James Crombie/INPHO Robbie Henshaw and Rob Kearney
# star men
7 Irish players make the Six Nations XV selected by this English newspaper
Do you agree with this selection?

JOE SCHMIDT YESTERDAY described Ireland’s status as Six Nations Favourites as an ‘unnecessary distraction’.

If the Ireland coach isn’t comfortable with the mantle of favouritism, then the selection of seven Irish players in English newspaper The Telegraph’s composite ‘Six Nations XV’ is unlikely to dampen it down.

Ireland lead the way with Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe, Robbie Henshaw, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray, Paul O’Connell and Peter O’Mahony all selected.

Wales have three representatives – Richard Hibbard, Alun Wyne Jones and Sam Warburton – while there’s two players each from France and England selected.

Sergio Parisse is Italy’s sole player involved while there’s no sign of any Scottish players making the cut.

The action gets under way on 6 February with Wales taking on England while Ireland travel to Italy on 7 February and France take on Scotland.

Here’s the team in full.

Six Nations XV

15. Rob Kearney (Ireland)
14. Tommy Bowe (Ireland)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
12. Wesley Fofana (France)
11. Teddy Thomas (France)
10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
9. Conor Murray (Ireland)

1. Joe Marler (England)
2. Richard Hibbard (Wales)
3. David Wilson (England)
4. Alun Wyne Jones (Wales)
5. Paul O’Connell (Ireland)
6. Peter O’Mahony (Ireland)
7. Sam Warburton (Wales)
8. Sergio Parisse (Italy)

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