World Rugby

Guinness Six Nations Team Of The Week: Sweeping Changes From Round 3

Guinness Six Nations Team Of The Week: Sweeping Changes From Round 3

Check out the Guinness Six Nations Round 4 team of the week after England defeats Ireland, Italy beats Scotland and Wales downs France.

Mar 12, 2024 by Philip Bendon
Guinness Six Nations Team Of The Week: Sweeping Changes From Round 3

Round 4 of the 2024 Guinness Six Nations served up a much-needed reminder that nothing is certain in test rugby.

Throwing out a vastly different XV to Round 3, here is our team of the week from last weekend’s action.

15. George Furbank – England

The Northampton Saints fullback had his best game in a white shirt on Saturday afternoon, as he set up the first try before scoring one of his own. Defensively, he was on form, too, as he cut down several promising Irish attacks.

14. Hugo Keenan – Ireland

Consistently the best fullback in the world, Keenan spent the bulk of Saturday on the right wing following Calvin Nash’s injury. 

Even playing out of position, Keenan was central to everything Ireland did, and his team came within 90 seconds of stealing a game it had no right to be in.

13. Tommaso Menoncello – Italy

Italy has a budding star on its hands, and his combination with fellow powerhouse Ignacio Brex brings a brilliant balance to the Azzurri’s backline. 

Physically, he is an absolute specimen who appears to grow into his role more with every test.

12. Ollie Lawrence – England

While Manu Tuilagi may well return for the final round of the Six Nations Championship, Lawrence is England’s new bulldozer in the midfield. 

The Bath star brings a direct approach that takes the pressure off his 10s, as he creates go-forward ball from nothing. 

His individual battle with arguably the best inside center in the world, Bundee Aki, was worth the admission to Saturday’s fixture.

11. Rio Dyer – Wales

Wales has unearthed a gem in Dyer over the past couple of seasons. 

The 24-year-old is electric and looked capable of creating magic every time he touched the ball Saturday.

10. Paolo Garbisi – Italy

Claiming the No. 10 spot this weekend ahead of five other prominent performances from the fly-halves in Round 4 shows how well Garbisi played. 

Nailing his kicks, taking the ball to the line and being utterly fearless in defense, the Toulon man led his team to the most important of victories.

9. Nolan Le Gerrac – France

Replacing Maxime Lucu in the starting lineup, Le Garrec put the spark back in the French attack and was rewarded with the player of the match award. 

Certainly, he is not quite Antoine Dupont (but who is?). However, at just 21 years old, Le Garrec's potential is frightening.

8. Ben Earl – England

The best-performing player of the round… Simply put, there was no other player who came close to the No. 8, as he took the fight to the physical Irish pack. 

Firmly outshining arguably the game’s best No. 8, Caelen Doris, Earls was at the heart of everything positive England did and was rewarded with a try - and more crucially, a significant win.

7. Tommy Reffell – Wales

Wales’s player of the tournament so far, the openside has been a menace for opposition to deal with at the breakdown. 

Putting his body on the line against a vastly more physical French pack, Reffell managed to stop the bleeding for the first hour, before the French power game took over.

6. Gregory Alldritt – France

Starting at No. 8 in his return from injury, the French captain offered a stark reminder as to why he is so important to his country. 

There is nothing subtle about the way Alldritt plays; he is a go-forward machine that gets his team on the front foot with every carry. His calming presence amidst the chaos in Cardiff played a key role in getting his team back on track.

5. George Martin – England

Quite possibly the building block of the England pack going forward, the Leicester Tigers standout is a throwback to the old days of an enforcer but without the discipline issues. 

Like Earl, he outshone his fancied Irish opponent, Joe McCarthy, in every facet of the game, and at just 22 years old, Martin could well prove to be the best lock in the Six Nations Championship over the coming seasons.

4. Federico Ruzza – Italy

Just edging England’s Maro Itoje, Ruzza was everywhere for Italy on Saturday and made several key defensive plays, as his team recorded a smashing victory. 

As one of the more senior players in the Italian squad, he helps guide an exuberant squad with a pragmatic, no-nonsense approach.

3. Tadhg Furlong – Ireland

Getting back to his best form, Ireland’s stalwart tighthead was perhaps not rewarded for his pack’s scrum dominance over the weekend as the referee looked to keep play moving. 

Now 31 years old and within striking distance of 100 caps, Furlong looks set to remain in the Irish setup as they build toward the 2027 World Cup.

2. Jamie George – England

England’s skipper had his best game since taking over the captain’s armband and clearly was emotional after the match. 

Enduring a tumultuous time, both on and off the pitch, George reminded rugby fans of what he is capable of when on song.

1. Cyrill Baille – France

France’s big loosehead is one of the most dynamic front rowers in the game today and seemingly has been immune to the turmoil surrounding him and his teammates. 

Carrying powerfully in Cardiff while dominating at scrum time, he was one of the key contributors to Les Bleus keeping Wales in check before the bench came on to finish off the job.

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