Team of the Week - Six Nations
February 28, 2011
Ireland's Ronan O'Gara celebrates with his Man of the Match medal following his side's victory over Scotland at Murrayfield © Getty Images
Martin Castrogiovanni Louis Deacon Ben Foden Dylan Hartley Cian Healy Sean Lamont Sean O'Brien Ronan O'Gara Tom Palmer Sergio Parisse Eoin Reddan Morgan Stoddart Mike Tindall Sam Warburton Shane Williams
England remain in pole position for the Six Nations title after their victory over France at Twickenham on Saturday, but how many of Martin Johnson's charges made our Team of the Week?
15. Ben Foden (England)
The England fullback was the beneficiary of a fired-up start to the second half against France at Twickenham and showed good strength to force his way over for what proved to be a crucial score. The try capped a lively display and saw him overshadow Saints team-mate Chris Ashton for once.
14. Morgan Stoddart (Wales)
The Welsh winger outshone birthday boy Shane Williams with a try against Italy in Rome and also came up with a try-saving tackle to deny flanker Alessandro Zanni what looked like a certain score.
13. Mike Tindall (England)
England's stand-in skipper continues to excel despite the added responsibility of the captaincy. Spearheaded his side's impressive physicality in a keenly-contested midfield and proved adept at breaking the gainline.
12. Sean Lamont (Scotland)
Justified his deployment in the Scottish midfield with another lively display against Ireland at Murrayfield. Racked up the metres with ball in hand and was a almost constant threat on the gainline but lacked support when it mattered most.
11. Shane Williams (Wales)
The Welsh speedster was unable to celebrate his 34th birthday with a try against Italy in Rome but was a key link man and used his pace and reputation to carve opportunities for others, having a hand in his side's second try.
10. Ronan O'Gara (Ireland)
The veteran Irish fly-half delivered a vintage display to help see off Scotland at Murrayfield and remind anyone daring to write him off that he remains a world-class stand-off. A kicking masterclass was supplemented with a crucial second-half try.
9. Eoin Reddan (Ireland)
The Leinster scrum-half stepped up to fill the void left by the injured Tomas O'Leary and duly helped his side capitalise on the good ball secured by Ireland's forwards. Grabbed one try and helped set up another to further his claims to the No.9 shirt on a permanent basis.
1. Cian Healy (Ireland)
We'll forgive the Irish prop for the part he played in the mess that was the scrum and instead focus on his work in the loose, which kept Scotland busy and left defenders in his wake.
2. Dylan Hartley (England)
The England hooker rose to the physical challenge of a formidable French pack and ensured his side never looked like buckling under the pressure. His industry in the loose is also a major plus for Martin Johnson's Grand Slam-chasing side.
3. Martin Castrogiovanni (Italy)
Castro was back to his power-packed best as part of a revitalised Italian performance against Wales in Rome. Aside from his exemplary work at the scrum, he was a threat with ball in hand and far from tackle shy too.
4. Louis Deacon (England)
Often over-looked by those dishing out praise to an in-form England, Deacon was a match for his Man of the Match-winning second-row partner. A towering presence in the pivotal battleground that was the lineout, he also helped cut France's adventure down at source.
5. Tom Palmer (England)
The England lock continued his recent rich vein of form to impress on his way to the Man of the Match honour at Twickenham. His lung-busting effort included a crucial charge down that led to a try for team-mate Foden.
6. Sean O'Brien (Ireland)
Two defence-splitting breaks were the highlights of another eye-catching display from the Irish blindside. The Leinster man tore into the Scottish ranks and helped secure much of the ball that allowed fly-half O'Gara to dictate proceedings.
7. Sam Warburton (Wales)
The increasingly-assured Welsh openside notched the first try of his international career against Italy in Rome thanks to an excellent supporting run and the adventure of Shane Williams, Lee Byrne and James Hook. Also managed to leave his mark at the lineout and on the tackle count.
8. Sergio Parisse (Italy)
The Italian talisman's consistency is astounding. The ever-influential No.8 was at the heart of everything good about his side's resurgence against Wales in Rome but somehow saw scrum-half Fabio Semenzato pip him to the Man of the Match honour.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September