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Italian young gun crowned Six Nations' best player for 2024

NEWS: Fans have named the 21-year-old Italy and Benetton centre, Tommaso Menoncello, as the 2024 Six Nations Player of the Championship, following his standout performances in this year’s edition of the Six Nations.

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Menoncello, who was born in Treviso, Italy, and now plays for his hometown club Benetton, who compete in the URC, was unveiled as the 2024 Player of The Championship at a surprise presentation at his club’s training ground. Menencello was presented with his award by Italian Federation President, Marzio Innocenti, fellow international stars Michele Lamaro and Ignacio Brex, and Italy head coach Gonzalo Quesada.

Claiming 33 percent of the 146,000 fan votes, Menoncello saw off competition from England’s Ben Earl, Ireland centre Bundee Aki, and Scotland wing Duhan van der Merwe, to become the youngest winner in the history of the award, and only the second-ever Italian player to claim the title of Player of The Championship.

Commenting on winning the award, Menoncello said: “This is a huge surprise and honour to be named the Six Nations Player of The Championship.

“It is truly special to represent my country and to wear the Italy jersey alongside my friends and teammates.

“To then deliver performances that hopefully inspired the fans is what dreams are made of. Winning this award is a testament to the achievements of the entire Italy team and a sign of the exciting journey we are taking with Italian rugby.

“I would like to thank all my teammates, coaches and passionate fans. I would also like to congratulate all the other nominees for this award.

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“We play an incredible but tough sport and awards that recognise the commitment and sacrifice of each player means a lot.”

Menoncello and his fellow nominees topped the charts in terms of performance data and Stats Perform metrics measured throughout the course of this year’s Six Nations.

This secured their place in the 2024 Team of The Championship, which was a process of using stats to identify the top-performing players per position before fans were given the responsibility of voting for the standout player in each position from the stats-based shortlist of candidates.

The 2024 Men’s Six Nations Team of The Championship:

1 Andrew Porter (Ireland, Leinster)
2 Dan Sheehan (Ireland, Leinster)
3 Uni Atonio (France, La Rochelle)
4 Tadhg Beirne (Ireland, Munster)
5 Joe McCarthy (Ireland, Leinster)
6 Caelan Doris (Ireland, Leinster)
7 Michele Lamaro (Italy, Benetton)
8 Ben Earl (England, Saracens)
9 Jamison Gibson-Park (Ireland, Leinster)
10 Finn Russell (Scotland, Bath)
11 James Lowe (Ireland, Leinster)
12 Tommaso Menoncello (Italy, Benneton)
13 Bundee Aki (Ireland, Connacht)
14 Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland, Edinburgh)
15 Thomas Ramos(France, Toulouse)

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