The dust has now settled on the 2017 6 Nations, with the tournament coming to an unusual close in Dublin. In a way, a rather subdued England team lifting the trophy in the aftermath of defeat was a fitting end to this year's championship, as it has been anything but conventional. Packed with drama, intrigue and some top-quality rugby, it has been downright bizarre at times.

With the rugby now finished, all that remains is to dish out the Awards. Many leading newspapers and media outlets have already had their say on this matter, while the online voting for the official Player of the Championship has now closed, the result being imminent.

Various accolades relating to team, try and coach of the year will have to wait until 2017 draws to a close, but here are my predictions based on the 2017 championship.


End-to-end, free-flowing rugby to the extent that those present in Cardiff probably needed the rest of the day to get their breath back. Add that to the atmosphere that only exists when Wales host England, several near-tries from the home side and a 76th minute score from Elliot Daly and we had a true epic. Not only was it the most impressive spectacle, but it could also be seen as the game in which the trophy was won. As Eddie Jones' men grabbed the only away win outside of Rome, this unmatched feat was what ultimately made all the difference.


Stuart Hogg was everywhere Scotland needed him to be, popping up in all areas of the pitch to make evasive runs and exquisite passes. Some still ask questions about his defence, but his vision and awareness certainly can't be faulted. When Hogg is on the field there is a constant feeling that anything might happen when he gets his hands on the ball, and despite the tough competition he will face from Messrs Halfpenny, Brown and Kearney he has every reason to set his sights on the no.

15 shirt when the Lions take on the All Blacks this summer.


With 18 minutes on the clock and Wales yet to register a score, a lineout inches inside the Ireland half hardly seemed like a likely platform from which to seize five points. But when you've got Scott Williams to punch holes in the defence and Rhys Webb running support lines, a scintillating attack can be launched from anywhere.

Webb's sublime long pass found Leigh Halfpenny, who selflessly fed George North. The latter gave a resounding answer to all the questions about his form by powering through both Irish wingers to grab the first of a brace of tries. This is why neutrals love to watch Wales.


OK, this may seem like a strange choice: the man who led his team to the not-so-heady heights of fourth place. Surely Eddie Jones deserves the accolade for retaining the trophy? But England have digressed slightly this year, and Jones' ungracious comments about Italy's tactics showed a lack of respect for rugby's diverse array of possibilities. Vern Cotter has not only made his side a force to be reckoned with, but has turned Murrayfield into a fortress, winning all three home games.

Scottish rugby will miss the kiwi as he moves to Montpellier.


While the entire England team were bewildered by the Italian gameplan, Romain Poite handled the tricky situation superbly. Letting the cry of 'tackle only' ring out loud and clear, the Frenchman communicated excellently across the language barrier. He even came up with the year's best one-liner as the English pack pestered him. 'I am a referee, not a coach, ' he quipped. Nice one Romain.

Moment of skill

Now this is not what you expect from a front-row forward. Stooping low to gather the ball in the face of the onrushing England defence, Rory Best throws a delightful reverse pass that Dan Carter would be proud of. Done under pressure, this moment of magic released Jared Payne down the right wing, almost leading to a try, although the fact that no score came of it makes it no less impressive.