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Six Nations Team of the Championship: Ireland lead the way after title win

The Six Nations is now over, and Ireland have been crowned Champions for the second year in a row.

The Six Nations is now over, and Ireland have been crowned Champions for the second year in a row.

Andy Farrell’s men steamrollered through the opening three rounds, but a slight hiccup against an inspired England side cost them a second Grand Slam on the spin. They came back firing though and recorded yet another good win over Scotland to wrap up the title.

There was a slight doubt over Ireland this year, following their World Cup heartbreak after coming into it as tournament favourites; but they have clearly put it behind them to march to their fifth title in 10 years.

Whilst the headlines will be dominated by the Irish triumph, England’s late tournament resurgence, France’s return to the power game, Italy’s remarkable improvement, Scotland’s free-flowing attack and Wales’ first wooden spoon in 21 years also provide plenty of talking points.

There were also a number of players who stole the limelight; so with that in mind here is the Rugby Nause News Team of the Championship.

Six Nations Team of the Championship

15: Cam Winnett

England v Wales 6 Nations 10/02/2024. Cameron Winnett of Wales during the Six Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham, Richmond, United Kingdom on 10 February 2024. Richmond Twickenham London United Kingdom Editorial use only , Copyright: xSimonxKingx PSI-18996-0281

It was a baptism of fire for this young Welsh team, but fullback Cam Winnett has seen his stock rise this Championship. The young Cardiff back was outstanding in his maiden Six Nations, and stepped up to become a key player in the Welsh side.

14: Duhan van der Merwe

Rome, Italy 09.03.2024: Duhan van der Merwe Scotland, Louis LYNAGH italyin action during the Guinness Six Nations 2024 tournament match between Italy and Scotland at Stadio Olimpico on March 09, 2024 in Rome, Italy. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxITA Copyright: xMarcoxIacobucci/IPAxSportx/xipa-x/xx IPA_44159343 IPA_Agency_IPA44159343

It might not have been the ending Scotland would have wanted, but van der Merwe was again at the heartbeat of their attack. The powerful winger notched five tries in the Championship, ending joint top of the try scoring list, and he was overall very impressive-especially in their win over England.

13: Juan Ignacio Brex

Juan Ignacio Brex of Italy celebrates after scoring a try during the Six Nations rugby match between Italy and Scotland at Stadio Olimpico in Rome on March 9th, 2024. antoxbalda

The Italian resurgence was something to behold this year, and Brex was very much at the heart of it. The talented centre was brilliant for the Azzurri, and notably picked up two Man of the Match gongs for his troubles.

12: Bundee Aki

Bundee Aki of Ireland is tackled by Duhan van der Merwe and Huw Jones of Scotland Ireland v Scotland, Guinness Six Nations, Rugby, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland – 16 Mar 2024 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROUxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xPaulxGreenwood/Shutterstockx 14390068o

Every year Aki seems to get better and better. Arguably the Player of the Championship, the Connacht man was pivotal in getting his side over the gain line consistently and he also grabbed a few tries himself.

11: James Lowe

2024 Guinness Six Nations Championship Round 4, Twickenham, London, England 9/3/2024 England vs Ireland Irelands James Lowe James Lowe 9/3/2024 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxIRLxFRAxNZL Copyright: x INPHO/AndrewxFoskerx FOS53828

Yet again proved why he is regarded as one of the best wingers in the world. His kicking game took a lot of the pressure off Jack Crowley, and his work on both sides of the ball was so effective in steering Ireland to yet another title.

10: Jack Crowley

Jack Crowley of Ireland Ireland v Scotland, Guinness Six Nations, Rugby, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland – 16 Mar 2024 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROUxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xPaulxGreenwood/Shutterstockx 14390068cc

Jonny who? There was a lot of pressure thrust on Crowley ahead of the tournament, but he took it all in his stride and guided Ireland around the park beautifully in all games. He seamlessly fitted into the Irish attacking system, which undoubtedly helped get them the title.

9: Jamison Gibson-Park

RECORD DATE NOT STATED 16th March 2024 Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland: Six Nations International Rugby, Ireland versus Scotland Jamison Gibson-Park of Ireland makes a run and is tackled by Jack Dempsey of Scotland PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK ActionPlus12619090 PeterxFitzpatrick

Another fantastic Six Nations from Gibson-Park. The Leinster 9 was brilliant throughout the tournament, providing Ireland with consistent quick ball and a well orchestrated kicking game. He also combined well with new partner Crowley.

