France’s Grégory Alldritt has earned his second Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship nomination after expertly providing that vital link between forwards and backs during Les Bleus’ Grand Slam triumph.
The 24-year-old can seemingly do it all, whether that’s force turnovers at the breakdown, leave defenders trailing in the loose or off-load out of a tackle to put his teammates in the clear.
Alldritt has played a huge part in France’s renaissance over the last few years, which culminated with them completing the clean sweep against England, in a match where the No.8 was particularly outstanding.
It was his half-break and pass that led to his fellow Player of the Championship nominee Antoine Dupont going over for the try that effectively sealed the France’s 25-13 victory in front of an ecstatic Stade de France.
That was just the latest in a series of big contributions from Alldritt during a Championship in which he fully demonstrated his world-class credentials.
Hat-trick hero Gabin Villiere may have been Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match in the opening 37-10 victory against Italy, but Alldritt was hugely conspicuous that afternoon in Paris.
It was a typical thrust and off-load from him that set Villiere on the way for the second of his three tries, which formed part of the 113 metres he made from 22 carries in the match.
He also made a joint-French high of 11 tackles, while he also contributed at the lineout with three wins.
Alldritt was not quite as to the fore in Round 2, but he was on for the full 80 minutes as France picked up a 30-24 win against Ireland at the Stade de France that turned out to be pivotal.
He was also played the full game at BT Murrayfield in Round 3, as Scotland were dispatched 36-17 in clinical fashion by Les Bleus.
While they scored five tries, it was a big defensive effort from the French back row, who made 42 tackles between them, with Alldritt contributing 13 of them and winning two turnovers in the process.
He also made the most passes, by far, of any of his side’s forwards as he found a teammate eight times, with two of those offloads.
France were not able to shine quite so much in defeating Wales 13-9 at Principality Stadium in Round 4 and it was a rare quiet night for Alldritt as well, as he was replaced by Dylan Cretin for the final 15 minutes.
It’s fair to say, however, that he was well and truly back to his best for the visit of England for what was the final game of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations.
We have already spoken of his contribution to Dupont’s try, which came at a time where the English were threatening to mount a comeback in the second half.
That assist was one of two offloads he produced, while he was a constant menace to England at the breakdown, forcing two turnovers and often preventing them from getting quick ball.
Once the dust had settled, across five games Alldritt had gained a combined total of 317 metres, made 51 tackles, completed 65 carries – the most in the Championship – and won six turnovers.
Dupont may be the spark that so often ignites France, but it is Alldritt that does so much to knit things together for Fabien Galthie’s side and it’s no surprise that he continues to be one of the Championship’s standout players, at still a relatively young age.
So now it is up to you the fans. Voting will close on Wednesday so pick your favourite and have a say in the 2022 Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship.