North vs. South - Who Makes Your 6 Nations XV?

TRU's Six Nation pick


With the RBS 6 Nations now officially finished, we at Talking Rugby Union were divided by a battle of northern and southern hemisphere’s opinions as to who should be in the tournament XV.

Our man down under – southern correspondent Scotty Donaldson – provided his selections for the best players of the 6 Nations and, although there were a number of matches, there were a fair few disagreements too.

With Ireland lifting the trophy just a few days ago and England coming so close with an ever-growing young side – who would make your team of the tournament?

Burrell or BOD? Care or Murray? Sexton or Farrell? Let us know @talkrugbyunion who would make your team…

As for the Talking Rugby Union camp, we begin with the front row and, like the views from the southern hemisphere, it’s the Irish who dominate up-front.

Wearing the number one jersey, both Scotty and the TRU team alike went for Cian Healy – one of the best props in world rugby, who was a force to be reckoned with around the park and in the scrum.

Provided injuries stay away the Irish rock is sure to be a vital component for his team’s World Cup ambitions and one of the standout forwards anyone will need to watch out for.

But who will join him on the opposite side of the front row – who would be your other vital scrum support?

The north went for consistency and chose Wales’ Adam Jones to wear the number three shirt; however, Scotty and the south remained with the Irish theme and selected Mike Ross.

Do you agree? Would an England prop make your front row? We all saw David Wilson gallop through the Welsh defence two weeks ago…

Completing the front row we have the hooker and the decision came down to either Hartly, Best or Szarzewski?

The north went for Hartly, but again the south stayed with the new Champions and chose Rory Best. Who would be throwing the balls into your lineout?


One step back now and we find ourselves in the second row of the scrum – which pair of players would make it into your powerhouse? Would you chose team-mates, trusted partners or experiment with a new2 combination altogether?

The TRU team in the north went safe and chose a partnership who have impressed with fantastic performances at every stage of the competition – Lawes and Launchbury.

The young English pair made real names for themselves in this year’s competition, showing their growth into the role and arrival on the big stage as a real force to be reckoned with.

However, in the south the selections were not quite as expected, with a number of choices causing some eyebrows to be raised…

Our southern hemisphere correspondent Scotty chose to place two second rows together. Firstly, staying with the Irish pack theme, once again, Scotty chose Devin Toner and Welsh talisman Alun-Wyn Jones – controversial to say the least.


On to the back row and Scotty has gone Irish again, starting at 6, with Peter O’Mahony on the blindside.

The Irish hard-man was highly influential in his country’s campaign for the title with a number of stellar, powerful performances; he was unfortunate to get injured and miss the last few games.

On the opposite side Scotty has gone for the Welsh captain Sam Warburton – a complete flanker and leader on the field who is now unfortunately out with a shoulder injury.

Finally, on to number 8 and the southern hemisphere say Billy Vunipola. The young Englishman burst onto the international stage with powerful running and delicate offloads – putting his hand up as, already, one of the most effective 8’s in world rugby. Though, with injury keeping him out for part of the tournament, does he warrant a place in your side?

The TRU team in the north had a slightly different back row that again began with O’Mahony at 6.

Followed by influential leader and Captain Chris Robshaw, who has morphed into one of the hardest workers and best leaders in world rugby.

Finally, we chose 6 Nations Champion Jamie Heaslip at 8.

Who would be in your back row? Warburton or Robshaw at 7? Warburton won the battle for the Lions captaincy and 7 jersey, but did Robshaw do enough in this year’s 6 Nations to edge a place ahead of the Cardiff openside.


The backs now and starting with the half-backs, both hemispheres immediately put Danny Care down at scrum-half. The Harlequins 9 had a fantastic tournament with a number of key bursts, tries and runs that were invaluable to England in their campaign – a dead cert for the tournament XV.

Joining him at 10 Scotty chose Owen Farrell and the TRU team went for Champion Jonny Sexton.

The English and Irish playmakers stood out from the rest in the competition, with consistent performances throughout the tournament – either would be a deserved tournament XV 10.


On to the centres and both chose Wales’ Jamie Roberts at 12, but the real battle was as 13?

Who makes your outside centre slot?

We found the battle of the outside centres came down to Luther Burrell or Italy’s Michele Campagnaro, with the unfortunate injury of Wesley Fofana keeping the Frenchman out of the running.

Luther Burrell impressed ever since his England debut against France in the competition’s opener and looked to be the answer to England’s long-term mid-field problems. However, Campagnaro had a number of great performances and stood out in an Azzuri team which were pretty poor for the majority of the tournament.

Were Burrell’s performances better in a winning England team who pushed all the way for the title? Or do stand-out performances in a losing team carry more weight?

Scotty went for Campagnaro and we at TRU stuck with Burrell. Italian or English, or maybe even Irish or Welsh, who makes your team? Did Brian O’Driscoll in his final ever 6 Nations tournament warrant a place in your Tournament XV?


Finally we head to the back three, where Scotty went for George North, Andrew Trimble and Mike Brown at full-back.

On the other side the TRU team chose Scotland’s Tommy Seymour, Yoann Huget and, of course, Mike Brown.

The English full-back is many people’s favourite to be named the player of the tournament, with impressive performances in every single one of England’s games, but who would be on the wings in your team?


Let us know your thoughts on our selections and your own, tweet us at @talkrugbyunion...