Six Ireland stars make outrageously strong Six Nations Team of the Championship '2nd XV'
What a match-up this would be.
Last Wednesday saw the 2023 Six Nations Team of the Championship announced, with 10 Ireland players making the cut. This week, the tournament announced the players that got the second most votes in each position.
Interestingly enough, there are still no players from England, Wales or Italy in the 'Second XV'. There were none in the 'First XV' either. Justice for Kyle Sinckler and Sebastian Negri, we say!
The Second XV does contain two players that were nominated for Player of the Championship yet still missed out on the First XV - Mack Hansen (Ireland) and Thomas Ramos (France).
Included amongst the pack in the Six Nations Team of the Championship were Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Finlay Bealham, along with James Ryan and an all-Irish back row of Caelan Doris, Peter O'Mahony and Josh van der Flier. Johnny Sexton, James Lowe and Hugo Keenan were the Irish representatives in what looks to be a scintillating fantasy backline.
We would pay good money to see this Six Nations firsts vs. seconds match
Looking at the Six Nations 'Second XV' - the players that received the second most votes in each position - there are six from Ireland's Grand Slam-winning squad, five from runners-up France and four from Scotland.
Both sides are stacked and a head-to-head would be a gripping contest [if we could ever find a free weekend in the schedule]. Arguably, the 'Second XV' has a stronger front row, centre partnership and back three. As good as Conor Murray and Finn Russell are, we love that Antoine Dupont combo with Johnny Sexton at 9/10.
Six Nations 'Second XV'
1. Pierre Schoeman (Scotland)
2. Julien Marchand (France)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
4. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
5. Paul Willemse (France)
6. Jamie Ritchie (Scotland)
7. Gregory Alldritt (France)
8. Charles Ollivon (France)
9. Conor Murray (Ireland)
10. Finn Russell (Scotland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)
12. Bundee Aki (Ireland)
13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
14. Mack Hansen (Ireland)
15. Thomas Ramos (France)
Across the two XVs, then, Ireland ended up with 16 players selected, emphasising how dominant Andy Farrell's side was and the depth of their squad.
France finished with eight players across both sides while third-placed Scotland had six.
WATCH HOUSE OF RUGBY HERE:
- Ryan Baird goes full beast mode as Leinster see off dogged Ulster
- Meek Munster swallowed whole by voracious Sharks
- Ireland confirm opponents for two World Cup warm-up fixtures
- Antoine Dupont equals Brian O'Driscoll record with Six Nations 'Best Player' award
- Johnny Sexton was never going to let Mack Hansen forget his Grand Slam tattoo idea