Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# dream team
Here's The42's team of the week after the first round of the Six Nations
It was an exciting first weekend of Six Nations action.

15. Stuart Hogg

Rabah Slimani and Yoann Maestri tackle Stuart Hogg James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Hogg had a few errant kicks but was back to his best in terms of counter-attacking and had a lovely piece of through-the-legs skill in the second half too.

14. Anthony Watson

RBS 6 Nations / YouTube

Stuart Lancaster took a bit of a risk in selecting the inexperienced Watson but the Bath wing repaid him nicely, finishing off his try well and making ground regularly in contact.

13. Mathieu Bastareaud

Jonathan Joseph’s try was nice but that was the only time he really threatened. Bastareaud was the top offloader for his team and was able to free his hands and create space regularly.

12. Robbie Henshaw

Robbie Henshaw tackled by Kelly Haimona and  Francesco Minto Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Henshaw performed solidly on his Six Nations debut, making a whopping 15 tackles and also carrying the ball 14 times.

11. Teddy Thomas

Not as explosive as he can be but he still made 60 metres, which was one of the highest totals this weekend.

10. George Ford

Keatley had his moments but George Ford moved his team around the Millennium Stadium expertly. His array of passing allowed his team-mates to pick lovely lines and his kicking held up under pressure too.

9. Ben Youngs

Ben Youngs James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Youngs mixed his game up nicely, usually passing but sniping enough to keep the defence on their toes. It was a testament to his display that many were bemused when he was substituted for Richard Wigglesworth.

1. Jack McGrath

It was his first big game in a few weeks and McGrath acquitted himself well against Castrogiovanni for the most part. He also made five tackles and forced a turnover for a good all-round game.

2. Guilhem Guirado

The French hooker was 10/10 on his lineouts, forced a turnover and made ten tackles. France launched a lot of attacks off their maul and they needed Guirado’s darts to be sharp. They were.

3. Dan Cole

Dan Cole James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Mike Ross was good on his return but for Cole to be so dominant in his first international outing in a year was exceptional. He gave Gethin Jenkins a torrid time at the scrum for most of the day.

4. Richie Gray

His brother actually got more of the attention in the build-up but the elder Gray proved his worth at the Stade de France making almost 5 metres per carry and nine tackles.

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5. Yoann Maestri

Maestri was France’s top lineout target and also made 11 tackles. He didn’t make many metres but was strong at the set-piece.

6. Chris Robshaw

Haskell got most of the post-match plaudits but Robshaw made a mammoth 26 tackles, more than anybody in round one, and also forced two turnovers. Excellent work from the captain.

7. Tommy O’Donnell

RBS 6 Nations / YouTube

Haskell could probably feel hard done by here but given that O’Donnell had about five minutes to prepare for his Six Nations debut, the Munster flanker should be ecstatic with his performance.

8. Taulupe Faletau

RBS 6 Nations / YouTube

He took out three defenders off the scrum to create Wales’ only try and every time he carried the ball he was able to make yardage. One of his better performances in a Welsh jersey.

Want to know how Kieran Marmion represented Ireland? He came from the fifth province

The Leinster Schools Senior Cup favourites were dumped out this afternoon

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