Nominees for Guinness Six Nations Player of Round 1

The first round of the Guinness Six Nations is in the books with France, Ireland and Wales up and running with victories.

The first round of the Guinness Six Nations is in the books with France, Ireland and Wales up and running with victories.

And those three countries provide the six nominees for this week’s Guinness Six Nations Player of the Round with three Frenchmen, two Irishmen and one Welsh winger all up for the award.


The question is, who do you think was the best of the lot?

Grégory Alldritt (France)

The Guinness Player of the Match in France’s win over England, No.8 Grégory Alldritt had an exceptional day for Les Bleus as they got the better of the World Cup finalists.

He set the tone early with a steal in the French 22 and was always on hand to make the hard yards.

His 11 carries were the most of any France player, and with 18 tackles and none missed, he was also at the heart of a French defensive effort that largely shut down England.

Add in some good work at the back of a French scrum that was under pressure, and his Player of the Match award was well-deserved.

Antoine Dupont (France)

A year ago Antoine Dupont was exceptional off the bench in a losing cause for France at Twickenham. In 2020 he played the full 80 and was a large reason that France avenged that loss.

It was Dupont’s beautifully delayed pass that put Teddy Thomas through and ended with the first try for Vincent Rattez, while he was even more involved in sending Charles Ollivon over for France’s third.

But it was also in defence that Dupont made his presence felt, with one perfectly timed tackle on Willi Heinz forcing a knock-on that effectively ended any remaining England hopes of victory.

Bernard Le Roux (France)

Both Alldritt and Dupont played their part in defence for France, but no one was more involved than Bernard Le Roux in repelling England attacks.

The former flanker, who has now found his home in the second row, thrived in Shaun Edwards’ system as he knocked back carrier after carrier.

Early on he was the man to stop Manu Tuilagi dead in his tracks as the centre tried to go on a trademark bulldozing run, before Le Roux gave Sam Underhill a taste of his own medicine with a powerful, legal tackle that shut down another England attack.

He finished with 25 tackles in all, missing just one, as England found no way through the French forwards.

Josh Adams (Wales)

No one is more prolific in world rugby just now than Josh Adams, who followed up being the top try-scorer at the World Cup with a hat-trick against Italy.

The Wales winger has a nose for the try-line which few can match, and picked the exact same spot for his first two tries on Saturday.

On both occasions he could have been pushed into touch, but Adams judged his dives perfectly to get over.

And with time up on the clock, Adams was again the right man in the right place to complete his treble for the defending Grand Slam champions.

Johnny Sexton (Ireland)

Johnny Sexton could not have asked for much more from his first match as Ireland captain in the Guinness Six Nations.

He scored all 19 points in a 19-12 victory, including a first-half try and four further penalties.

Sexton went four years without a Test try, but has now scored four in the past 12 months, finishing on the left for the crucial score against Scotland.

And then with his team under pressure for large periods, Sexton kept the scoreboard ticking over to keep Scotland at arm’s length.

CJ Stander (Ireland)

The clash with Scotland saw CJ Stander return to the blindside flank where he had started his Test career, but that switch was only temporary.

After Caelan Doris’ early withdrawal, Stander returned to No.8 and he had such an influential game that he was named Guinness Player of the Match.

Dynamic in open field and always a willing carrier, it was close to the Ireland line that Stander made the biggest impact.

He made two crucial steals on his own line including one to seal the win as Ireland emerged 19-12 victors.