Six Nations XV’s (Good and Bad!)

23 03 2010

Since everyone else is doing it – we thought we would too!

  1. Thomas Domingo (France)
  2. William Servat (France)
  3. Nicholas Mas (France)
  4. Alistair Kellock (Scotland)
  5. Lionel Nallet (France)
  6. Stephen Ferris (Ireland)
  7. David Wallace (Ireland)
  8. Johnnie Beattie (Scotland)
  9. Morgan Parra (France)
  10. Francois Trinh-Duc (France)
  11. Keith Earls (Ireland)
  12. Yannick Jauzion (France)
  13. James Hook (Wales)
  14. Tommy Bowe (Ireland)
  15. Clement Poitrenaud (France)

The split is as follows: 8 Frenchman, 4 Irish, 2 Scottish, 1 Welsh

We started this task thinking that it would be easy to pick a team yet we were stuck in a number of positions for some time. The front row picked itself with only Euan Murray coming close to consideration here. Nallet was an easy pick although the other second row spot gave us food for thought, in the end we plumped for Kellock as he put in some genuinely dominant performances, particularly in the last game against Ireland. Of all the decisions to make the back row was at once both the hardest and the easiest. Harinordoquy, Barclay, Heaslip and Dusatoir can all feel hard done by not to be in the side although we feel that the 3 selected have just edged them over the championship.

Moving to the half backs, the French pairing were givens in our eyes. The only (and hugely unlikely challenge) coming from Scotland’s Dan Parks for his performances in adversity. Jauzion, Bowe and Poitrenaud pick themselves but the 11 and 13 shirts gave us serious pause of thought. O’Driscoll is perhaps the obvious choice with Bastereaud as a possible alternative although we have chosen Hook for some coruscating performances throughout the 6 Nations. He is not without flaw in this position and certainly not the finished article, yet he is a game breaker and can be relied upon to do the unexpected. In the 11 shirt we have, after much deliberation, gone for Earls who we feel has really come through after his Lions nightmare of last Summer. Many pundits have chosen Williams from Wales but we feel that his best days are gone and he provides the occasional bright flash, but not too much more.

Lining up against this all star team we have a side we can safely say, with Steve Borthwick as captain, would struggle against an Under 9’s girls team….

  1. John Hayes (Ireland)
  2. Rory Best (Ireland)
  3. Cian Healey (Ireland)
  4. Steve Borthwick (England)
  5. Louis Deacon (England)
  6. Ryan Jones (Wales)
  7. Joe Worsley (England)
  8. Nick Easter (England)
  9. Dwayne Peel (Wales)
  10. Jonny Wilkinson (England)
  11. Ugo Monye (England)
  12. Riki Flutey (England)
  13. Matthew Tait (England)
  14. Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
  15. Delon Armitage (England)

Being totally serious for a second, players such as Monye, Halfpenny, Peel and Best would probably be right in feeling aggrieved as they weren’t awful but simply not quite at their usual best. On the other hand the Irish props and English second row and centres have no such excuse…..

The Italians are notable by their absence. This though is more a reflection on their mediocrity and therefore lack of qualification for the Star XV as much as the fact they have less far to fall and so qualify for the poor XV.

Thoughts  anyone?

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3 responses

24 03 2010
nursedude

Hooker, it’s hard to argue with your picks for your favorite XV. The one things that strikes me is that the entire front row, fly and scrum halfs were all French. I think that if you get great play at those positions, you are going to win a lot of games. When was the last time a French front row has played so well over the course of a six Nations? Once upon a time that seemed like the achilles heel in the French game. Parra and Trinh-duc both played well. (although Trinh-Duc’s drop goal against England might have been the ugliest drop goal to actually make it over the crossbar)

24 03 2010
nursedude

PS- Beattie really impressed the hell out of me in this tournament with his play and take no prisoners style of running the ball.

24 03 2010
Bradders

Thanks for commenting nursedude. I will put a link to your site the blogroll. I was very impressed by the entire scots back row actually, not just Beattie although he was definitely the pick of the bunch. Agreed on all your points! Cheers.

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