The final week has come and gone with plenty of strong performances to comb over. No room for Scots this time, but there is one Italian and a few Frenchmen.
1 – Vincent Debaty (France) Scored an unlikely try after supporting a length-of-the-field breakout and put himself about as best as he could. His feat of playing 20 minutes with only one working shoulder puts him in the side by itself.
2 – Ken Owens (Wales) Did more in 20-odd minutes than any other hooker managed in an entire match. Not a great week, or tournament, for blokes in the no2 jersey.
3 – Martín Castrogiovanni (Italy) One of very few of his countrymen who escaped with any credit. Gave Rob Evans a rough time in the scrum and was resolute on the post defense.
4 – Alun Wyn Jones (Wales) Another huge effort from the future hall-of-famer. A task master in the tight, beacon in the lineout, and ruthlessly efficient in the rucks.
5 – Paul O’Connell (Ireland) As good as ever in his final Six Nations outing. Dominant in the lineout, immense around the pitch, and rewarded with a try for his efforts.
6 – Peter O’Mahony (Ireland) Left out of the lineout stakes this week but omnipresent everywhere else. Tackled, carried, and scrapped his side to their defining victory.
7 – Sean O’Brien (Ireland) Almost back to his very best. Two tries and a return to the rampaging form that the rugby world has been missing for months.
8 – Billy Vunipola (England) Tough competition from Jamie Heaslip, but the big man takes the plaudits for another impactful outing. Made the hard yards, scored a try (if dubious), and shouldered a huge amount of tackles.
9 – Ben Youngs (England) Made up for a couple first half errors with 2 tries and a hand in several others. A constant threat on the fringes, his energy sparked the English attack.
10 – George Ford (England) 25 points in his most accomplished international performance to date. Took complete command of the game with both his kicking and passing.
11 – Noa Nakaitaci (France) Won’t want to see the replay of his near non-try, but the rest was impressive. Caused huge problems every time he touched the ball.
12 – Maxime Mermoz (France) Nimble feet and better defense get him in ahead of Robbie Henshaw. Scored a try and can’t be faulted for his side’s shortcomings.
13 – Jonathan Joseph (England) Wrapped up his tournament with a bow, another outstanding match on both sides of the ball. It seems strange that he didn’t score a try.
14 – Tommy Bowe (Ireland) Constantly moving forward and repeatedly offered himself as an option once again. A solid though imperfect performance.
15 – Mike Brown (England) Impervious in defense and imperial in the air. Ran brilliantly and barely put a foot wrong. Seems to thrive in big game conditions.