Wednesday 12 December 2018

Six Irish players make English newspaper's list of top 20 players in the Six Nations - but none in the top two

25 February 2017; Conor Murray, right, and Jonathan Sexton of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship game between Ireland and France at the Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
25 February 2017; Conor Murray, right, and Jonathan Sexton of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship game between Ireland and France at the Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The 2018 Six Nations is almost upon us and Joe Schmidt's Ireland side enter the competition in an enviable position.

Although still marginally behind England in the betting, the Irish team get their campaign underway in France tomorrow off the back of some very strong club form, and have almost a full list of players to pick from.

Not only that, but they also have a number of players who are world leaders in their positions, which is illustrated by The Telegraph's list of the 20 best player in the Six Nations.

Ireland have six players included in the ranking - three backs and three forwards - including four in the top ten.

CJ Stander (17), Peter O'Mahony (13) and Tadhg Furlong (4) make the cut from the Irish pack, while Keith Earls (7), Johnny Sexton (5) and Conor Murray (3) get the nod from the backline.

However, English duo Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje comprise the top two, in first and second respectively.

Here is the top ten:

10. Anthony Watson (England)

9. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

8. Mako Vunipola (England)

7. Keith Earls (Ireland)

6. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

5. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)

4. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

3. Conor Murray (Ireland)

2. Maro Itoje (England)

1. Owen Farrell (England)

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