Six Nations Round 5 - British & Irish Lions Team of the Week

Has North earnt a place in the Lions squad? (1:55)

Rory Lawson looks at how key performances in rounds four and five of the Six Nations are crucial in earning a Lions squad place. (1:55)

The Six Nations final day saw England crowned champions despite Ireland spoiling their Grand Slam party, France snatched victory from the jaws of 100 minute defeat against Wales, while Scotland held Italy to nil for the first time in their 27 meetings.

Here is our British & Irish Lions team of the week, exactly one month out from Warren Gatland naming his side to tour New Zealand.


15. Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)

Showed his value in a tight contest kicking all of Wales' points before France denied Rob Howley's side victory twenty minutes into stoppage time. His 100% accuracy from the tee was even more impressive given some of the distance of his kicks -- at least two of which surpassing 50 metres on the angle -- which will give Warren Gatland food for thought when he names his starting XV for the first Test against the All Blacks in June.

14. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

The Scotland fullback probably has his nose in front of Halfpenny for that No. 15 jersey for the first Test after he showcased a more well-rounded game as Scotland routed Italy. Played a hand in three of Scotland's four tries while denied Italy from scoring twice in the corner. His big boot contributing to an early penalty may silence those calling for Halfpenny's inclusion come June.

13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)

What an incredible six months for the Leinster centre. From following up his first cap in November with further caps against New Zealand and Australia, he is now a serious contender for a British & Irish Lions spot. His attacking run, drawing Elliot Daly before sending Keith Earls down the flank showed what he can do. He also has an uncanny ability, when not held in the tackle, to claw his way forward for extra yards.

12. Jonathan Davies (Wales)

While his namesake lost his voice in the commentary box, the Welsh centre held firm in the midfield in a bruising match in Paris. Made a series of strong runs - 76 metres from 12 carries the most from a Welsh player - to give his side some front foot ball with limited opportunities on attack. Alex Dunbar also deserves a mention for his battering ram effort for Scotland against Italy.

11. Tim Visser (Scotland)

He continues his brilliant try-scoring with a try against Italy. The weekend didn't see the wingers grab the limelight and the opportunity to stake their claim to a Lions jersey, it was Visser who once again showed class. It was injury to Sean Maitland that brought Visser into the squad but he took each opportunity well.

10. Jonathan Sexton (Ireland)

He was on the receiving end of some big hits, but nothing was stopping Sexton from leading Ireland to victory. He kept on getting up, to kick points and marshal the Irish pack. In defence he put his body on the line, and from the kicking tee, his penalty just after the hour, on the England 10 metre line, five metres in from the left touchline was coolness personified.

9. Kieran Marmion (Ireland)

The question before the game was how could Ireland think of an upset without Conor Murray. After his performance, the question becomes how could Marmion not be considered a real threat to the Munster's man's starting position. He provided quick ball for Ireland, which prevented undue pressure from the monstrous England pack. Stopped Elliot Daly on the winger's main carry.


1. Jack McGrath (Ireland)

With a silly penalty concession aside it was another strong performance by McGrath. He put his body on the line, and was quick off the line in defence, which saw Courtney Lawes knock on just after Ireland scored their try. Solid at the scrum. There was once a time where you could not see Cian Healy be dislodged from an Irish jersey and now Ireland have two quality loosehead props.

2. Rory Best (Ireland)

After the problems in the Irish lineout against Wales, it would have been easy for Best to point towards the post at the start of the second quarter. He backed his throw, he backed his pack and Ireland crossed score through Iain Henderson's out-stretched arm. He brilliantly won a turnover when England threatened to score before the half hour.

3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

Furlong was limited in his usual attacking breaks, with a more defensive-orientated display. He was part of a solid set-piece and put in some big tackles as the Irish defence shut down every England attack. In attack he carried when needed, making hard yards in the bulidup to the penalty which saw Ireland score the only try.

4. Donnacha Ryan (Ireland)

He set the tempo with a charge down on a Ben Youngs box kick after five minutes and his relentless workrate throughout the Championship has to have made an impact on Gatland. At 33, he is playing the rugby of his life. His ruck clear-outs and calling the lineout was brilliant. His voice on the ref mic stating England had "had their time" epitomised the belief the players had.

5. Iain Henderson (Ireland)

Henderson has had a tough time of it through injury, but when given the chance, ahead of Devin Toner he took the chance. Huge defensive effort and his ability to sneak in for the try, gave a glimpse of what he is capable of in attack. With more game time expect the Ulster second row to make an even bigger impact. With Ulster out of the Champions Cup, his chances to impress Gatland are limited.

6. Peter O' Mahony (Ireland)

Whether or not a leprechaun injured Jamie Heaslip in the warmup, as Eddie Jones suggested, there can be no doubt about the outstanding performance of O'Mahony. Around the breakdown, his 12 tackles, 10 carries and a lineout steal with seven minutes remaining gave an indication what Ireland have been missing as he fought back from injury.

7. Justin Tipuric (Wales)

It was a difficult 100 minutes for Wales and Tipuric but the Ospreys back row showed some signs of his capability in both attack and defence. Did well to defeat a defender but Wales failed to make the best out of the platform he provided. He put in an incredible 21 tackles, missing none. Gatland knows first hand what he can do in putting his hand up for selection.

8. CJ Stander (Ireland)

He was never going to get the space which saw him bag a hat-trick against Italy, but Ireland's biggest ball carrier was destructive going forward and was always ready to put his body on the line in defence. His ability to switch across the back row is sure to have caught the eye of Gatland and will take some beating off the plane to New Zealand.