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Team of the Week: Emerald shades

Ireland were not exactly pure Emerald, but they were good enough to take their winning streak to a record-equalling 10 Tests and move clear at the top of the Six Nations standings.

While England produced a late rally, it never really looked like they would overpower the impressive Irish team – a result which is also reflected in rugby365's famous weekly selection.

Jonathan Sexton spearheaded the Irish victory in Dublin and also heads a list of six Irish players in our starting XV.

Wales, with four players, are next best in our first-choice selection. Italy, as reward for only their second-ever Six Nations away win, gets three starters – with France and England (one each) making up the numbers.

There's further reward for the men from the Emerald Isle, with five in our back-up squad.

Wales (with four) and England (three) are next best, followed by Italy (two), France and Scotland (one each).

Only two players return from last week – the Irish halfback combination of flyhalf Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray.

Team of the Week –  Six Nations, Round Three:

Team of the Week: Emerald shades15 – Luke McLean (Italy):

Wasn't required to do much defending, but with ball in hand he kept the Scottish defenders honest.

Bubbling under: Rob Kearney (Ireland)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades14 – George North (Wales):

Did what was expected of him on defence (only one missed tackle) and made plenty of metres with ball in hand.

Bubbling under: Yoann Huget (France)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades13 – Jonathan Davies (Wales):

Made all his tackles and some decent metres with ball in hand – including one very impressive break in a game of tight defences.

Bubbling under: Mark Bennett (Scotland)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades12 – Robbie Henshaw (Ireland):

Still just 21 (he'll be 22 in about three months), but already he looks settled in the No.12 jersey on the international stage.

Bubbling under: Enrico Bacchin (Italy)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades11 – Giovanbattista Venditti (Italy):

It has taken him a while, but he is finally getting some acknowledgement as one of the game's better wings. Consistency remains a problem.

Bubbling under: Jack Nowell (England)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades10 – Jonathan Sexton (Ireland):

Few would argue with the statement that he is currently the world's premier flyhalf.

Bubbling under: Dan Biggar (Wales)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades9 – Conor Murray (Ireland):

His combination with Sexton is vital to the Irish cause.

Bubbling under: Rhys Webb (Wales)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades8 – Sergio Parisse (Italy):

Never short of passion and commitment. Finally got some reward for his dedication to the cause.

Bubbling under: Jordi Murphy (Ireland)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades7 – Bernard le Roux (France):

Sometimes a player does so much of the dirty work that he goes almost unnoticed, but his stand-out feature was his extraordinary high tackle count – more than anybody else and did not slip a single tackle.

Bubbling under: Chris Robshaw (England)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades6 – James Haskell (England):

Another player who does not shirk the dirty stuff and is invaluable to his team's cause.

Bubbling under: Peter O'Mahony (Ireland)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades5 – Alun Wyn Jones (Wales):

Everything you expect from a goof No.5 – solid in the line-outs, plenty of tackles and a few good carries.

Bubbling under: Paul O'Connell (Ireland)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades4 – Devin Toner (Ireland):

England just simply could not tone him down.

Bubbling under: George Fabio Biagi (Italy)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades3 – Mike Ross (Ireland):

And they said the Irish scrum was a weakness…

Bubbling under: San Cole (England)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades2 – Rory Best (Ireland):

The veteran played himself to a standstill!

Bubbling under: Scott Baldwin (Wales)

Team of the Week: Emerald shades1 – Gethin Jenkins (Wales):

The veteran stood his ground in the hotly-contested set pieces.

Bubbling under: Cian Healy (Ireland)

Our individual selections:

Darryn Pollock XV: 15 Luke McLean, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Gethin Jenkins.

Warren Fortune XV: 15 Luke McLean, 14 George North, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 James Haskell, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Jack McGrath.

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Jack Nowell, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Rory Best, 1 Gethin Jenkins.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 James Haskell, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.

Previous selections:

Team of the Week: Six Nations, Round Two: 15 Stuart Hogg (Scotland), 14 Yoann Huget (France), 13 Jonathan Joseph (England), 12 Alex Dunbar (Scotland), 11 Liam Williams (Wales), 10 Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), 9 Conor Murray (Ireland), 8 Billy Vunipola (England), 7 Sam Warburton (Wales), 6 Peter O'Mahony (Ireland), 5 Paul O'Connell (Ireland), 4 Richie Gray (Scotland), 3 Dan Cole (England), 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (Italy), 1 Joe Marler (England).

Team of the Week – Six Nations, Round One: 15 Stuart Hogg (Scotland), 14 Anthony Watson (England), 13 Jonathan Joseph (England), 12 Jamie Roberts (Wales), 11 Teddy Thomas (France), 10 Ian Keatley (Ireland), 9 Conor Murray (Ireland), 8 Taulupe Faletau (Wales), 7 Chris Robshaw (England), 6 James Haskell (England), 5 Jonny Gray (Scotland), 4 David Atwood (England), 3 Dan Cole (England), 2 Rory Best (Ireland), 1 Joe Marler (England).

@rugby365com

 

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