Scrum Recap: Six Nations Team of the Tournament 2020

After this weekends final wave of fixtures brought another Six Nations to an end, it's now time for us to reflect on what has been an entertaining, although slightly frustrating, tournament. Nine months on from where this all began, it's been interesting viewing, watching how each team would react to their countries guidelines and restrictions.


Nonetheless, there have been some standout, stellar performances by newcomers, old-heads and players in their peak so join us as we list off our Six Nations Team of the Tournament 2020!



15. Anthony Bouthier (France)


It's been a great year to be a Rugby-loving Frenchman; this new-look side looks far better structured, more pragmatic and focused than years gone by, defeating the purpose for the old adages that bogged them down in the past. It's been an even better year for breakthrough full back Anthony Bouthier who has been a pillar of precision at the back of the French side. At 28 years old, he is just reaching his peak performance and that showed in his huge defensive contributions, impressive kicking game and consistency under the high ball. Although not as decisive in attack as others on this list, his attacking flair did prove quite handy in key set-pieces that swung games in France's favour.



14. Josh Adams (Wales)


It's not been a great Six Nations for Wales but there has been a lot of unjust criticism leveraged at the team when the circumstances of coming off of the lengthiest managerial era in the tournament was always going to effect them drastically. Adams however, as usual, has been a shining light for the men in red. A tenacious work ethic, a knack for finishing difficult opportunities and blistering speed in the open, Adams scored three tries in a dysfunctional attacking side.


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13. Virimi Vakatawa (France)


Every time the 28 year old had the ball in his hands, you felt like something would happen. As usual, the French favourite showcased his agility, physical edge and flair with offloads and handoffs a-plenty. One of the easiest picks on this list.



12. Bundee Aki (Ireland)


Another pretty easy decision for this list, Aki has had yet another stellar Six Nations tournament. Safe, consistent and level-headed, we often forget about his world-class defensive ability and decisive ball-carrying ability. Didn't put a foot wrong for this Irish team and Farrell must feel lucky to have him!


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11. Jonny May (England)


With many breakthrough stars scoring for fun in the Premiership this season, May has definitely had his game scrutinised by fans and pundits alike. Even with that added pressure, we have to start talking about May as one of Englands all-time best finishers. Whilst England were on the backfoot in the loss against France, May really pulled the team back together, scoring two tries in the process and flattering the eventual tournament winners in their first fixture.


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10. Romain Ntamack (France) *Player of the Tournament*


Our Player of the Tournament has to be the young Fly Half from Toulouse. Perhaps the best Fly Half we've seen don the blue jersey in over a decade, nothing seemed to faze or even make life uncomfortable for him. Savvy in Defence, elusive in attack, precise place kicking and clever kicking out of hand, he drove the French machine forward; the worrying thing from a supporters point of view, is that France looked glaringly worse with him off of the pitch. A future Player of the Year nominee no doubt.


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9. Antoine Dupont (France)


Another Frenchman who came close to our Player of the Tournament award was the young Scrum Half who was comfortably better than his opposite number in every game. A real leader behind the pack with great feet, a strong box kick and electrifying acceleration, Dupont kept defences guessing until the final whistle. World-class in his position and another future Player of the Year nominee.


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1. Rory Sutherland (Scotland)


It's been a rogue tournament for the Scots this year with real improvements across the board. The biggest improvement has to be in the solid set-piece they've now introduced into their game. Sutherland has laid the foundations for this progression in the Scottish game, being a consistent performer in the scrums and a handful around the fringes. His work rate alone could make him a standout favourite for British and Irish Lions inclusion; reminds me a lot of when Corbisiero was at his peak.



2. Jamie George (England)


A real stalwart at the base of a hugely dominant pack this Six Nations, George yet again showed his all-round Rugby class with consistent performances in every fixture. With Cowan-Dickie pushing for a starting spot, it's getting harder and harder to displace George. Work ethic has been a common factor throughout this list and no-one encapsulates that more than George.



3. Kyle Sinckler (England)


Fagerson did drive close on this one, but we couldn't look pass the Bristol tighthead this time around. A true big-match player, Sinckler is the epitome of the modern tight forward. Strong scrummager, fearsome with the ball in hand and possesses all the s***housery needed to rile up the opposition, Sinckler has become critical to England's style of playing.



4. Maro Itoje (England)


There's a good reason why Itoje is a frontrunner to lead the British and Irish Lions team out in South Africa. He's one in a small handful of players that we can call a genuine Rugby Superstar. Played every minute of every Six Nations fixture and was England's standout performer. Disruptive in the breakdown, massive in the contact area and supplies the pack with a real energy that we don't often see from someone who isn't the named captain.


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5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)


Perhaps an unpopular choice due to Ryan's consistent performances in green, but the Welsh captain has been ever-impressive becoming the first player to reach 150 international caps. He's a real presence in the contact, winning the majority of his collisions and causing havoc in the breakdown (even if he got a Le-Roux elbow to show for it). Although he couldn't match Ryan's lineout stats, I did feel more of an impression was left by AWJ's fringe-play.


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6. Tom Curry (England)


England are spoilt for choice in the back row with so many class options to pick from. Like Itoje, his disruptive nature around the ruck and his abrasive style of play is a real handful for any top-tier backrower. A likely starter for the British and Irish Lions, it's easy to forget that the Sale flanker is just 22 years old. He's even beginning to add a carrying game to his arsenal, the man hasn't even finished physically developing... He will be a monster for years to come!



7. Charles Ollivon (France)


Put your pitchforks away! Just because we picked Ollivon here, doesn't discredit Tipuric's achievements for the Welsh. But to me, Ollivon was an obvious choice for this spot in the side. He had the performance of the tournament against the English in the first round, captaining the side for the first time and scoring two tries in a historic win for 'Les Bleus'. The towering openside proved too much for the World Cup runners up and set the standard for French physicality this tournament. His level of performance never seemed to drop despite a strong competition from Hamish Watson in their losing bout.


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8. Gregory Alldritt (France)


83 tackles made and 398 metres made - surely that's all you need to hear? A Picamoles shaped hole was never going to be easy to fill (both literally and figuratively), but Alldritt has been the outstanding force at the base of the scrum. With disappointing performances from Vunipola, Faletau and Italian newcomer Johan Meyer, this spot was a pretty straightforward choice from the get-go, but we felt Alldritt still deserves the accolades regardless of the competition.


Copyright: 2020 Getty Images


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