France winger Gabin Villière has won the 2022 Guinness Six Nations Player of Round 2 for his outstanding display for Les Bleus in their 30-24 victory over Ireland.
A week after becoming only the second Frenchman to score a Guinness Six Nations hat-trick, the 26-year-old might have produced an even better display in the win over Ireland.
While there were no tries for him this time around in Paris, Villière showed that he is among the most well-rounded players in the game as the hosts maintained their perfect start.
He made a half-break in the build-up to France’s first try, which Antoine Dupont scored after 67 seconds, and then won the turnover penalty that allowed them to make it 10-0.
That was one of two turnover penalties he secured while Villière also hammered Bundee Aki backwards in one tackle before marching Hugo Keenan into touch.
The left wing, who has played every minute of the Championship so far, also finished the game with seven carries for 33 metres and five tackles – including one dominant tackle.
It was a performance that earned him rave reviews and has now resulted in him being named Player of Round 2, following in the footsteps of Ireland’s Mack Hansen last week.
Villière just edged out Marcus Smith in the public vote, receiving 35% compared to the England fly-half’s 33% after he starred for Eddie Jones’ men in Rome.
Smith was named Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match for his try-scoring display as England returned to winning ways with a 33-0 victory over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico.
But the 23-year-old’s performance was only good enough for second in the eyes of the public, with Smith finishing ahead of Villière’s teammates Gregory Alldritt.
Alldritt was named Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match for his side against Ireland and earned 21% of the public vote, having not missed a tackle all game in Paris.
And Ryan Elias was fourth with 11% of the vote, with the Wales hooker nominated for his Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match display in his side’s 20-17 win over Scotland.
Guinness Six Nations Player of Round 2 vote result
Gabin Villière – FRANCE v Ireland – 35% Marcus Smith – Italy v ENGLAND – 33% Grégory Alldritt – FRANCE v Ireland – 21% Ryan Elias – WALES v Scotland – 11%