Three Irish players feature in our Six Nations Team of the Weekend
Andrew Trimble, Jack McGrath and CJ Stander make the selection.
Published 15/02/2016 | 10:13
Here is our combined XV after round two of the Six Nations featuring three Ireland players, four Welsh, three members of Eddie Jones' England side, two each from Scotland and France and a single Italian representative.
15 Maxime Medard
Provides far more attacking threat than the big boot of Scott Spedding and scored the only try in a game devoid of creativity. Solid defensively, Medard made 87 meters in 15 carries in an impressive outing in the 15 jersey.
14 George North
The Welsh winger scored what could prove to be the try of the tournament to prove he has the subtlety to go with his physically imposing game. Looks to be returning to the kind of form that made him an automatic pick for the 2013 Lions after a difficult 12 months.
13 Jonathan Joseph
The Bath centre showed how lethal he can be with ball in hand after a solid defensive showing in Murrayfield last time out. With a clamour for Elliot Daly to be included in the team, a most timely hat-trick.
12 Jamie Roberts
Roberts has been outstanding in both games for Wales and was fully deserving of his try in a closely-fought encounter with the Scots. Few better at getting over the gainline than the powerful centre.
11 Andrew Trimble
Anthony Watson showed well for England, as did Tommy Seymour for the Scots, but in a weekend where wingers were demonstrating their defensive capabilities, the Ulster back was the pick of the bunch. Stopped a certain try when Plisson broke the Irish line and tried to find Boneval and was a safe pair of hands all day in the defeat.
10 Dan Biggar
Shrugged off doubts over his fitness after crying off against Ireland and put in yet another highly competent display. Played a key role in both tries and very much at home in Test rugby.
9 Ben Youngs
The best two nines were both in England shirts and while Danny Care did his credentials no harm with a fine performance off the bench, Youngs remains the man in possession. Gareth Davies had his moments to against the Scots.
1 Jack McGrath
While there were serious fears for the Irish scrum at the Stade de France, it wasn't until the last 20 minutes – owing to questionable French selection admittedly – where they began to come unstuck.
McGrath played the whole 80 minutes and dominated France’s 24-stone tighthead Uini Atonio while his 12 tackles, to add to last week’s 16, illustrates the work that he is getting through around the park.
2 Guilhem Guirado
The French captain grew into the contest, and was even re-introduced with seven minutes to go as the French scrum began to dominate. Accurate with his throws, a real leader in the pack.
3 WP Nel
The tighthead continues to go from strength to strength. Not known for his ability in the loose - noticeable with a couple of knock-ons - his scrummaging ability had Wales in trouble on a number of occasions and won a number of key penalties during the defeat the Millennium Stadium. Honourable mention for Samson Lee.
4 George Biagi
The giant Italian lock put in a huge shift as the Azzurri went down to a championship-chasing England. A strong lineout operator, he made 14 tackles and covered a huge amount of ground.
5 George Kruis
Perhaps still not a household name outside of England, Kruis has quietly become Eddie Jones's first-choice lock, leaving Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes to fight for a spot alongside him. Managed four turnovers against the Italians.
6 CJ Stander
Similar to Jamie Roberts, incredible ability to get over the gainline. Had one big turnover in the first half and looked to run at the home defence at every opportunity. John Barclay ran the South-African born flanker very close.
7 John Hardie
The Scottish openside added to his growing reputation with another brilliant performance on Saturday. He was a constant menace at the breakdown and outshone Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric to win a number of turnovers.
8 Toby Faletau
Sergio Parisse was again a starring figure for Italy, but Faletau, following on from his try-scoring exploits in Dublin, was the outstanding number 8 this weekend. A model of consistency that allows team-mates to shine.