1: Andrew Porter

6 Nations: England v Ireland 9 March 2024, London – Rugby Union – Six Nations – England v Ireland – Andrew Porter of Ireland is tackled – Photo: Charlotte Wilson / Offside. London UK *** 6 Nationen England gegen Irland 9. März 2024, London Rugby Union Sechs Nationen England gegen Irland Andrew Porter von Irland wird angegriffen Foto Charlotte Wilson Abseits London UK PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xCharlottexWilsonx/xOffsidexOffside

Porter has always been physical, but it’s improvements in the scrum that get him onto our list. Ireland’s scrum hasn’t been a solid weapon for them in recent years, but this year it took on a life of it’s own, particularly against Wales, and most of this was down to the work of Porter.

2: Dan Sheehan

2024 Guinness Six Nations Championship Round 5, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 16/3/2024 Ireland vs Scotland Irelands Dan Sheehan scores their first try Dan Sheehan scores their first try 16/3/2024 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxIRLxFRAxNZL Copyright: x INPHO/BenxBradyx BB1_4859

Dan Sheehan was consistently brilliant for Ireland yet again this Six Nations. His abbrasive carrying in the wide channels was a huge part of his teams attack, and he also ended as joint top try scorer alongside Duhan van der Merwe.

3: Uini Atonio

Uini Atonio of France Wales v France, Rugby Union, Guinness Six Nations, The Principality Stadium, Cardiff, UK – 10 Mar 2024 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROUxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xAndrewxFosker/SecondsxLeft/Shutterstockx 14384058de

France didn’t deliver in every aspect of their game, but the scrum was a real high point for them. Uini Atonio’s prowess saw France dismantle their opponents in the scrum.

4: Tadhg Beirne

Tadhg Beirne of Ireland scores a try Ireland v Wales, Guinness Six Nations, Rugby, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland – 24 Feb 2024 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROUxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xPaulxGreenwood/Shutterstockx 14355180aj

Tadhg Beirne was incredibly consistent this Six Nations. He isn’t a headline grabbing player, but his work rate is so crucial to this Ireland team, and he yet again delivered for his country.

5: Maro Itoje

Maro Itoje of England France v England, Guinness Six Nations, Rugby, Groupama Stadium, Lyon, France – 16 Mar 2024 EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists outside the EU, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images 15 in extra time. No use to emulate moving images. No use in betting, games or PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROUxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xAndrewxFosker/Shutterstockx 14390081eh

Itoje seems to be capturing his best form for England again. He was a huge part of England’s set-piece, and his defensive work was also a big part of their late improvements.

6: Michele Lamaro

Michele Lamaro – Italy captain is ecstatic at the final whistle after Italy beat Scotland 31-29 in dramatic fashion. Italy v Scotland, Guinness Six Nations, Rugby, Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – 09 Mar 2024 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROUxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xDavidxGibson/Fotosport/Shutterstockx 14383268c

A one man tackling machine. Italy skipper Lamaro made plenty of work for himself in defence, leading the tackling stats with 103 across the Championship. His leadership was also vital in getting Italy over the line in their best ever Six Nations.

7: Tommy Reffell

RECORD DATE NOT STATED 10th March 2024 Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales: Six Nations International Rugby, Wales versus France Tommy Reffell of Wales is tackled by Gael Fickou of France PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK ActionPlus12617289 WelshxImages

Another bright spark in the dark year for Wales. His work at the breakdown was exceptional. The Leicester flanker finished top of the pile for defensive rucks and turnovers, and he proved a constant nuisance to his opposition.

8: Ben Earl

2024 Guinness Six Nations Championship Round 5, Groupama Stadium, Lyon, France 16/3/2024 France vs England Ben Earl of England hands off Leo Barre of France Ben Earl hands off Leo Barre 16/3/2024 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxIRLxFRAxNZL Copyright: x INPHO/DavexWinterx _WIN5901

He might have come under fire for his comments pre-tournament, but his displays throughout the Six Nations showed he is quickly emerging as one of the best in the world. Earl led the way for carries across the tournament, and also made the most meters out of the England squad. He is the perfect new-age number eight.

Honourable mentions:

Aaron Wainwright

The Wales number eight had a really solid Six Nations, but was just edged out by Ben Earl.

Tommaso Menoncello

The centres were a real strong point for Italy this year, but Menoncello was pipped to the post by his partner Brex. Probably the surprise package of the Six Nations though.