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It's AWJ's world, we just live in it: The42's Six Nations Team of the Week

The second row was an irresistible force in leading Wales to a seismic win over England.

FOR BETTER OR worse, the Championship is really starting to take shape now with Warren Gatland on the charge for another Grand Slam and England and Ireland nestled in behind hoping for better in the penultimate round in two weeks.

Here’s who stood out for us after a pulsating Saturday and a slog of a Sunday.

15. Liam Williams (Wales)

The first experienced fullback England faced in the Championship and, man, did he make a difference. Negated the visitors’ vaunted kicking threat with good positioning and terrific athleticism to win his aerial duels.

14. Keith Earls (Ireland)

Played the majority of yesterday’s win over Italy as a centre, but was a shining light in an Irish attack that otherwise continues to sputter along.

Keith Earls makes a break Earls on a rare break for Ireland in Rome. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

13. Mathieu Bastareaud  (France)

Lit up the Stade de France with his superbly delicate chip and regather in the lead-up to Yoann Huget’s try. A return to form for the most physical centre around.

12. Hadleigh Parkes (Wales)

Tough to pick between Parkes and Jonathan Davies after a ferocious defensive effort in Wales’ midfield, but the 12 shades it thanks to hitting double figures in tackles and his big yardage in the carry.

11. Thomas Ramos (France)

Moved out of fullback because of Williams’ excellence, but delivered a sparkling display of his own to ignite those flashes of French flair with incisive counter-attacks. And when Scotland reached is kicks he hammered into follow-up tackles.

10. Romain NTamack (France)

His first start at 10 for Les Bleus and he looked perfectly comfortable whether he was asked to conduct with pipe and slippers or ignite the attack with his running threat.

Romain Ntamack Ntamack shapes to pass against Scotland. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

9. Tito Tebaldi (Italy)

Every good underdog team needs a scrum-half who looks ready to scrap for every ball. Tebaldi mas wonderfully abrasive on his return from injury, forcing errors from Ireland and sparking Azzurri attacks.

1. Rob Evans (Wales)

Led from the front in a terrific collective performance from the Welsh pack, scrummaged well and got through a serious amount of thankless work around the park.

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2. Guilhem Guirado (France)

Unleashed some shuddering hits to keep France on top when they might have felt the frustration of TMO calls. Solid at set-piece and one of an array of quality carrying options that lays a foundation for France’s backs.

Guilhem Guirado Guirado presents the ball from a ruck. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

3, Demba Bamba (France)

Speaking of carrying options, the 20-year-old tighthead trucked it up 14 times for France and Scotland found him immovable at scrum and ruck.

4. Courtney Lawes  (England)

Won’t play any further part in the tournament, but made his presence felt as England took the early upper hand in Cardiff with powerful tackles and solid work through the maul to force the opening try.

5.  Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

The memes are flying and many in Wales are pondering whether they’re watching their best ever, because the relentless second row was absolutely sensational during the Titanic tussle with England.

Wales v England - Guinness Six Nations - Principality Stadium AWJ and Josh Navidi celebrate in front of the Cardiff crowd. Source: Paul Harding

Smashing rucks, slamming into tackles, leading the line-out and keeping a cool head when 70,000 roared for the lock to spin the ball wide. Instead he tucked the ball in hand, hit up and laid the foundation for Cory Hill’s breakthrough on the other side.

6. Peter O’Mahony (Ireland)

Played a captain’s role in leading Ireland out of a mire. Continually influenced the breakdown and forced turnovers and was a valuable target when Ireland went for safe line-out ball.

Peter O'Mahony and Andrew Conway after the game O'Mahony with Andrew Conway post-match. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

7. Tom Curry (England)

Seemed to have England on course for a Grand Slam with clinical breakdown interventions, a smart heads-up play to sneak a try and a whopping 25 tackles. But once Wales got a second-half upper hand, they were impossible to stop.

8. Josh Navidi (Wales)

Bumping Navidi out of blindside to accommodate him after a doggedly determined shift to help Warren Gatland’s men out-muscle England and take over as tournament leaders.

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