Six Nations: Two Cents Rugby picks his top five players of Round Three

Italy number eight Lorenzo Cannone Credit: Alamy
Italy number eight Lorenzo Cannone Credit: Alamy

With the third week of the Six Nations in the bag, Two Cents Rugby picks his five standout players of the round as Ireland kept their unbeaten run going.

In no particular order, the YouTube star makes a selection of two forwards and three backs so without further ado, here they are. Leave your comments below.

Two Cents Rugby’s top five players of Six Nations, Round Three

Lorenzo Cannone (Italy)

It’s amazing how well Cannone has come along since his Test debut last year. He’s only 22 years old but he’s playing like a real veteran.

Against what was a pretty outstanding and in-form Irish back-row, Cannone still managed to be the standout performer. His dynamic carrying game was on display when he clocked up a massive 63 metres – more than Jack Conan and Caelan Doris combined (more than all the starting Italian forwards too for that matter). He busted seven tackles which made him the top forward for the game and indeed the week overall.

Not just in attack though, his 15 from 15 tackles was the best in the game and he even won a lineout to top things off. He would have definitely been in the Player of the Match conversation if he’d been in the winning side.

Gaël Fickou (France)

Week after week Fickou continues to play world class rugby. Named Player of the Match before bagging France’s bonus-point try at the death with a powerful run, he was excellent.

Prior to that moment of magic, he continued to be constantly involved in France’s attack and defence. His 15 from 15 tackles was the most of any back in the game and behind only England’s Owen Farrell for tackles made by a back this week.

When watching him it does feel like he is everywhere all at once and when you see he made 11 passes it starts to make sense. Fickou will be a key man for France’s Rugby World Cup campaign if he can maintain this kind of form.

Huw Jones (Scotland)

Not the greatest start for the Scots against France as they went behind early, but Jones had a key role in Scotland’s comeback. He scored Scotland’s first try after running a great line for Finn Russell’s inside ball and grabbed a second when linking up once again with clubmate Sione Tuipulotu.

It wasn’t just finishing off tries though as Jones genuinely looked one of the most dangerous players with ball in hand. This is perhaps best highlighted by his six defenders beaten, the most of any midfielder this week.

Kyle Sinckler (England)

A lot of the attention in the English front-row goes to Ellis Genge, who is constantly making big carries, but this week Sinckler grabbed a bit of that attention for himself.

He scrummaged well for 65 minutes which is his core role but also continued his solid defensive work with another big tackling shift, 12 from 13 this week which was the same as he managed against Italy in Round Two.

With ball in hand he clocked up seven carries and capped things off with a nice close-range try. Encouraging news for England given how much Steve Borthwick seems to be focusing on getting the forward play right to have a shift like this.

Hugo Keenan (Ireland)

Keenan is getting to that level of consistency where seeing him put in a good performance doesn’t stand out that much, because we’re so used to seeing it. That being said credit where it’s due, the full-back had another great game.

With the Italian forwards fronting up it fell to the backs to score most of Ireland’s tries and it’s really no surprise that Keenan bagged one of them.

It was another try where he runs a hard support line and backs himself to beat the covering defence, which he made look easy. He was also secure under the high balls and made four from five tackles. It’s no wonder virtually nobody else gets a chance in the 15 jersey under Andy Farrell.

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