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Friday Mar 23, 2018

Jacob Stockdale picks up Player of the Championship after breakthrough campaign

Jacob Stockdale picks up Player of the Championship after breakthrough campaign

Ireland winger Jacob Stockdale has been named 2018 Natwest Player of the Championship following a record-breaking campaign that included seven tries and a Grand Slam. Stockdale secured the majority of fans’ votes.

The Ulster star scored against England, Italy, Scotland and Wales during this year’s Championship, eclipsing the six tries set by Chris Ashton, Will Greenwood and Shane Williams.

Playing in the Ulster Bank League with Ballynahinch RFC as recently as 2016, Stockdale’s progression has been incredible and his meteoric rise continues to gather pace with this prestigious accolade.

The 21-year-old was a clear winner in the public vote, securing 32% of rugby fans’ votes.

Ireland teammate Conor Murray was second with 18.2%, just edging Jonathan Sexton into third on 18%. Keith Earls garnered 14.5% of the votes, followed by Italy’s rising star, Matteo Minozzi, who earned 13.2%. France captain Guilhem Cuirado completed the line-up with 4.1%.


The NatWest Player of the Championship shortlist was selected by a media panel of distinguished rugby writers and broadcasters from across the six nations.

Each member of the panel submitted their top three nominations for the award, from which the six players with the most number of votes were identified for the shortlist. The panel were supplied with OPTA stats to assist their selections. The shortlist was open for public voting for two days.


Player                    Votes           Percentage
Jacob Stockdale        25,114           32%
Conor Murray           14,278           18.2%
Jonathan Sexton       14,163           18%
Keith Earls               11,410           14.5%
Matteo Minozzi         10,394           13.2%
Guilhem Guirado        3,181            4.1%


2017 – Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
2016 – Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
2015 – Paul O’Connell (Ireland)
2014 – Mike Brown (England)
2013 – Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
2012 – Dan Lydiate (Wales)
2011 – Andrea Masi (Italy)
2010 – Tommy Bowe (Ireland)
2009 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
2008 – Shane Williams (Wales)
2007 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
2006 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
2005 –  Martyn Williams (Wales)
2004 – Gordon D’Arcy (Ireland)

Stockdale was surprised by Iain Henderson, who gave him the award in front of their Ulster teammates.


  • drg
    12:59 PM 26/03/2018

    Agree with you, but definitely on your last sentence. I sort of feel the penultimate sentence is a bit of a given.. I don't believe any rugby player can be measured for greatness after more or less one season (not sure how long this lads been on the seen). I think it's definitely a case of seeing how he progresses from here... Or even just continues on a level. Last year I remember seeing Itoje and thinking 'bloody hell, this guy is a storm'... This year he was really anonymous by comparison.. perhaps it was a result of everyone around him as well, but I think the same will apply to Stockdale, if his team stay strong and he goes quiet next year then it will be tough to see.

  • im1
    10:21 AM 26/03/2018

    pretty harsh not to give it to him though? a winger getting 6 tries in 5 games (with only 2 against Italy). His all round game was pretty good as well and I can't recall any howlers, which is pretty good considering how isolated a winger can be. 2 of those tries were interceptions, which is a skill in itself and the one against England was probably the one that won the tournament, plus it wasn't a bad score either. What more is he meant to do? Personally, I don't think he is that great though. He will be a marked man now and will be interesting to see how he reacts to being targeted and roughed up a bit

  • colombes
    5:57 AM 26/03/2018

    I was much more cautious to discover someone like Carbery, Ringrose or Larmour, i didnt know this one. Up to him to confirm. A bit sad to watch the "public vote" follows the football trend: score to win prizes.

  • drg
    5:56 PM 24/03/2018

    There may be other candidates sure, but Stockdale didn't just finish moves, he also did very well as a one man band also, a lot of individual efforts from a new guy on the scene who played very well. Hard to really complain about him. Player of tournaments are rarely going to be tight fives, there is far too much dog work for them to do, it doesn't look pretty, it's probably more impressive to those that have either a knowledge of the game (?) or residents of those positions. General public etc won't really grasp the concept of a prop winning it for great prop work.. they'd have to scrum 100% then score tries like a wing

  • ruckinmaul
    10:36 AM 24/03/2018

    Agree with mise. Connor Murray should win it without doubt in my humble opinion. Dominated his halves opposition in every game he played.

  • mise
    12:32 AM 24/03/2018

    wingers win prizes front rows win matches..... good campaign but not sure he was player of the tournament really Furlong. maybe even Bastareaud.


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Jacob Stockdale picks up Player of the Championship after breakthrough campaign | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos