Alex Corbisiero: Guinness Six Nations Team of Round Four

The penultimate round of Guinness Six Nations action certainly was not short of standout performers, with Wales, Ireland and England impressing in victory.

The penultimate round of Guinness Six Nations action certainly was not short of standout performers, with Wales, Ireland and England impressing in victory.

And watching every moment from stateside was former England prop Alex Corbisiero, covering Rugby’s Greatest Championship for NBC.

The 2011 Guinness Six Nations winner was given the tough task of picking out his top performers from the weekend’s action – and after much deliberation, here’s his final XV.

15. Elliot Daly

He’s growing into a really good Test full-back. There were a lot of questions over him at the start of the Guinness Six Nations, but I think he’s answered them. His threat off the counter-attack, off turnover ball is massive. His pace out the back is such a threat and every time he gets the ball his decision making is fantastic.

14. Joe Cokanasiga

Talking about X-Factor, this guy brought it at the weekend. I think he gave England a real edge with his physicality, but also his threat with ball-in-hand from a pace point of view, a stepping point of view. He didn’t look like he had any weaknesses in that game.

13. Manu Tuilagi

I thought Jonathan Davies shone as well, but Manu’s carries, his X-Factor, his physicality is getting back to the best rugby we’ve seen from him. He’s really starting to impact games, and it was too much in that 13 channel for anyone to handle at times.

12. Hadleigh Parkes

He had a very well-rounded game. He carried well, defended well, marshalled that back-line. He’s just a lynch-pin in that Welsh team now.

11. Josh Adams

He just seems to be on fire – a go-to player for Wales. When given opportunities he’s an out-and-out finisher and deserves to be in this team.

10. Johnny Sexton

This was a difficult one – I thought Sexton or Owen Farrell could’ve been in the team. But Ireland controlled the game against France so well that their half-backs get the nod.

9. Conor Murray

As mentioned, I thought Ireland’s control of the game was phenomenal – particularly in the first half. Conor Murray’s box kicking and all-round game looked to be back to his best – it was good to see him playing so well.

1. Cian Healy

He was back to his best this weekend after sitting out against Italy in Round Three. I was very impressed with Cian – he really stood out to me in that position.

2. Jamie George

I thought he had a great game. His all-round game, involvements around the park, set-piece, and a try from a rolling maul as well. The emotional side of me almost picked Rory Best, but I just felt like Jamie was very impressive.

3. Kyle Sinckler

This was one of the toughest ones of the day. Sinckler, Tadhg Furlong, Demba Bamba – those three all stood out, I just thought that with Sinckler’s carries, his break, his little kick for me edged it.

4. Alun Wyn Jones

I just think you have to pick him. He was in everything: his work-rate, his effectiveness, leadership on the field. He’s steered his side to one game off a Grand Slam.

5. James Ryan

He was everywhere in that game: making tackles, carrying, his lineout, getting through work. He just had a reallystrong all-round performance and another very impressive player that’s playing well.

6. Josh Navidi

The back row was tough to call. I thought Brad Shields played well for England, but Navidi – in a tough game – just shone for me. The amount of tackles he makes, competitiveness at the breakdown accompanied with his carrying – I thought he did enough to get the nod.

7. Hamish Watson

Tom Curry and Hamish Watson were the two that I was debating here, but Watson’s impact with his carrying on the field bolstered a team in a tough game that needed it. He may not have been on the pitch for very long but he made such a difference that I had to find a space for him.

8. Jack Conan

I felt that Jack Conan in coming on stood out for me. Obviously, he got the try, but he did a lot of work around the field as well. I thought he gave an added boost to that Ireland back row, especially from a gain-line perspective.