Ireland and France feature heavily in Six Nations team of the tournament

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Ireland And France Feature Heavily In Six Nations Team Of The Tournament Ireland And France Feature Heavily In Six Nations Team Of The Tournament
France captain Antoine Dupont holds aloft the Guinness Six Nations trophy, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Andrew Baldock, PA Rugby Union Correspondent

The Guinness Six Nations Championship saw a dominant France team land a first title and Grand Slam since 2010.

Les Bleus and runners-up Ireland proved a long way better than the rest, making the competition into a two-horse race.

Here, the PA news agency selects a team of the tournament, one that is inevitably dominated by France’s Six Nations stars.

15: Hugo Keenan (Ireland)

A model of consistency, the Ireland full-back hardly put a foot wrong. Rock-solid in defence, immaculate under the high ball and a strong attacking weapon, he shone throughout the competition.

14: Damian Penaud (France)

Finished the tournament as joint top try-scorer on three, and he was a regular threat to opposition defences with his power, angles of running and outstanding positional play.

13: Gael Fickou (France)

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Scored one of France’s three tries in the Grand Slam-clinching victory over England, and was a key leadership figure in a brilliant defensive structure masterminded by Shaun Edwards.

12: Jonathan Danty (France)

Jonathan Danty starred for France (David Davies/PA)

Forged a high-class centre combination with Fickou, combining aggressive running with wonderful awareness that made him the complete package.

11: James Lowe (Ireland)

Scored three tries in the tournament, made a total of 439 metres and always looked a threat, whether attacking from deep or inside the opposition 22. His kicking game was also impressive.

10: Romain Ntamack (France)

The France fly-half has always been a classy operator, and his ability to remain calm under pressure was a driving force behind Les Bleus’ success. Rarely takes a wrong option.

9: Antoine Dupont (France)

The France captain and current world player of the year did not disappoint. He was at the heart of everything good about his team, combining tactical intellect with attacking flair.

1: Ellis Genge (England)

One of England’s most consistent players who made a powerful impact. Impressive scrummaging work, allied to destructive carrying, made him a go-to man for head coach Eddie Jones.

2: Julien Marchand (France)

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The leading hooker in this season’s Six Nations by a good margin, he was key to France’s accomplished set-piece work and also proved a handful around the pitch.

3: Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

Did not have his finest day against England at Twickenham, but he remains arguably the best all-round prop in world rugby. A pillar for Ireland heading into next year’s World Cup on French soil.

4: Maro Itoje (England)

Maro Itoje was a tower of strength for England (Adam Davy/PA)

An incredible work-rate underpinned another strong Six Nations for the England lock. A nuisance for the opposition to deal with, his world-class form rarely wavers.

5: Cameron Woki (France)

Equally at home in the back-row or second-row, he won 24 lineouts to put him in the tournament’s top bracket. Like Itoje, he possesses a huge engine.

6: Michele Lamaro (Italy)

Italy’s captain was the competition’s leading tackler with 86, and he captained them superbly – often in adversity – before a spectacular triumph against Wales that ended the Azzurri’s run of 36 successive Six Nations defeats.

7: Anthony Jelonch (France)

Scored France’s winning try in a hard-fought contest against Wales, and he was never far from the action. Prolific at the breakdown, a lineout option and physical threat.

8: Gregory Alldritt (France)

A leading candidate for player of the tournament, he made 65 carries – nine more than any other player – claimed six turnovers and made seven off-loads. The complete package.

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