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Six Nations - Rugby Union: Team of the tournament

France are Six Nations champions and Grand Slam winners and feature heavily in the team of the tournament after some dazzling, eye-catching displays.

However, a number of players have impressed for all six of the teams involved, even if England, Wales and Scotland are likely to be disappointed with their overall records.

Two Italy backs also win the nod after they finished their campaign in style with a last-gasp 22-21 win over Wales in Cardiff - a victory which ended a winless Six Nations run stretching back to 2015.

Here is the team in full, along with eight replacements.

15. Ange Capuozzo (Italy)

He could have been mistaken for a ball boy when he was warming up to come on against Scotland in round four, but he scored two tries on his debut that day and then produced a bit of brilliance to make the winning score against Wales.

Has been flying under the radar at Grenoble in the French second tier, but is reportedly set for a move to Toulouse.

14. Darcy Graham (Scotland)

Stuart Hogg and later Duhan van der Merwe have been the standout names in Scotland’s back three of later, but Graham made mark this year with his workrate and eye for a break that yielded 392 metres gained and two tries.

13. Gael Fickou (France)

One of the few old hands to be retained by Fabien Galthie in his new-look French side, Fickou was made defensive captain by Shaun Edwards and the champions’ defensive efforts set them apart from previous incarnations of Les Bleus.

Defence was key to France's success - they shipped 73 points in the tournament, but only 12 in the final 30 minutes of matches and they are now priced at 9/4 to win the World Cup on home soil next year.

12. Jonathan Danty (France)

Another powerhouse in midfield, Danty in full stride carved open defences and was the only man to unlock a Wales side set up to deny them space and time. The wide men made the metres for Les Bleus, but the industrious Danty was the man to set them up.

11. Monty Ioane (Italy)

Made some terrific breaks for Italy and was one of the hardest-working kick-chasers in the tournament. So unlucky not to score a crucial try late on against Wales in round five, when he was dragged a metre short of the line.

Topped the offload charts with nine and second in metres made with 500.

10. Marcus Smith (England)

It wasn't a vintage year for fly-half performances and even Smith couldn't get England’s backline sparking. However, the 23-year-old took another step up looking assured and authoritative and was player of the match in wins over Wales and Italy.

He is sure to be a key figure for the Red Rose (11/2) when they go in search of World Cup glory in France in 2023.

9. Antoine Dupont (France)

The world player of the year started the tournament strongly, but looked as if he had been shut down by Wales in round four.

However, he led from the front in the final round against England as his side sealed the Grand Slam, scoring the crucial final try on the hour mark with a trademark break.

1. Ellis Genge (England)

Stood up to all that was thrown at him in the scrum, especially against Ireland, and relished the role of England's chief ball-carrier against France, running the ball for 78 metres, more than any Les Bleus player, forward or back.

2. Julien Marchand (France)

A solid functioning set-piece was a crucial platform to France's success and Marchand was at the heart of it in both the lineout and scrum. Supremely fit, he worked hard all over the pitch and was a menace at the breakdown too.

3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

Despite being given a workout by the impressive Genge at Twickenham, Furlong underlined the solid scrummaging form that made him the first name on the teamsheet in all three Lions Tests last summer.

Destructive in the loose too with some fearless carries, Furlong will be a pivotal player when Ireland (15/2) aim for a first-ever World Cup success late on in 2023.

4. Cameron Woki (France)

Bossed the French line-out - only Federico Ruzza of Italy won more than the Bordeaux man's tally of 24 - and always made himself available as a carrier.

Figures of 18 carries and 32 tackles point to an all-round performance beyond his role in the set-piece and hitting rucks.

5. Will Rowlands (Wales)

Took his chance superbly in the absence of Alun Wyn Jones, and the Welsh selectors may be regretting rushing back the veteran talisman to face Italy in the final round.

Made 42 carries for more than 200 metres and reliable in the lineout too.

6. Maro Itoje (England)

Started in the back row against Italy, so qualifies for the number six shirt even though his other four starts were in the second row. Led from the front as always at the breakdown and no one bettered his total of six turnovers won.

7. Josh van der Flier (Ireland)

Tough competition from Scotland's Hamish Watson and Italy's Michele Lamaro, but Van der Flier edges it thanks to his dynamic carrying including a cannonball diagonal run for Ireland's third try against Scotland - his second try of the tournament.

An impressive total of 58 tackles and named player of the match against Italy.

8. Gregory Alldritt (France)

Topped the charts for carries made with 65 - nine more than second-placed Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg.

However, it was his workrate that caught the eye as he seemed to cover every blade of grass, going from winning a turnover at one end to first man on the scene to contest the clearing kick at the other.

Replacements: 16 Dan Sheehan Ireland, 17 Cyril Baille France, 18 Uini Atonio France, 19 Paul Willemse France, 20 Taulupe Faletau Wales, 21 Ali Price Scotland, 22 Jonny Sexton Ireland, 23 Stuart Hogg Scotland.

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