Team of the Week - Six Nations
February 14, 2011
That looks familiar? England's Chris Ashton dives over to score during his side's rout of Italy at Twickenham © Getty Images
Chris Ashton Dan Cole Luke Fitzgerald Toby Flood Dylan Hartley James Haskell Cian Healy Jamie Heaslip Dan Lydiate Tom Palmer Julien Pierre Jamie Roberts Mike Tindall Shane Williams Ben Youngs
The latest round of Six Nations matches produced their usual mix of thrills and spills but which players did enough to make our Team of the Week?
15. Luke Fitzgerald (Ireland)
Not a vintage week for fullbacks, but the young Irishman looked lively at times against France in Dublin. He produced one notable line break and could have had an early try if he had timed his run off centre Gordon D'Arcy a little better. But he needs to work on the basics of kicking and fielding the high ball.
14. Chris Ashton (England)
The England winger's four-try haul propelled his side to victory over Italy and thanks to his brace against Wales he has now equalled the record of six tries in one Six Nations campaign that is currently held by countryman Will Greenwood and Wales' Shane Williams. The 23-year-old is on fire and is sure to make the record his own in the coming weeks.
13. Jamie Roberts (Wales)
Stung into action by criticism from coach Warren Gatland, the Wales centre rediscovered some form against the Scots. Looked hungry for work throughout and gave his side plenty of forward momentum with ball in hand and was only denied a try by a desperate tackle from Sean Lamont. His direct running was backed up with plenty of grit in defence.
12. Mike Tindall (England)
The England captain, shifted from the No.12 shirt he wore against Italy, gets the nod for some sterling work with ball in hand - that brought him a try - and without it. His running lines and tackle count kept the Italians busy while his leadership ensured England did not ease off on their lacklustre rivals.
11. Shane Williams (Wales)
The Welsh wing wizard grabbed two tries against the Scots to become Wales' all-time record try scorer in the tournament with 22 touchdowns. His scoring feat - a year after his dramatic score at the Millennium Stadium - means he has scored in the fixture for the last four years.
10. Toby Flood (England)
The England playmaker oozed confidence as he pulled the strings during his side's rout of the Italians. Orchestrated much of England's free-flowing rugby and landed six from six from the kicking tee. And was able to bow out after 55 minutes having put his side on course for a comfortable victory.
9. Ben Youngs (England)
Worked superbly with his half-back partner and club colleague to create havoc against a lacklustre Italy at Twickenham. Helped set an impressive tempo with three clean breaks whilst not shirking his duties in defence.
1. Cian Healy (Ireland)
The Irish loose-head earns selection on the back of an industrious display against France in Dublin. More than held his own against a formidable French front row getting a notable shove on Nicolas Mas. Gave Ireland plenty of momentum in the loose as well to see off his rivals although England debutant Alex Corbisiero warrant a mention.
2. Dylan Hartley (England)
The England hooker picked up where he left off against Wales with another excellent display against an Italian pack looking to leave their mark. Hit his man every time at the lineout and was often a key link man in the loose.
3. Dan Cole (England)
Cole claimed the tight-head honours against Italy at Twickenham - outplaying his club-mate Martin Castrogiovanni. Should have perhaps bagged a try when his work-rate propelled him into a scoring position but does not detract from his solid display at the scrum.
4. Julian Pierre (France)
The Clermont lock made his presence felt against the Irish in Dublin and provided a stable base at the lineout and in the scrum. Cropped up in the loose and also helped shackle an enthusiastic Irish outfit.
5. Tom Palmer (England)
Another assured display from the England second row who produced a lung-busting effort against Italy at Twickenham. A dominant presence in the set-piece, he helped heap woe on the Italians by stealing at least one of their lineouts and showed some nice touches in the loose.
6. Dan Lydiate (Wales)
The 23-year-old blindside produced an outstanding display to help Wales stop the rot against the Scots. Spearheaded a resolute defensive effort from Wales when down to 13-men and weighed in with countless key tackles and excellent cleaning out work at the breakdown.
The industrious England flanker gleefully skipped through a disorganised Italian defence on his way to an impressive 75m with ball in hand and grabbed a deserved try. Led his side with 10 tackles although blotted his copybook with an ill-advised attempt to put boot to ball.
8. Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)
The returning Irish star took a while to find his feet on the international stage once again but was soon exerting his usual influence with some key gains with ball in hand while racking up match-leading 13 tackles. Also popped up in the right place at the right time to cap his comeback with a try.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson