Wales quartet lead chase for Player of Championship
March 18, 2013
Wales' Leigh Halfpenny is one of 15 players shortlisted for the Six Nations Player of the Championship honour © PA Photos
Mathieu Bastareaud Dan Biggar Owen Farrell Leigh Halfpenny Stuart Hogg Adam Jones Nicolas Mas Andrea Masi Conor Murray Brian O'Driscoll Sergio Parisse Mike Phillips Louis Picamoles Chris Robshaw Alessandro Zanni
Wales' Leigh Halfpenny, Mike Phillips, Dan Biggar and Adam Jones could all secure a memorable Six Nations win double having been shortlisted for the Player of the Championship award.
All four played a pivotal role in Wales' latest title triumph - that was sealed with a stunning 30-3 victory over England on Saturday - but face stiff competition from the 11 other players vying for the honour that will be decided by an online vote.
Six Nations runners-up England are represented by captain Chris Robshaw and fly-half Owen Farrell but they are outnumbered by Italy who provide three of the contenders in No.8 Sergio Parrise, fullback and 2011 Player of the Championship Andrea Masi and flanker Alessandro Zanni.
Wooden spoon winners France also provide three players in the form of No.9 Louis Picamoles, centre Mathieu Bastareaud and prop Nicolas Mas while Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll and scrum-half Conor Murray also get the nod. Completing the list is the only Scotland representative - fullback Stuart Hogg.
Organisers claim the shortlist includes the best players according to performance and fan opinion with tournament sponsors RBS and their technology partner Accenture having worked together to create an algorithm which uses match stats and social media to rate players. Click here to vote for your Player of the Championship.
RBS 6 Nations Player of the Championship shortlist:
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape