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The best and the worst of this year's 6 Nations

March 23, 2015, 6:50pm
RBS 6 Nations

In the wake of a 6 Nations that boiled down to a crazy final day of rugby, the natural reaction was for us to assemble two teams: one is made up of the tournament's stars, the other is a motley crew of sub-par performers who excelled in being crap.

15 players who left their mark

15. Stuart Hogg: After a strange season last year, the Scottish fullback once again looked like the player he previously showed flashes of. Given that his team were generally so bad they made you want to weep acid, his performance was even more remarkable.

14. Tommy Bowe: This was not a tournament for wingers, so selecting two for this team is not unlike selecting the best sidestepper from a Summer Prop's Camp, but Bowe showed some of the class that makes him that bit better than many.

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13. Jonathan Joseph: A creative centre with Saturday Night Fever feet. England will no doubt find a way to turn him into Jamie Noon by 2017.

12. Robbie Henshaw: Tough on Jamie Roberts, this, but Henshaw had a few more telling contributions and a better all round game.

11. Liam Williams: Terrible facial hair, legs like a bent wire coathanger, runs like Mr Soft, but an outstanding, natural rugby player.

10. Dan Biggar: Most other tournament teams are split between George Ford and Jonny Sexton, but both of them had a SHIT showing; Ford in Dublin, Sexton in Cardiff. Dan Biggar on the other hand was pretty much outstanding in every match, even putting in a decent showing against the England onslaught in the second half after having his face caved in.

9. Conor Murray: A very good championship for nines, but Murray shepherded the winning team well throughout.

1. Joe Marler: Quietly becoming a consummate international prop. Now there's something I never thought I'd be saying.

2. Leonardo Ghiraldini: Like wingers, this was not a vintage year for the hooker. Ghiraldini was one of the few players Italy could rely on to consistently perform.

3. Dan Cole: A welcome return for the England tighthead, and has the added bonus of his Gethin Jenkins-esque work at the breakdown also.

4. Alun Wyn Jones: See 5.

5. Paul O'Connell: How much longer can he keep performing like this? Who cares, let's just enjoy it while it lasts.

6. Peter O'Mahoney: So very irritating but so very, very effective

7. Sam Warburton: There were some fears that his lack of consistency could become an issue, but what is now clear is that this was caused more by an unlucky run of injuries and lack of a regular run of gametime. Has added some lovely ball-in-hand work to his obvious ball-on-ground skill.

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8. Jamie Heaslip: Came back from injury (detailed in the below video by a robot) to play at his usual high level and then won the championship for Ireland with his tackle on Hogg. Extra points for taking a massive flying knee and surviving.

15 players who did sod all

15. Scott Spedding: Imagine if Pixar had designed a character named Inexplicable Man whose super power was being crap at everything.

14. Dougie Fife: Seeing Fife helps you understand why Sean Lamont has so many caps.

13. Luca Morisi: Looks a find, but tailed off horribly in last weeks of the tournament

12. Luther Burrell: For all the decent stuff at the beginning, what is becoming clear is that he appears neither quick nor clever enough.

11. Giovanbattista Venditti: Imagine if Inexplicable Man had a sidekick called Large Mess.

10. Kelly Haimona: The "will he do?" selection policy of the Italians has excelled itself this year by finding a bloke with a kicking boot like a toblerone, passing like a civil war cannon being fired backwards, and the game management of sugared up toddler.

9. Greig Laidlaw: workmanlike and often laboured performances interspersed with some criminal decision making. Scotland tended to look better when Sam Double-Barrelled-Name came on.

1. Alasdair Dickinson: Spells his name wrong, gets the scrum wrong. Is wrong.

2. Richard Hibbard: The rampaging sherman tank days seemed a long way off this year for the Welshman

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3. Aaron Jarvis: The magnificence of Samson Lee is clear for all to see. However, this becomes enormously more obvious when one considers that Jarvis is his replacement.

4. Jake Ball: For all the beardy wonder, he was a bit crap and duly dropped.

5. Jim Hamilton: Big and nasty and all that, but does some very stupid things at very stupid times.

6. James Haskell: Blah, blah, good against Wales, blah, blah. Bollocks, he's crap.

7. Mauro Bergamasco: in his 32nd season in the tournament, the 59-year-old Italian looks like he's finally reached the end of his mixed career.

8. Johnnie Beattie: Very much the embodiment of Scotland as a team; has some talent, looks good at times, but ends up being depressing