Planet Rugby Readers’ Team of the Six Nations: Votes counted as Ireland dominate after their Grand Slam success

·5-min read
Six Nations: Split with Dupont, Jones and Sheehan Credit: Alamy
Six Nations: Split with Dupont, Jones and Sheehan Credit: Alamy

An impressive 23,656 readers took to our Twitter polls to determine the Planet Rugby Readers’ Team of the Tournament for the 2023 Six Nations.

A huge thank you for taking part and letting us know which players you thought impressed during a fascinating tournament. Without further ado, here is YOUR Team of the Tournament.

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Readers’ Team of the Six Nations

15 Hugo Keenan (Ireland): The superstar full-back had a fantastic campaign and formed a key part of the Grand Slam-winning side. Keenan was outstanding throughout and won 54% of your votes, holding off the impressive Thomas Ramos of France (34%), whilst England’s Freddie Steward and Italy’s Tommaso Allan were far behind on 9% and 3%, respectively. The Irishman will look to take his strong form into the World Cup later this year.

14 Damian Penaud (France): The deadly finisher earned selection ahead of impressive Irishman Mack Hansen as he continued showing off his try-scoring prowess for France. Penaud may not have been directly influential throughout, but he still found his way to the try line when given half the chance. The Frenchman led the race with 57% of the votes, with Hansen on 35%, whilst Scotland’s Kyle Steyn and Welshman Josh Adams earned 6% and 1% respectively.

13 Huw Jones (Scotland): An impressive return to Gregor Townsend’s side sees the Scot earn the most votes of any 13 as his 46% trumps Irishman Garry Ringrose (29%) and France’s Gael Fickou (23%), whilst Italian Juan Ignacio Brex received 2% of the votes. It is well-deserved for Jones, who thrived alongside Sione Tuipulotu in a partnership affectionately known to supporters as ‘Huwipulotu’.

12 Sione Tuipulotu (Scotland): It is no surprise that the Scot was selected as the ‘Huwipulotu’ pairing soared in popularity during this year’s Six Nations. The centre takes an impressive 61% of the votes ahead of powerful Frenchman Jonathan Danty at 32%, whilst England’s Ollie Lwarenece (5%) and Wales’ Joe Hawkins (2%) were far behind. Nevertheless, Scotland fans will be delighted to see their centres get the nod in the side.

11 Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland): It was a two-horse race for left wing, but it is no surprise to see the gargantuan Scot dominate votes after another impressive campaign loaded with individual brilliance. Van der Merwe received 54% votes ahead of Irishman James Lowe (40%), who was nothing short of brilliant throughout and is unlucky to miss out on selection.

10 Finn Russell (Scotland): It would not be a fairytale selection for Johnny Sexton for our readers who opted for the maverick Scot, earning 46% of the votes. The Irishman managed 39% in his swansong Grand Slam win, but Russell’s attacking brilliance stole the show. France’s Romain Ntamack (12%) and Italian Paolo Garbisi (3%) did not really challenge the duo.

9 Antoine Dupont (France): Surprise surprise, the ever-popular Frenchman absolutely dominated the votes from scrum-half with a whopping 83% of the votes and rightly so. Dupont was excellent throughout, and he continues to lead the way in setting the bar for scrum-halves in the modern day. There is no questioning that the French skipper is simply the best in the world in his position.

8 Caelan Doris (Ireland): The Leinsterman was hands down one of the best players of the tournament, and our readers agreed as Doris received 69% of the votes. Even the impressive Frenchman Gregory Alldritt only received 21%, paling in comparison to the Irish number eight.

7 Josh van der Flier (Ireland): Another landslide victory in this vote as the reigning World Rugby Player of the Year won a ridiculous 77% of votes ahead of Italy’s Michele Lamaro (9%), France’s Francois Cros (8%) and Englishman Jack Willis (6%). Van der Flier is a classy operator who even showed off his lineout-throwing ability in a unique situation against Scotland.

6 Charles Ollivon (France): Blindside flank was a slightly closer battle, but the Frenchman still well and truly dominated the voting with an impressive 49% haul. Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony and Italian Seb Negri were the next closest with 20% and 26% respectively. Ollivon is a deserved selection as he underlined his world-class ability every time he took to the field.

5 James Ryan (Ireland): It certainly was a campaign of growth from the second-row who was temporarily handed the captain’s armband against Italy in Johnny Sexton’s absence. He took it with aplomb and was sensational throughout. He was streets ahead of any other player with a massive 72% of votes.

4 Thibaud Flament (France): The second-row was very impressive for France in all facets of the game, winning 66% of votes compared to the nearest who was Scot Richie Gray on 25%. Flament transcended his game during this year’s Six Nations and will be one to watch at a home World Cup later this year.

3 Finlay Bealham (Ireland): With star man Tadhg Furlong missing most of the tournament, the Irishman stood up oh so well and, in doing so, earned 62% of votes, far ahead of Italian Simone Ferrari, who only managed 18%. Bealham’s efforts in the front-row were central to Ireland’s success.

2 Dan Sheehan (Ireland): The hooker went a long way in putting his name forward as the best in the world in his position, and you agreed, with the Irishman taking 62% of votes. There are no arguments over the fact that Sheehan was simply far and above the most consistent performer.

1 Andrew Porter (Ireland): Finally completing an all-Irish front-row as the loosehead narrowly won the most votes, 43% to 37% ahead of Scot Pierre Schoeman. Porter’s selection is deserved as the Ireland front-row was crucial in their historic campaign, and the star will want to build on this form ahead of the World Cup.

READ MORE: Six Nations awards 2023: Plenty of praise for Ireland and France but not for Wales

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