Creating teams of the tournament are often a thankless task that causes more controversy than its worth, as supporters of different teams feel their players are under-represented.
ITV’s Six Nations team of the tournament so far, selected by former England and Wales internationals David Flatman and Tom Shanklin, has proved to be no different, particularly due to the lack of Scots.
— ITV Rugby (@ITVRugby) March 16, 2020
Rory Sutherland is the sole representative from Gregor Townsend’s side, to the dismay of many supporters north of the border. The Edinburgh loosehead is rightfully there, as his reemergence on the Test stage has marked a renewed solidity in the scrum this season.
But after two narrow losses to Ireland and England, which preceded a victory over Italy and a dominant win over then-Grand Slam favourites France, there are some players that have been impressive throughout the Championship and are worthy of a place in this team.
The back row has been particularly eye-catching so far this season, as Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson have been a thorn at the breakdown and in defence. Despite not playing every game, Nick Haining has also been mightily impressive at No.8, adding much needed grunt with ball in hand.
The Edinburgh loose forward duo have come up against stiff competition though, as Wales Justin Tipuric has been imperious throughout the Championship, and England’s Tom Curry is one of the game’s premier flankers.
With France also making such a barnstorming start to the Championship, this would be a hard team to crack into, despite Scotland’s encouraging improvement this season.
Ultimately, that is the nature of such team selections, and it is hard to boil down the best players into only one team, but the XV may take on a different complexion when Scotland meet Wales in the future in the rearranged Super Saturday.
Six Nations 2020 Team of the Tournament (so far):
15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jonny May, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Bernard Le Roux, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rory Sutherland