They may have missed the ultimate prize, but Ireland can look back on this year’s Six Nations with satisfaction as they won four out of five and earned a Triple Crown.
ndy Farrell fielded 32 players and performances were consistently high. Finally, it’s time to organize their posts.
1 JOSH VAN DER FLIER
(5 games, 400 minutes, 2 attempts)
The only Irish player to play every minute of every game, the flanker has brought incisions to his industry and set the tone for the team with his unrelenting excellence. Unexcelled in the physical stakes at the highest level, he has honed his game to the point where he would be an automatic choice if a Lions roster were picked this morning. An outstanding campaign.
2 JAMISON GIBSON PARK
(5 games, 327 minutes, 2 attempts)
Referring Conor Murray to such a limited role says more about Gibson Park than anything else. Has become a leading light capable of opening big games. His dedication to speed in attacking play embodies the team’s identity.
3 TADHG BEIRN
(5 games, 381 minutes)
Despite being asked to switch to the blindside, Beirne started every game from the second row and never let the team down. Didn’t get as many poachers as last season but made a big impact.
(4 games, 313 minutes, 1 try)
His consistency and security belie his relative inexperience, but it’s the attacking edge that sets him apart in this window. Under pressure from Mike Lowry, he responded with a series of brilliant moments.
(5 games, 374 minutes)
The back row, still growing at this level, may suffer from being moved between blindside and No. 8, but there’s no denying its class. Capable of dominating test matches at a young age, he might have been a bit quiet in Paris but excelled elsewhere.
6 TADHG FURLANG
(5 games, 325 minutes)
The scrum debacle at Twickenham will not suit Furlong, but he has nonetheless put in a number of quality performances. Passed the ball more times than anyone from the front row and did it brilliantly while offering a physical presence throughout.
7 GARRY RING ROSE
(5 games, 380 minutes, 1 try)
Clearly Farrell has a lot of trust in him and the center responded with a series of calm displays. He’s getting better and better defensively, while his passing game is a real asset to the way Ireland play.
8 JOHNNY SEXTON
(4 games, 250 minutes)
Injury kept him from one last Six Nations dance in Paris, but he reiterated his intention to return to the Stade for one last pitch next year. He’s the brains and heartbeat of this team and he’s still playing well.
9 ANDREW PORTER
(3 games, 180 minutes)
His reputation has skyrocketed in his absence and it’s not like he was bad to begin with. When he is fit he is fundamental to the way Ireland play. Abrasive, energetic and skillful.
10 DAN SHEEHAN
(5 games, 256 minutes, 1 try)
There’s room for improvement in the scrum, but it’s a delight to watch the 23-year-old hooker in open play. His footwork sets him apart while his lineout is good. Took his chance.
11 MACK HANSEN
(4 games, 320 minutes, 1 try)
A memorable debut season for Connacht’s wing, which scored Ireland’s attempt at the tournament. A shock choice for Wales, he repaid Farrell’s faith with a string of strong performances and unfortunately missed the game against England.
12 JAMES LION
(3 games, 240 minutes, 3 attempts)
Missed the first two games but made a direct comeback for Italy and was a key player in the win at Twickenham. Even when he makes mistakes, he wreaks havoc.
13 BUNDEE AKI
(4 games, 265 minutes, 1 try)
He’s playing a new role for Ireland and is doing quite well, but hasn’t done enough to ward off expectations that Robbie Henshaw will return when he’s fully fit again. Still a strong option.
14 JACK CONAN
(5 games, 196 minutes, 1 try)
A strange tournament for the No. 8, who had many happy moments but did not last more than 53 minutes in any of his four starts. His performance from the London bench showed his undisputed class.
15 ANDREW CONWAY
(3 games, 222 minutes, 2 attempts)
He exploded into the tournament with two tries against Wales, didn’t get much change against France but was a key figure at Twickenham.
16 JAMES RYAN
(3 games, 145 minutes)
A tournament marred by his recent head injury, Ryan captained the team in Paris and led from the front. Still has a lot to do if he can overcome his problems.
17 PETER O’MAHONY
(5 games, 206 minutes, 1 try)
Featured in every game, he earned a start against England and delivered an oddly subdued performance. Now an influential squad player and a good one at that.
18 RONAN KELLEHER
(2 games, 86 minutes)
Ireland missed him when he was ruled out with a shoulder injury sustained in the defeat by France and he will still be a starter if he is fit.
19 CONOR MURRAY
(4 games, 54 minutes, 1 try)
He never lasted more than 20 minutes in a game but seemed to hone his ability to impress as the tournament progressed.
20 ROBBIE HENSHAW
(4 games, 122 minutes)
He just didn’t quite keep up, but his brief and brilliant cameo at Twickenham showed what he’s capable of.
21 JOEY CARBERY
(5 games, 156 minutes, 1 try)
Did enough in Paris to indicate Ireland can manage without Sexton but then had a frustrating game against Italy and never had a chance to shine again. Needs a big end of the season for Munster.
22 FINLAY BEALHAM
(5 games, 75 minutes, 1 try)
Scotland gave him problems but he was solid when he was presented and made up for his effort in defeating England at Twickenham.
23 IAIN HENDERSON
(3 games, 164 minutes)
A frustrating window disrupted by injuries and Covid. He was poor in London but finished well against the Scots.
24 ROB HERRING
(3 games, 58 minutes)
Has fallen down the pecking order but has shown he is a solid third pick and he played really well off the bench against England.
25 CIAN HEALTHY
(4 games, 127 minutes, 1 try)
Hang on for dear life and it starts to show. Whatever it is, coming off the bench and making an impact, he’s struggled as a starter.
26 MICHAEL LOWRY
(1 game, 80 minutes, 2 attempts)
It was just one game against the weakest team in the tournament but he showed that he has something to offer this team.
(2 games 2, 95 minutes, 1 try)
Must continue with Leinster but there is always room for his athletic ability and ball control.
28 DAVE KILCOYNE
(3 games, 93 minutes)
Has fought his way back but his mission is to force Healy out at this point.
29 CRAIG CASEY
(1 game, 19 minutes)
Perhaps he would have hoped for more engagement but an impressive display on the bench against the Italians was all he got.
30 KIERAN FOUNTAIN
(2 games, 37 minutes, 1 try)
After not playing since 2017, the suspension came in and has done well in his two caps.
31 JAMES HUME
(2 games, 51 minutes)
He is clearly excellent but needs some luck to pass Ringrose.
32 JACK CARTY
(1 game, 2 minutes)
Getting back in is an achievement but his brief chance came with the game in limbo in Paris.
THE REST: There were great expectations for Robert Baloucounebut he has fallen out of favor in the meantime Gavin Coombes and Nick Timoney cannot break into the back row. Jordan Larmour has sustained an injury – as well Tom O’Toole. Dave Heffernan, Jimmy O’Brien, Dave Heffernan, Ross Molony and Jeremy Loughman all trained without hitting a ceiling.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/six-nations/irelands-32-players-from-this-years-six-nations-ranked-41472561.html Ireland’s 32 players from this year’s Six Nations ranked