Find out who makes the cut after round one in 2024
It is time to pick our Six Nations Team of the Round after the dust has settled on the first round of the 2024 championship.
There were three away wins as Andy Farrell’s Ireland claimed a stunning win in Marseille over France while England edged Italy in Rome and Scotland withstood a Wales fightback to win in Cardiff for the first time in 22 years.
Here are our selections for the Six Nations Team of the Round.
Six Nations Team of the Round – The Backs
15. Hugo Keenan – Ireland
A characteristically consistent performance by the Ireland and Leinster full-back. Strong kicking and an even stronger tackle on Damian Penaud set the tone perfectly for the men in green.
14. Tommy Freeman – England
After setting up Elliot Daly’s try via a neat run and offload, the Northampton wing provided a reliable threat against Italy’s sturdy defence. He took his opportunity well, even if spectators saw more of the 22-year-old than they desired during a sensational carry in the first 40.
13. Robbie Henshaw – Ireland
Competency was key for Henshaw on his return to the side. The outside-centre showed his experience in both attack and defence, gaining 40 metres during the clash with France.
12. Bundee Aki – Ireland
Aki seamlessly transferred his great form from the World Cup with a high-quality performance in what may prove to be Ireland’s toughest test in this year’s tournament. The 33-year-old beat two defenders over nine carries and was a leading light in a bright team performance.
11. Duhan van der Merwe – Scotland
Edinburgh wing van der Merwe rubbished his domestic try-scoring drought with a sharp double against Wales. The 28-year-old displayed his natural quality by running great lines and would have enjoyed the perfect night if it wasn’t for the hosts’ rampant second-half revival.
10. Jack Crowley – Ireland
Big games call for big performances, and fly-half Crowley produced just that on Friday. Providing 13 points towards Ireland’s highest ever score on French soil, the 24-year-old took a significant step towards filling Johnny Sexton’s boots.
9. Jamison Gibson-Park – Ireland
Scrum half Gibson-Park masterfully dictated the tempo of the game at the Stade Velodrome. A 17th minute try – the first of the tournament – sent Ireland on their way to a massive victory.
Six Nations Team of the Round – The Forwards
1. Pierre Schoeman – Scotland
A great individual try in Scotland’s lightning first half capped a notable performance by Schoeman. The 29-year-old continued this rich vein of form with strong carries throughout.
2. Jamie George – England
Regardless of the result, this was always going to be a game to remember for England’s new captain. The Saracens hooker did well to help his side remain calm after a tetchy start and led the tackling charts with ten overall.
3. Will Stuart – England
Stuart did what was needed to anchor the England scrum and looked good with several threatening carries. Should build on this momentum.
4. Tadhg Beirne – Ireland
Ireland lock Beirne made a team-high of 12 carries for his side and was involved in a key partnership with second-row partner Joe McCarthy. His seven passes were the most made by a forward during the game.
5. Joe McCarthy – Ireland
The Leinster lock established himself as ‘the best of the best’ in Marseille as he helped neutralise a tough France side. At 22-years-old, a Player of the Match display under pressure indicates he is more than ready for the game’s biggest stages.
6. Ethan Roots – England
Roots produced a promising Test debut and looks set to become a fixture at this level. The Exeter Chiefs flanker’s ball carrying proved essential in what was a rocky start for England. Does the grunt work, smashing rucks and carrying in heavy traffic.
7. Tommy Reffell – Wales
Playing a key role in Wales’ remarkable revival, the Leicester Tigers flanker was a solitary bright spark in the first half for the hosts. He made twenty metres and eight tackles while also landing a couple of trademark jackal turnovers. Would have been in the Player of the Match conversatio as the 24-year-old more than did his bit.
8. Aaron Wainwright – Wales
Although ultimately on the losing side at Principality Stadium, Wainwright’s formidable second-half performance meant he left the field with the official Player of the Match award. By the full-time whistle, the Dragons No.8 had produced one try, 12 tackles, and gained 65 metres. Not bad!