Team of the Week - Six Nations
March 14, 2011
Sergio Parisse was again to the fore for Italy © Getty Images
England will head into the final weekend of the Six Nations in search of a Grand Slam, but did any of their players do enough to influence selection in our Team of the Week?
15. Chris Paterson (Scotland)
Andrea Masi wrote himself into the history books with Italy's try against France, but Paterson was fantastic at Twickenham. Despite carrying a knock he kicked his goals, carried well from deep and tackled manfully, including a try-saver on Ben Foden that defied belief.
14. Max Evans (Scotland)
Scored a brilliant solo try to keep Scotland in the hunt late on at Twickenham, where he went looking for the ball throughout and gave his side added cutting edge on a number of occasions.
13. Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland)
O'Driscoll scored early against Wales to draw level with Ian Smith as the all-time leading try-scorer in the history of the Five/Six Nations and remained a threat throughout, answering in part the critics who have lost sight of his worth.
12. Jamie Roberts (Wales)
Recovered from an early error to play a big role in Wales' defensive effort, racking up 10 tackles as well as some telling carries. Is building form week on week.
11. Mirco Bergamasco (Italy)
The Italy winger has had his detractors in recent weeks given his often suspect goalkicking but with a match-winning 17-point haul against France, including several tough shots on the angle, the Racing Metro back is likely to be in credit for some time to come.
10. James Hook (Wales)
Restored at fly-half, the Ospreys playmaker ran through a full set of the skills often thought to be beyond him against Ireland. His kicking was largely accurate and successfully put pressure on the visitors, while his goal-kicking was unerring as the sharp end of the game approached.
9. Mike Phillips (Wales)
Another player with a point to prove, Phillips marked his 50th cap for Wales with a hugely controversial try, but it was his improved kicking game and powerful runs that impressed as Ireland were outfought in the second-half.
1. Alex Corbisiero (England)
Replaced England's scrummaging king, Andrew Sheridan, and helped his side to dominate Scotland at the set-piece, where they won a number of penalties in a tight victory.
2. Matthew Rees (Wales)
The Welsh skipper also had a hand in the controversy at the Millennium Stadium but more than made up for it with another powerful carrying performance and a solid showing at the lineout, where Ireland would have hoped to dominate.
3. Martin Castrogiovanni (Italy)
Typically boisterous display from the Leicester prop, who is a world leader with ball in hand. He provides a vital platform for Italy to attack time and again and it was heartening to see his efforts rewarded against France.
4. Richie Gray (Scotland)
Another big game from the Glasgow lock at Twickenham, where he tore into England and carried his side across the gainline time and again. His work-rate puts most back-rowers to shame.
5. Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales)
A good shift from the Ospreys lock, who enjoyed a strong showing at the lineout and was superb at the restart, an area of worry for Wales after their win over Italy. Had the better of Paul O'Connell throughout.
6. James Haskell - (England)
Another strong display from the England flanker, who continues to impress not only with his work at the breakdown but also with his offloading game and speed across the ground.
7. Sam Warburton (Wales)
Somewhat inexplicably overlooked for the Man of the Match award, Warburton continued his rise as one of the most promising young players in Test rugby. Carried aggressively throughout and got through 16 tackles. A huge showing.
8. Sergio Parisse (Italy)
If any player deserved victory this weekend it was Parisse, who week on week continues to underline his status as one of the world's finest players. His reaction at the close was a reminder of how much he has given to Italy since his bow in 2002.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.