As the games go on, Hamish Watson’s tackle numbers just become more and more staggering.
The Scotland flanker has now made 219 consecutive tackles in the Guinness Six Nations without missing one, dating back to 2019.
In fact, Watson has the best tackle success rate in the history of the Championship missing just seven and making 379 for a remarkable 98.2% success rate.
219 – @hamishwatson7 made 70/70 tackles in this year’s #GuinnessSixNations and has now made 219 successful tackles since his last miss in the Championship; in Test rugby overall he’s made 353 tackles for @Scotlandteam and the @lionsofficial since last missing one. Unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/sX1bw3l2zw
— OptaJonny (@OptaJonny) March 20, 2022
That is why, Watson, the 2021 Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship, is building a case as the greatest tackler in the history of the competition with the numbers from Stats Perform helping to back that up.
In terms of raw numbers, he does not quite stack up with those who have played longer, but for consistency, there are few if any who can match him.
When it comes to total tackles, it is no surprise to see Alun Wyn Jones at the top of the list, his 727 tackles are nearly 200 more than the next highest, Italy’s all-time appearance leader Sergio Parisse.
With 514 tackles, Jonny Gray is the only other player to have topped 500 tackles and at just 28, he will have Jones in his sights.
Gray holds the record for the most tackles in a single Championship, having made exactly 100 in 2018, and missed just three.
The Scotland second row is also second to Watson in terms of best tackle success rate, having made 97.5% of his tackles over the course of his career.
This year Michele Lamaro topped the charts with 86, equalling Tom Curry for the second highest total in a single campaign.
Other notable defenders in the Guinness Six Nations are Wales flanker Justin Tipuric, who has twice made 100+ consecutive tackles without missing one.
French pair Lionel Nallet (153) and Thierry Dusautoir (131) sit second and third behind Watson for streaks without a miss.
And it is also notable that four of the top ten tallies for tackles without a miss in a single Championship came in 2022. As well as Watson’s 70, Caelan Doris, Grant Gilchrist (both 53) and Zander Fagerson (36) all enjoyed flawless campaigns from a tackle perspective.
While they were not quite as tight in 2022 as in previous campaigns, it is little wonder that Steve Tandy’s Scottish defence has been so tough to penetrate in recent seasons.
And with Watson, Gray and Fagerson all still in their primes, that should not change any time soon.