15. Robbie Henshaw – 4
Obvious hasn’t played at Full-Back in some time. His attributes not best suited for an International 15. Matt Williams was quoted saying ”
14. Keith Earls – 3
Caught out for opening England try with a poor defensive read. Targeted in the air and aerial battle against Jonny May. Tactically whipped off at HT by Joe Schmidt. Interesting to see if he starts next week in Edinburgh.
13. Garry Ringrose – 7
Ireland’s most dangerous threat going forward. Joint highest carrier for Ireland with 14 carries. With only 4 clean breaks for Ireland, Ringrose had 2.
12. Bundee Aki – 6
Oddly played at first receiver a lot, second highest passing back. Managed Tuilagi well and carried well.
11. Jacob Stockdale – 6
Most prolific player with ball in hand this evening with 74m ran. Ultimately at fault for 2nd English try but a solid enough display for the Ulster man.
10. Jonathan Sexton – 3
Possibly his worst outing in a green shirt, certainly his worst in the last few years. Emphasises how important an in form Sexton is to Ireland success.
9. Connor Murray – 5
Rare to see Ireland being dominated in an aerial battle. Perhaps more to do with the strength of the English players in the air than the quality of kicks. Exceptionally busy in defence with 12 tackles, the highest in the backline, double the amount of 2nd place Ringrose.
8. CJ Stander – 6
Ireland’s joint top tackler with 17 tackles and 0 missed. 2nd highest carrier with 11 carries. Huge work rate but not as dynamic as usual with only 6m gained.
7. Josh Van Der Flier – 6
Similar to Stander, huge work rate as always, 17 tackles made and 0 missed. 1 handling error.
6. Peter O’Mahony – 5
Unusually quiet game, in comparison to his fellow back rowers, 9 tackles, 2 missed and carried 6 times for 2m. His game will be remembered more for his ‘Stupid c***’ remarks towards Kyle Sinckler.
5. James Ryan – 7
Typical industrious performance that we have come to expect from the Leinster man. Most willing carrier in the pack with 14 carries.
4. Devin Toner – 5
Solid in the line out, ineffective going forward and will be disappointed with a poor clear out leading to a turnover. Ireland will hope his injury isn’t serious given the current state of the 2nd row options.
3. Tadgh Furlong – 7
Typical strong carriers and solid in the scrum. 1 memorable carry taking 3 Englishmen to finally ground him.
2. Rory Best – 6
1 crooked lineout. Key secondary shove for Healy try. Typically aggressive and persistent at the breakdown.
1. Cian Healy – 7
A willing carrier with 9 carries. Got across for Ireland’s opening try. Solid in the scrum. Has definitely reclaimed the Irish 1 jersey.
16. Sean Cronin – 7 – Put Cooney in for late try.
17. Dave Kilcoyne – NA
18. Andrew Porter – NA
19. Quinn Roux – NA
20. Sean O’Brien – 7 – Good to see him back in the green. Could be pushing for a start next week.
21. John Cooney – NA
22. Joey Carberry – NA
23. Jordan Larmour – 5 – Didn’t get to use his trademark quick feet. Will be disappointed with defensive display making 1 and missing 2.
England: Embed from Getty Images
15. Elliott Daly – 8
Try, assist, solid in the air.
14. Jack Nowell – 8
Most metres made by any English player with 56m. Even deputising in the backrow during Tom Curry’s period in the bin.
13. Henry Slade – 9
Our Man of the Match. Continual threat with the ball in hand. Busiest English back with 11 tackles. 2 tries, showing great pace for the try from Jonny May’s chip.
12. Manu Tuilagi – 8
Great to see him back in the England starting XV. Solid display. Lucky that his no armed clear out on Jacob Stockdale went unnoticed.
11. Jonny May – 8
Scored on 90 seconds. Totally dominated the aerial battle with his opposite wing with success time and time again.
10. Owen Farrell – 8
Leading from the front and with passion. Clever kicking, huge defensive display and directed the English side to victory.
9. Ben Youngs – 8
A reminder that Connor Murray isn’t the only quality box kicking 9 in the Championship. Regularly put England on the front foot with his pin point box kicking.
8. Billy Vunipola – 8
England’s most efficient carrier but maybe not as destructive as we’re used to.
7. Tom Curry – 7
Silly yellow card with his late hit on Earls. Harried the breakdown well
6. Mark Wilson – 8
Very effective with the unglamorous work required of a back-row forward. 21 tackles – Newcastle will be missing him over these next few weeks
5. George Kruis – 7
Unspectacular but effective work from Saracen’s second row
4. Maro Itoje – 8
England will be hoping that his injury will not be as it looked as he hobbled off the field. One memorable turnover. Fortunate that the collision in the air with Earls was only a penalty
3. Kyle Sinckler – 6
Quiet – only memorable for his exchange with POM
2. Jamie George – 7
Gave away two penalties. Tackled well
1. Mako Vunipola – 9
Extra-ordinary defensive effort. 25 tackles. Very unlucky that his
16. Luke Cowan-Dickie – NA
17. Ellis Genge – NA
18. Harry Williams – NA
19. Courtney Lawes – 8 – Solid shift from the big 2nd rower.
20. Nathan Hughes – 7 Did well playing in the unusual position of 2nd row.
21. Dan Robson – NA
22. George Ford – NA
23. Chris Ashton – NA
Pivac names squad for 2021 Six Nations
The squad features one uncapped player, Scarlets back-row Josh Macleod, who was named in the autumn squad last year but didn’t feature after picking up an injury before the campaign began.
Four players who made their international debuts in that campaign, Kieran Hardy, Callum Sheedy, Johnny Williams and Louis Rees-Zammit are all included.
