Wednesday 18 September 2019

The best starting XV from the players taking part in this year’s Six Nations

Jonny Sexton, Chris Robshaw, Wesley Fofana and Sergio Parisse make the lineup
Jonny Sexton, Chris Robshaw, Wesley Fofana and Sergio Parisse make the lineup

Cormac Byrne

Over the next two months we are going to be spoiled by the best rugby players from the Northern Hemisphere but who are the best players in each position? We've had a go at naming them.

15. Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)

Mike Brown and Rob Kearney would feel justifiably aggrieved but Halfpenny's aerial prowess is strong and his place-kicking is the best in the world.

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Wales player Leigh Halfpenny lands an early penalty during the Autumn international match between Wales and South Africa

14. George North (Wales)

Rivals Israel Folau as one of the world's most dangerous player's with ball-in-hand. Lightning speed.

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George North
 

13. Mathieu Bastareaud (France)

The Toulon juggernaut is a monstrous presence by anyone's estimation. Built like a prop but moves like a wing. He lacks the subtlety to be one of the game's greats.

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Toulon's centre Mathieu Bastareaud scores a try during the French Top 14 rugby union match between Toulon and La Rochelle. Photo credit: FRANCK PENNANT/AFP/Getty Images
 

12. Wesley Fofana (France)

As dangerous a broken field runner that exists right now. Steps beautifully off both feet and has a knack for sniffing out any chance for a try.

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France's Wesley Fofana jumps to score a try against Italy
 

11. Simon Zebo (Ireland)

The Corkman can do anything. Zebo puts no limitations on his capabilities and showed at the weekend why he is a really potent finisher.

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Simon Zebo, Ireland, skips past the tackle of Nick Phipps, Australia, to score his side's first try off the game
 

10. Jonny Sexton (Ireland)

The Racing Metro flyhalf will have a huge say in this tournament despite missing the game in Rome. He is the fulcrum of the Irish team and central to our chances.

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Jonathan Sexton, Ireland. Guinness Series, Ireland v Australia. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.

9. Conor Murray (Ireland)

His availability is crucial for Joe Schmidt. With Reddan also a doubt with a knee injury, Isaac Boss experiencing indifferent form and Kieran Marmion lacking experience, Ireland need the northern hemisphere's form number 9 fit.

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Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton will hold the key for Ireland against Wales today
 

8. Sergio Parisse (Italy)

Jamie Heaslip and Billy Vunipola are undoubtedly world class but Sergio Parisse is one of the best forwards of the last 20 years. It would be a sin to omit him.

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Sergio Parisse of Italy crosses the try line as Leigh Halfpenny of Wales challenges

7. Chris Robshaw (England)

He divides opinion in England but there is no doubting his sheer physicality at the breakdown and his number of turnovers is impressive.

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Harlequins Chris Robshaw

6. Thierry Dusatoir (France)

The France captain is one of the greatest competitors in the game. Completely selfless in defence and his tackle count often beggars belief.

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French captain Thierry Dusatoir
 

5. Paul O'Connell (Ireland)

In 16 months time, this man will be retired and the game will have suffered a huge loss, not just Munster and Ireland.

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'At 35 years of age with a chassis that even a dodgy second-hand car salesman wouldn't try to sell you, O'Connell's sense of purpose defies reason'. Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
 

4. Courtney Lawes (England)

Will miss the start of England's campaign but will certainly play a big role on his return. He is the first man offering himself in defence and is a brilliant lineout operator.

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Courtney Lawes

3. Samson Lee (Wales)

His presence has effectively ended the international career of Adam Jones. Made a big impression in the November internationals and will be known to most rugby fans by the end of this tournament.

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Ulster's Luke Marshall is tackled by Samson Lee of the Scarlets during their European Rugby Champions Cup clash at Parc Y Scarlets. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
 

2. Dylan Hartley (England)

A very controversial selection but when he puts away his elbow, shuts his mouth and keeps his hands for the ball, Hartley is a top class hooker and a great lineout thrower.

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Northampton's Dylan Hartley will be available for England’s Six Nations campaign after receiving only a three-week ban for his red card for elbowing Leicester centre Matt Smith

1. Cian Healy (Ireland)

Finds himself under pressure from Leinster team mate Jack McGrath in the Ireland setup but is a feared opponent.

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Cian Healy, Ireland, breaks through the challenge of Richie McCaw, New Zealand.

I'm sure you don't agree with all the selections. Let us know your opinion and give us your best XV in the comments section below

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