Italy will struggle to replace one of the best number 8s that I have ever seen.