Seven standout players from the 2022 Championship so far

After two intense weeks of action, the 2022 Guinness Six Nations is beginning to take shape.

After two intense weeks of action, the 2022 Guinness Six Nations is beginning to take shape.

The stars of this year’s edition have already taken centre stage, dominating opponents and changing games in the hope of winning Rugby’s Greatest Championship.

So with Round 3 approaching, let us take a look at seven standout players from the 2022 Championship so far.

Marcus Smith

Despite finding himself on the losing side against Scotland, Marcus Smith has been one of the standout performers in this year’s Guinness Six Nations.

The 23-year-old fly-half finished superbly to score England’s only try in the 20-17 defeat at the hands of Gregor Townsend’s Scotland.

He added to his Championship tally with another score, this time against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

It may not be what he is known for, but he has also kicked brilliantly from the tee, and with different areas of his game improving constantly, it feels as if we are watching a future icon of the game take shape.

Grégory Alldritt

Grégory Alldritt won Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match in France’s 30-24 win against Ireland at Stade de France, having been unlucky to miss out on the prize in the 37-10 win over Italy.

He has been one of the Championship’s standout players, physically dominating his opponents in attack and defence.

Alldritt has gained a total of 169 metres with the ball in two games, the most of any forward, while his 30 carries lead the entire Championship. He has also been committed in defence, making 20 tackles.

With Round 3 and Scotland at BT Murrayfield on the horizon, Alldritt could be critical to France’s chances of securing their first Grand Slam since 2010 and their tenth overall.

Gabin Villière

This list is seven players long for a reason, and that is because nobody can be expected to decide between the monstrous Alldritt and the electric Gabin Villière.

Scoring a hat-trick and being named Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match in a 37-10 opening-game win against Italy is one thing, but backing it up with a brilliant performance against Ireland is another where Villière’s two turnovers and ferocious defence caught the eye.

Unfortunately for France, Villière looks set to miss their Round 3 visit to BT Murrayfield for the clash with Scotland but the 26-year-old Toulon winger should be back to face Wales.

And on his current form, that is very bad news indeed for Wayne Pivac and his men.

Mack Hansen

Many people may not have expected to see Mack Hansen start for Ireland in this year’s Guinness Six Nations.

The 23-year-old Connacht winger has exploded onto the scene and has made the No.11 shirt his own this year.

He was one of Ireland’s best players in the 29-7 win against Wales, showing off his work ethic and ingenuity as he popped up all over the field looking to help his team.

Hansen was then rewarded for his hard work with a stunning try in the 30-24 loss against France, complimenting his score with another all-action performance that will have Ireland fans itching to see the winger in Round 3.

Michele Lamaro

Italy are still looking for their first win of the campaign but one man who has impressed has been skipper Michele Lamaro, who has led by example.

The flanker leads the entire Championship in terms of tackles made, with 41, while he has also chipped with a crucial turnover and a couple of offloads.

Under Kieran Crowley, Lamaro appears to have stepped up his game with the responsibility of the captaincy, so much so that it is easy to forget that he is still only 23.

A trip to Dublin is next, so expect another all-action display from Lamaro as he tries to negate the threat of the Ireland back row.

Darcy Graham

Scotland winger Darcy Graham has stepped into the limelight during the 2022 Guinness Six Nations, outshining even British & Irish Lion Duhan van der Merwe.

Graham scored Scotland’s only try in the 20-17 loss at Principality Stadium after running himself into the ground in the 20-17 win against England.

Scotland face Championship frontrunners France in Round 3 and while Graham will likely have his hands full in defence, the 24-year-old’s immense work rate will also provide Les Bleus with their own problems.

Taine Basham

Despite being just 22 years old, Taine Basham has already made a considerable impact on the 2022 Guinness Six Nations.

The flanker has been a consistent performer in an inconsistent Welsh side that beat a buoyant Scotland 20-17, having lost to Ireland 29-7 the week before.

He scored Wales’ only try in the defeat in Dublin and was one of the few Welsh players who escaped with his reputation enhanced.

He backed it up with an industrious performance against Scotland that provided Dan Biggar with plenty of quick ball.

It is still unclear how Wales will finish this year’s Championship, but if Basham continues playing like this, you have got to think they can cause England, France and Italy some issues.