Mike Tindall’s Team of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations

Mike Tindall knows a thing or two about winning a Grand Slam in Dublin, and following Ireland’s triumph in the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, the former England centre has selected his Team of the Championship.

Mike Tindall knows a thing or two about winning a Grand Slam in Dublin, and following Ireland’s triumph in the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, the former England centre has selected his Team of the Championship.

The 75-cap international scored as England wrapped up the Grand Slam in 2003 with a 42-6 win against Ireland, but it was a completely different story 20 years on.

Ireland stormed to the Grand Slam in Round 5, and with the 2023 edition now behind us, let’s look at the 2003 World Cup winner’s Team of the Championship.

Fans will not be shocked to see that Ireland are well represented in Tindall’s team.

However, they might be surprised to see James Lowe named as the only back in the side, starting on the wing despite stiff competition from the likes of Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe.

Damian Penaud grew into the Championship and was simply unplayable against England and Wales.

He is named on the other wing, with his France teammate Thomas Ramos completing the back three at full-back after impressing since taking over from Melvyn Jaminet.

Tindall said: “At fullback I’ve gone with Ramos.

“He was outstanding in his role as the goal-kicker, and added his drop goals, tries, and he made a lot of line breaks.

“Penaud is at 14, again there were so many good wingers, there are the two Irish wingers and Duhan van der Merwe, but again I am going for consistency of performance.

“I’ve gone for Lowe who has been outstanding all tournament.”

Huw Jones has been in and out of Scotland’s starting XV in recent years, but he was a real threat going forward in 2023 and has been rewarded with a spot in Tindall’s Team of the Championship.

Gaël Fickou lived up to his billing as one of the world’s best centres as France finished second, and he will partner Jones in the XV.

It was a straight shootout between Finn Russell and Johnny Sexton at fly-half, but Tindall has gone with the Scot after he helped his side to their highest finish since 2018.

Do we even need to say who is at scrum-half?

Of course, it is Antoine Dupont, after he was characteristically world class on his way to recording four assists during his campaign.

Tindall said: “At 13, Jones, I thought he was fantastic, he gained the most amount of metres and scored tries and at 12, Fickou, he was a tackling machine.

“At ten, Finn Russell, I know the Irish will hate me for picking that.

“Scotland are a great attacking team and he is a reason for that.

“He does not shirk away from tackling either and is probably the form ten at the moment worldwide, so I have to have him in mine team.

“At nine there is not much discussion about it, Dupont, his stats are just ridiculous.”

There are a lot more green jerseys in the forwards though.

Caelan Doris started the Championship with a try against Wales and ends it with a spot in Tindall’s team.

World Rugby Player of the Year for 2022 Josh van der Flier has been selected at seven after another industrious set of displays.

Charles Ollivon is one of two French forwards in Tindall’s team of the Championship.

His compatriot Thibaud Flament is selected in the engine room after crossing the whitewash three times as France pushed Ireland all the way to Super Saturday.

James Ryan was at his best during the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, rewarded with a spot alongside Flament in the second row.

Italy may have failed to record a win during the Championship, but Danilo Fischetti added his name to an ever-growing list of prodigious young stars hoping to usher in a new era for the Azzurri.

He is selected at loosehead, with Kyle Sinckler named at tighthead.

The England prop went about his business quietly in 2023 but did not lose an ounce of his hunger or power.

Dan Sheehan was the standout hooker during the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, and he rounds out Tindall’s Team of the Championship.

Tindall added: “At eight I have to go with Doris, just a great consistent performer, there are a few people that you could give a mention to but he leads the way.

“At seven, Van der Flier, the same thing.

“Bucket loads of tackles, he makes metres when he carries and linebreaks.

“At six, I thought Ollivon had a fantastic Championship, there are a lot of back rows that played well, (Sebastian) Negri I thought was fantastic for Italy.

“At five James Ryan was outstanding all the way through and at four Flament, great story, linebreaks galore.

“In the front row, I have gone with Sinckler at three, he made a shed load of tackles and a lot of dominant tackles in a team that has been struggling, he put it all on the line.

“At hooker, Sheehan, there is no debate there because he has been outstanding all Championship, and at prop Fischetti.

“Italy are up at about 90% for their successful scrum rate so he is getting the nuts and bolts done.”

15, Thomas Ramos

14, Damian Penaud

13, Huw Jones

12, Gael Fickou

11, James Lowe

10, Finn Russell

9, Antoine Dupont

8, Caelan Doris

7, Josh van der Flier

6, Charles Ollivon

5, James Ryan

4, Thibaud Flament

3, Kyle Sinckler

2, Dan Sheehan

1, Danilo Fischetti