Six Nations team of the tournament

It hasn’t been an easy task selecting a dream team, with the very different dilemma of an abundance of talent in some positions, and a dearth of quality in others. Here is my team of the tournament, with perhaps one or two controversial selections.

Delon Armitage is selected at full-back ahead of both Lee Byrne and Rob Kearney. Byrne was actually third choice, but the England man offered more of a threat at the back and was equally solid under the high ball and in defence.

11, 13 and 14 speak for themselves, whilst Riki Flutey takes the 12 shirt ahead of Jamie Roberts – he finished the tournament much stronger, whilst Roberts was dropped for the final game.

Ronan O’Gara is the man at fly-half, mainly for his winning dropped-goal that made him a hero, with Mike Phillips inside him at scrum-half.

The pack virtually picks itself, with Ian Gough narrowly missing out to Paul O’Connell.

What are your thoughts? How many of these will be in the Lions Test team?

15. Delon Armitage
14. Tommy Bowe
13. Brian O’Driscoll
12. Riki Flutey
11. Thom Evans
10. Ronan O’Gara
9. Mike Phillips
8. Sergio Parisse
7. David Wallace
6. Thierry Dusautoir
5. Alun Wyn Jones
4. Paul O’Connell
3. Adam Jones
2. Dimitri Szarzewski
1. Gethin Jenkins

6 thoughts on “Six Nations team of the tournament

  1. Can’t disagree with much apart from the half-backs. Stephen Jones was better that O’Gara throughout the tournament. O’Gara was so bad against England that O’Driscoll was basically playing 10 as well. I also think Mike Phillips must be the most over-rated player in the 6N. Yes he’s a strong runner but he doesn’t do the basics well enough for a scrum-half. I’m not his biggest fan always but I thought Harry Ellis was the best of a bad bunch at 9.

  2. Largely agree although I’m with Kemlo over the half-backs. Scrum half looked like being one of our strongest positions in the Lions team and really competitive for the shirt. It’s still competitive but only because all the contenders have regressed equally. If we want a quick service for the backs then Phillips is not the man to do it. Would have said Blair but he was disappointing so Ellis or Peel for me at the mo. And definitely Stephen Jones over O’Gara.

    I’d also include Maxime Medard instead of Tommy Bowe. Thought Bowe was pretty anonymous for much of the tournament. Medard was France’s most exciting player by a street, think he could be pretty special.

    Have seen several of those articles where pundits discuss their Lions team and not one has really mentioned Riki Flutey. He was the best 12 in the championship by quite a way – the only other 12 who performed at a level anywhere near him was Jamie Roberts in the first couple of games and he ended up on the bench. If we want a 12 who takes reponsibility and pressure off the 10 then he is the man.

  3. The full back position for the Lions at the moment, to me, gives the most satisfying dilemma. In that, where nearly all places are up for contention (apart from the certain inclusion of O’Connell and BOD), it is at full back where we have possibly the richest pool of talent. I think it’s hard for many to admit that Lee Byrne may now not be the first choice, especially since Delon Armitage had to be the most impressive number 15 of the 6N. He was as good as anyone under the high ball and in the defensive line, and he added an exciting dimension to an England back line which has to often failed to impress over the last view years. However, although Lee Byrne was off his game by his standards (especially in the kicking department, which i believe cost Wales massively in their last 3 games) he still has to be the proven choice at full back. And what seals the deal more me is that, I believe the two men either side of him will be his Ospreys collegues Tommy Bowe and Shane Williams, and the experience these three will have playing together leading up to the Lions tours will be vital.

  4. Fair play to O’Gara for the drop goal (bite tongue as I type that ) but he went AWOL in the England game as said , also he was roughed up somewhat by Wales in the first half so the Boks can be expected to do more than that , overall Stephen Jones was more consistent . Jones and O’Gara are very similar players to so an alternative option on the bench -Hook perhaps -would be good.

    Phillips has been hampered by a serious knee injury with little pre 6 nations game time so has had to play his way back in , he’s best when he’s combatitive and keeping the opposition defence honest with sniping breaks and there were hints on the weekend that this was coming back . Personally I prefer the more classic skills of Peel but again injuries have held him back.

    Thom Evans at 11 made breaks ok but generally got caught by opposition defenders with speed which the Boks will have in spades , I can’t see anyone but Shane being there based not on the 6nations but last year on the High Veldt.

    Flutey yes he was the form 12 , pity Gatland couldn’t make a consistent selection there.

    Parrise now yes there’s a number 8 who I’d like to pick for the Lions test , note to self to vote for him as player of the tournament.

    I think Geech sits down with a bottle of whiskey and sits there until he’s finished . There was a hilarious showing on BBC Wales’ Scrum V programme on sunday of Robert Jones standing on Nick Farr-Jones’ foot on the 89 Australia tour cue a 20 man brawl mainly finished by Mike Teague . Robert Jones being there as a pundit said it was dreamed up by McGeechan , they’d all be cited now of course. Suggests that Geech may want a hard-edged captain O’Connell anyone.

  5. Just a few disagreements. Like most contributors, I would definitely choose Stephen Jones over O’Gara (even as an Irishman) and I also tend to agree that Mike Phillips had a mediocre season with Harry Ellis outperforming him. (In truth, I think Gatland got that selection wrong from the start – I prefer Peel and certainly he must have been the Number 2 rather than Cooper – I still think he may make Lions No. 1 slot). Whilst I admire Thom Evans, I can’t see how his selection speaks for itself. Having said that 11 was not a position that jumped out at us during the 6N – perhaps Halfpenny…? I can see the arguments for Armitage but don’t think Byrne or Kearney fell off by that much.

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