Six Nations organisers have announced the 12-man shortlist for the official Player of the Tournament.
With Warren Gatland due to name his squad for the Lions tour of New Zealand in the coming weeks, many players from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales were looking to impress the coach – and to that end, the nominees list contains nine players that will be hoping to have done enough to board the plane.
Six Nations partners Accenture collaborated with former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett to narrow choose the standout performers from this year’s campaign.
Champions England, as expected, have the most nominations – forwards Maro Itoje and Joe Launchbury and centre Owen Farrell all make the cut. Indeed, had Eddie Jones’ side completed the grand slam then it could have led to more players being included, but as it is the above trio stood out from the victorious Red Rose to merit inclusion.
Runners-up Ireland, meanwhile, have two players among the nominees list, as CJ Stander and Conor Murray are up for the vote.
Scotland and Wales also get two inclusions – Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell from the former, Rhys Webb and Ken Owens the latter.
In a tournament that was relatively even in terms of results (apart from England and Italy), France also have a pair of nominees, number eight Louis Picamoles and the tournament’s top points scorer Camille Lopez.
Italy captain Sergio Parisse rounds out the list of nominees, in what was a massive learning curve for new Azzurri coach Conor O’Shea.
The poll, which will be entirely fan-voted, will close on Tuesday and can be voted on here.
Six Nations Player of the Tournament Nominees:
1 Louis Picamoles (France)
2 CJ Stander (Ireland)
3 Finn Russell (Scotland)
4 Camille Lopez (France)
5 Maro Itoje (England)
6 Owen Farrell (England)
7 Joe Launchbury (England)
8 Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
9 Conor Murray (Ireland)
10 Sergio Parisse (Italy)
11 Rhys Webb (Wales)
12 Ken Owens (Wales)