Rhys Carre, Wyn Jones and Rhodri Jones (last appearance for Wales v South Africa in 2018) are named as the looseheads in the squad with Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias and Ken Owens (who missed the autumn campaign through injury) the hookers. Leon Brown, Tomas Francis and Dillon Lewis are the three named tight-heads.
Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Rowlands and Cory Hill are included as the second-rows.
Dan Lydiate returns to the international set-up (last appearance v Australia in 2018) and is named alongside Josh Navidi, Aaron Wainwright, Taulupe Faletau, Macleod and Justin Tipuric.
Hardy who made his debut back in November is named as one of three scrum-halves along with Gareth Davies and Tomos Williams, who has returned from injury. Dan Biggar, Jarrod Evans and Sheedy are the three fly-halves.
Johnny Williams, Jonathan Davies, Nick Tompkins and Owen Watkin are named as the centres with George North, Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Rees-Zammit, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams named as Wales’ back-three options.
“We are hugely looking forward to meeting up as a squad on Monday and to the forthcoming campaign,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.
“The Guinness Six Nations is an important tournament and we have selected a squad accordingly.
“As we consistently spoke about, the autumn for us was about opportunity and development, looking ahead to RWC 2023 and it served that purpose for us.
“This campaign is different, it is tournament rugby and we are excited to get going and to play our part.
“We have picked a squad for this tournament based on form and we are excited to meet up on Monday and to get our preparation underway.”
Scotland name Six Nations squad.
The group, split between 20 forwards and 15 backs, sees eight new players called up who did not feature in the group that contested the recent 2020 Autumn Nations Cup.
In the pack Glasgow Warriors hooker George Turner is selected and joined in the front row by Zander Fagerson and Oli Kebble from Glasgow Warriors, alongside Edinburgh Rugby representatives WP Nel, Rory Sutherland and Simon Berghan.
Glasgow Warriors’ lock pairing Richie Gray and Scott Cummings, Exeter Chief, Jonny Gray are called up, along with Edinburgh’s Grant Gilchrist who left the ANC squad with an injury before the opening match.
Hamish Watson and Jamie Ritchie, who have both recently re-signed to long-term deals to stay at Edinburgh Rugby, are joined as back-row options by Glasgow Warrior Matt Fagerson and Scarlet’s Blade Thomson.
Gregor Townsend has chosen just two scrum-half’s for this campaign with Glasgow Warriors’ Ali Price and Harlequins’ Scott Steele selected.
Linking up at half-back will be Racing 92’s Finn Russell who returns following an injury sustained in the concluding match of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations vs Wales and Edinburgh’s Jaco Van de Walt who made his Scotland debut in the ANC semi-final against Ireland.
Gloucester’s Chris Harris, Saracen Duncan Taylor, Glasgow Warrior Huw Jones and Harlequins’ James Lang are selected at centre.
In the back three Scotland Captain Stuart Hogg is joined by Edinburgh Rugby trio Blair Kinghorn, Darcy Graham and Duhan van de Merwe and Saracens’ Sean Maitland.
With an eye to the future three additional players have been invited to train with the squad during the campaign. Edinburgh Rugby back row forward, Rory Darge, Glasgow Warriors pair winger, Rufus MacLean and scrum-half, Jamie Dobie will join up with the squad, which goes into camp on Sunday.
Speaking on the squad selection Gregor Townsend said: “As coaches we have selected a group which we believe can build on the work our players put in throughout the recent Autumn Nations Cup campaign and kick on again in terms of performance levels.
“The depth we have across the squad enables us to bring in some new players who have excelled in recent weeks and others who we believe can perform at Test level.
“Our tournament gets off to a fantastic start with a fixture we look forward to every year against England and the opportunity to win back the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham.
“We are very aware how different this year’s competition will be due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it also provides a huge amount of positivity and enjoyment for millions of supporters and we are looking forward to contesting every match and giving this championship our very best.”
Paul O’Connell Joins Ireland Coaching Group
Former Ireland captain Paul O’Connell has joined the Ireland national coaching group as forwards coach with Simon Easterby to focus on defence.
Paul was capped 108 times by Ireland and captained the team to Six Nations success in 2014. O’Connell’s distinguished playing career also included seven Test match appearances for the British & Ireland Lions across three tours and two Heineken Cup titles with Munster.
Since retiring from playing in 2015, Paul has held coaching positions with the Munster Academy, Ireland Under-20s and Top 14 side Stade Francais.
“I am really looking forward to working with Andy and the rest of the coaching group. I worked with Simon as a player and am looking forward to working with him again. It’s an exciting young group of players to be involved with and there are talented forwards coming through across the four provinces that will no doubt be pushing for international selection in the coming months and years.”
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell commented:
“Paul brings a wealth of rugby knowledge with him and as forwards coach he will have responsibility for the forwards including the line-out working alongside John (Fogarty). He will also be another strong voice and leader within the group.
“Simon (Easterby) has a real passion for defence and having developed Ireland’s forward play over the past six years with the additional responsibility for the defence over the past 12 months, he will now be able to focus his energy and rugby intellect on this area of our game.
“The weekend’s Interpro games and the European fixtures in the weeks ahead will give players the opportunity to push for selection for the Six Nations squad. The squad will not be selected until after the Champions Cup Round 4 fixtures have been completed.”
IRFU Performance Director, David Nucifora, commented: “Paul is a young Irish coach with a huge amount of international rugby experience. We have been keen to find the right opportunity for him within Irish Rugby and we think the fit with the national squad will work well. He joins the national coaching group with immediate effect as they prepare for the upcoming Six Nations Championship.”