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Six Nations awards: Alun Wyn Jones takes home player of the tournament

Chris Foy’s Six Nations awards: Alun Wyn Jones takes home player of the tournament while Ireland claim biggest letdown

  • The Six Nations came to an end on Saturday with Wales securing the Grand Slam
  • Warren Gatland’s side were efficient if not spectacular but easily beat Ireland  
  • Now the dust has settled, it’s time to announce this year’s Six Nations awards  

Wales’ comprehensive 25-7 victory over Ireland on Saturday brought the curtain down on a fraught yet exhilarating Six Nations Championships.

Warren Gatland secured a third Grand Slam triumph while England coach Eddie Jones was left mulling the consequences of his side’s Jekyll and Hyde performances.

Now that the dust has settled, Sportsmail’s CHRIS FOY played host to this year’s Six Nations awards: 

Alun Wyn Jones scoops player of the tournament being the driving force of his Wales team

Alun Wyn Jones scoops player of the tournament being the driving force of his Wales team

Alun Wyn Jones scoops player of the tournament being the driving force of his Wales team

Player of the championship

Alun Wyn Jones. This really isn’t open to debate. Others were very good but the Wales captain was supreme. His influence and relentless drive carried his team to Grand Slam glory.

Team of the championship

L Williams (Wales); J Adams (Wales), J Davies (Wales), H Parkes (Wales), J May (England); F Russell (Scotland), A Dupont (France); R Evans (Wales), K Owens (Wales), K Sinckler (England); AW Jones (Wales), G Kruis (England); J Navidi (Wales), R Moriarty (Wales), T Curry (England).

Try of the championship

Sam Johnson for Scotland against England. Finn Russell set it up with his vision and sublime execution, then Johnson’s pace, footwork and strength to blast through several defenders did the rest.

Sam Johnson wins try of the championship for his score against England on the final day

Sam Johnson wins try of the championship for his score against England on the final day

Sam Johnson wins try of the championship for his score against England on the final day

Biggest letdown

Ireland as a whole, but particularly their Lions half-backs. Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton veered from average to abysmal. The title-holders were dire.

Warm gesture

Alun Wyn Jones showed his caring side before the game against Ireland by realising the seven-year-old mascot was cold. He took off his training jacket and wrapped it round him for the anthems.

Best singing of an anthem

Wales. As always. Especially Ken Owens. The Scarlets hooker (left) has a fine voice and delivers the words with stirring, primal passion. Italy have the best anthem, though. In Rome, when the home fans belt it out it is some spectacle.

Ken Owens of Wales secures the best singing of an anthem award for his belting renditions

Ken Owens of Wales secures the best singing of an anthem award for his belting renditions

Ken Owens of Wales secures the best singing of an anthem award for his belting renditions

Top cameos

Dan Biggar for Wales against England, when he came off the bench for the final quarter and terrorised the visitors with his aerial barrage. And Hamish Watson for Scotland against Wales. The flanker made a multitude of telling carries to give his side a shot at victory.

Versatile performer

Josh Navidi was superb throughout the championship, but the Cardiff Blues flanker showed that his talents extend beyond rugby, by DJing at a Cardiff bar during the raucous Slam celebrations.

Agonising howler

France wing Yoann Huget endured an ordeal in the opener against Wales, spilling the ball over his own line to gift George North the simplest of tries.

France wing Yoann Huget (right) earns the agonising howler award for his error against Wales

France wing Yoann Huget (right) earns the agonising howler award for his error against Wales

France wing Yoann Huget (right) earns the agonising howler award for his error against Wales

Misleading scoreline

On the championship’s first night in Paris, France led Wales 16-0 at half-time. Everything could have turned out very differently if the hosts hadn’t imploded.

Stand-out stats

22 — number of consecutive Italian Six Nations defeats. 3 — paltry number of penalties conceded by Wales against England. 27 — Mark Wilson’s remarkable tackle count against Ireland.

Changing of the guard

Five of the six countries could have new coaches next year. Warren Gatland and Joe Schmidt (left) are standing down and Eddie Jones may yet do the same, while the French and Italian unions will surely seek replacements for Jacques Brunel and Conor O’Shea.

Spoiled script

In Sergio Parisse’s last competitive Test in Rome, the Italy No 8 deserved to sign off with a win, but Damian Penaud forced the ball out of Marco Zanon’s grasp to stop a potentially decisive late try.

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