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Six Nations Round Three Team of the Week: Irish dominate selection as Grand Slam hunt continues

Round three of the Six Nations is now in the rear view mirror, and it certainly lived up to expectation.

Round three of the Six Nations is now in the rear view mirror, and it certainly lived up to expectation.

The weekend kicked off in Dublin, as Ireland took on Wales. Andy Farrell’s side couldn’t quite reach their usual brilliance against Wales they still walked away with a comfortable 31-7 win.

This set a high bar for the rest of the weekend, but Scotland vs England certainly matched the drama in Dublin, as Scotland retained the Calcutta Cup in solid fashion, walking away 30-21 winners against their oldest rival.

If this wasn’t enough, the final game of the weekend stole the show. France vs Italy was the ultimate game of two halves, with Fabien Galthie’s side dominating the first half, then completely capitulating in the second half and allowing Italy to nearly produce the shock of the tournament. The width of the post was all that separated the Azzurri from their first Six Nations win since 2022, but the match ultimately ended in a draw.

But which players stood out this weekend? Here is our Six Nations Team of the Week from round three:

15 Ciaran Frawley

Frawley had a very solid showing for Ireland on his first start, and this has earned him a spot in our team of the week. He took his try brilliantly, and was a constant threat in the back-field.

14 Tommaso Menoncello

PEATO MAUVAKA 2 – France and Tommaso Menoncello 14 – Italy during the 6 Nations match between France and Italy at Stade Pierre Mauroy on february 25, 2024 in Lille, France. Photo by federico pestellini / panoramic – RUGBY : France vs Italie – 6 Nations – 25/02/2024 FedericoPestellini/Panoramic PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxFRAxBEL

The Italian winger was sensational against France, and was deservedly named Man of the Match. He was influential in the Italians fightback, and proved why he one of the brightest stars in World Rugby.

13 Huw Jones

Scotland v England Guinness Six Nations 24/02/2024. George Furbank and Tommy Freeman of England combine to tackle Huw Jones of Scotland during the Guinness Six Nations match between Scotland and England at Scottish Gas Murrayfield, Edinburgh, United Kingdom on 24 February 2024. Edinburgh Scottish Gas Murrayfield Lothian United Kingdom Editorial use only , Copyright: xMalcolmxMackenziex PSI-19093-0083

His abrasive and powerful carrying unpicked the England blitz defence, and ultimately saw Scotland to victory. His break set-up Duhan van der Merwe’s first try, but he played a huge part in Scotland retaining the Calcutta Cup

12 Bundee Aki

Bundee Aki of Ireland Ireland v Wales, Guinness Six Nations, Rugby, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland – 24 Feb 2024 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROUxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xPaulxGreenwood/Shutterstockx 14355180gv

Aki was again sensational against Wales. The punch he provides the Irish backline is so crucial to the way they play, and he was again vital in bashing down the Wales defence. He is also finding a nice partnership with Jack Crowley.

11 Duhan van der Merwe

Duhan van der Merwe – Scotland winger dives in at the corner for his second try of the match. Scotland v England, Guinness Six Nations, Rugby, Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, UK – 24 Feb 2024 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROUxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xDavidxGibson/Fotosport/Shutterstockx 14363906ag

England’s bogeyman strikes again. Duhan van der Merwe grabbed a sensational hat-trick this weekend, including a wonderful solo effort for his second, which steered his side to victory. A superb performance yet again from the Edinburgh winger.

10 Finn Russell

He is known for being a maverick, but his calm and composed performance this week was brilliant in unpicking the English defence. He was able to find space across the park, and get Scotland on the front foot. His goal kicking has also improved massively this tournament and this came in handy on Saturday, as he scored 15 points from the tee.

9 Jamison Gibson-Park

The Leinster scrum-half is incredibly important, but a somehow overlooked, part of the Ireland attack. His constant desire to play with quick ball is vital to the way Ireland play, and this was again seen on Saturday. His kicking game was also fantastic.

1 Andrew Porter

Ireland have come on massively at scrum-time this Six Nations, and Andrew Porter was at the heart of their dominance over Wales in the tight. The loose head had the Welsh pack on toast in the scrum and this was a huge reason Ireland won.

2 Dan Sheehan

2024 Guinness Six Nations Championship Round 3, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 24/2/2024 Ireland vs Wales Irelands Dan Sheehan with Josh Adams of Wales Dan Sheehan with Josh Adams 24/2/2024 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxIRLxFRAxNZL Copyright: x INPHO/DanxSheridanx 130A5713

Another Irish front-rower, however Sheehan was brilliant across the park too. He was often deployed in the wide channels, and his barnstorming carrying earned Ireland consistent front-foot ball.

3 Simone Ferrari

France dominated the opening stages against Italy, but Ferrari’s introduction swung the balance of the scrum towards the Azzurri, which helped give them a foothold back into the game in the second half.

4 Tadhg Berne

2024 Guinness Six Nations Championship Round 3, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 24/2/2024 Ireland vs Wales Irelands Tadhg Beirne scores a late try Tadhg Beirne scores a late try 24/2/2024 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxIRLxFRAxNZL Copyright: x INPHO/DanxSheridanx AJ5I6958

He may have been sent to the naughty step, but Tadhg Berne was excellent on Saturday. He got through a lot of work on both sides of the ball, and took his try well to earn his side that all important bonus point.

5 Joe McCarthy

The second-row is quickly becoming an area of strength for Ireland this Championship. McCarthy was again fantastic against Wales, and again made plenty of work for himself across the pitch

6 Charles Ollivon

Charles Ollivon 7 – France and Martin Page Relo 9 – Italy during the 6 Nations match between France and Italy at Stade Pierre Mauroy on february 25, 2024 in Lille, France. Photo by federico pestellini / panoramic – RUGBY : France vs Italie – 6 Nations – 25/02/2024 FedericoPestellini/Panoramic PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxFRAxBEL

The French flanker is yet again proving why he is one of the best back-rowers in the world. He was great in all aspects of his game on Saturday, and notched a try for his efforts.

7 Michelle Lamaro

The Italian skipper’s went toe-to-toe with the imposing French pack and lived to tell the tale. His defensive work was vital in stopping the onslaught.

8 Aaron Wainwright

Aaron Wainwright of Wales and Ciaran Frawley of Ireland Ireland v Wales, Guinness Six Nations, Rugby, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland – 24 Feb 2024 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROUxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xPaulxGreenwood/Shutterstockx 14355180fy

Yet another brilliant display from the number eight. Wainwright was so effective for Wales ball-in-hand, and he gave his team consistent front foot ball. His efforts are rapidly putting him in contention for Player of the Championship.