We pick the standout players from the weekend’s Six Nations round three, as Wales and Ireland dominate…
15. Hugo Keenan (Ireland)
Another standout display from Ireland’s youthful full-back in their 48-10 win over Italy in Rome.
Keenan carved through for 68 metres, nine carries, beat six defenders, made one clean break and scored one superb try.
14. Louise Burgess (Exeter Chiefs Women)
On her first start for the Exeter Chiefs Women over the weekend, wing Burgess scored four tries in a 76-5 victory over DMP Durham Sharks.
In doing so, Burgess made history as the first player to notch a hat-trick for the Chiefs Women.
13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
Outside-centre Ringrose shone for Ireland again in the Six Nations on Saturday, as he proved a key creative spark vs the Azzurri.
He made 11 carries – no Irishman made more – one clean break, beat two defenders and contributed five tackles.
12. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
Despite Ireland’s tight defeats in Rounds 1 and 2, centre Henshaw has consistently stood out as a top performer.
In Rome, Henshaw made 10 carries and 11 tackles in another brilliant display, while also beating one defender and earning a turnover on the occasion of his 50th cap.
11. Tyrone Green (Harlequins)
Harlequins may have slipped to defeat at Newcastle in the Premiership on Saturday, but in 22-year-old South African wing Green, they had the most eye-catching player on the pitch.
Green, on his first start for the club, made an incredible 129 metres in attack, three clean breaks, beat six defenders, made seven carries, eight tackles and scored two tries at phenomenal pace.
10. Callum Sheedy (Wales)
Emerging into Wales’ clash with England in Cardiff early in the second half, Sheedy was fantastic for the home side, guiding them to ultimate victory.
The Bristol Bears’ 10 kicked magnificently, splitting the uprights from all angles and repeatedly punishing English indiscipline, as the comeback from Eddie Jones’ side was thwarted.
As well as kicking flawlessly, Sheedy also beat two defenders, made two clean breaks – including the intercept leading to Wales’ final try – three carries and 24 metres going forward.
9. Kieran Hardy (Wales)
Left out of the Wales squad for the Test vs Ireland and on the bench vs Scotland, Hardy was in from the start vs England, and responded outstandingly well.
After Wales’ first two controversial tries, Hardy scored their critical third in the second half as he showed quick wits to tap and go with a penalty and dive over.
Hardy also made 55 metres from seven carries, beat two defenders and made one clean break. He looks like the future for Wales at scrum-half.
1. Dave Kilcoyne (Ireland)
In for his first start of the 2021 championship, Munster prop Kilcoyne shone again and has now arguably performed well enough to usurp Cian Healy as Ireland’s starting loosehead.
Against Italy, Kilcoyne showed up for 14 tackles and was a constant thorn at ruck time. An explosive ball-carrier, powerful scrummager and a player of huge heart and effort.
2. Ronan Kelleher (Ireland)
Making his first Six Nations start for Ireland on Saturday, Leinster hooker Kelleher put in a really strong display.
The 23-year-old made nine tackles, seven carries, one turnover, beat one defender and, most crucially, landed nine of his 10 lineout throws – the area with most question marks surrounding his game to date.
3. Kyle Sinckler (England)
England may have fallen to defeat in Cardiff, but tighthead Sinckler was back to near his best.
The prop made 11 carries – only two other players involved made more – as well as 11 tackles in a performance of huge and impactful work-rate.
He was also part of a front row which forced a penalty and free-kick at scrum-time, while his work was pivotal in the lead-up to Anthony Watson’s try.
4. Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks)
Out injured for a long while with a serious shoulder injury picked up in the 2019 World Cup final, De Jager is back and performing for Sale at a high level.
The Springbok picked up the man-of-the-match award from perhaps the standout Premiership result of the weekend as Sale beat defending champions Exeter 25-20.
De Jager made 17 tackles, 12 carries, 38 metres, one clean break and claimed six lineouts in a top performance.
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
After his performances in the autumn, many were calling for Wales skipper Jones to depart the Test scene. On Saturday, he replied to those criticising him in the perfect manner.
Up against a hugely physical England pack, the 35-year-old made 10 tackles, one turnover, seven carries and claimed four lineouts.
6. Josh Navidi (Wales)
If one thing has been key to Wales’ unlikely successes so far this championship, it has been a resolute defence.
Key to that rearguard has been blindside flanker Navidi, who is a tireless performer in red. On Saturday, he made 12 tackles – the most of any Welshman – as well as a turnover.
7. Will Connors (Ireland)
In at openside in place of Josh van der Flier for Ireland over the weekend, Connors’ performance was such that he has likely earned a start vs Scotland in Round 4.
Extremely unlucky not to earn the official man-of-the-match award in Rome, Connors was everywhere as he made 16 tackles, eight carries, hassled at the breakdown and scored two tries.
8. Taulupe Faletau (Wales)
Man of the match for Wales on Saturday was No 8 Faletau, who is edging closer to the sort of form he showed off on the 2017 Lions tour of New Zealand.
The forward was immense for the home side in Cardiff as he made 18 carries – the most of anyone in the game – 11 tackles, 49 metres in attack and claimed a lineout.