Barry French takes us through his Champs and Chumps of the 2013 Six Nations.
And so, another year passes and another 6 Nations ends. Joy for Wales, disappointment for England, encouraging signs for Italy and for Scotland, back to the drawing board for Ireland and another appointment with the psychiatrist for France.
But, as the dust settles, here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…time to announce this year’s TF Six Nations Champs & Chumps:
1. Thomas Domingo – only Monsieur Saint-Andre knows why he wasn’t selected from the outset.
2. Leonardo Ghiraldini – dynamic in everything he did.
3. Adam Jones – not sure what else he does, but peerless as a scrummager.
4. Alun Wyn Jones – his arrival in the tournament coincided with the Welsh pack asserting its presence.
5. Geoff Parling – beat George Clooney to world’s sexiest beard and central to everything that England’s pack did well.
6. Alessandro Zanni – Parisse’s first lieutenant in the Italian pack. Superb.
7. Chris Robshaw – Captain Immense, even in defeat in Cardiff.
8. Sergio Parisse – right now he’s arguably the best rugby player on the planet.
9. Greg Laidlaw – barely put a foot wrong.
10. A.N.Other – briefly selected for Ireland to play France and probably the pick of an average bunch.
11. Simon Zebo – one flick with the heel was all it took.
12. Wesley Fofana – shone once restored to his proper position.
13. Manu Tuilagi – disappointing finish but 68 minutes against France with his ear hanging off. Wow.
14. Alex Cuthbert – just gets better and better. Gutted that he was never on England’s radar.
15. Leigh Ha’penny – all round game edges out the seriously exciting Stuart Hogg.
1. Cian Healy – red mist and lucky not to see a red card.
2. Rory Best – what the hell happened to his game?
3. Vincent Debaty – his wobbly jelly-belly gives hope to us all.
4. Mike McCarthy – Mr Teflon.
5. Donnacha Ryan – Mr Angry.
6. Courtney Lawes – never an international blindside.
7. Sean O’Brien – blinkered and unconvincing on the openside.
8. Sergio Parisse – one part superstar, one part utter wassock – a Champ but also a Chump.
9. Morgan Parra – play-acting theatrics have no place in the game.
10. ROG – achieved the remarkable feat of making Freddie Michalak look good.
11. Chris Ashton – turnstyle defender, petulant child.
12. Jamie Roberts – now has fewer dimensions than one of Chris Ashton’s paintings of the sky.
13. BOD – the great man looked diminished by age and frustrated with his lot.
14. Gio Venditti – I doubt AC Milan will be calling anytime soon.
15. Alex Goode – all the pace of a tectonic shift.
Sport Is Everything. Barry French.
You can catch the rest of Barry’s articles via his personal blog, Total Flanker.