Team of the week: Six Nations, Super Rugby, PRO14 and Top 14 standouts combine
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 12/03/18 11:19am
Round four of the Six Nations took place over the weekend, alongside a full schedule of Super Rugby and Top 14, plus a top of the table PRO14 clash - catch our standout XV below!
Newly-crowned 2018 Six Nations champions Ireland feature heavily, but here are all the top performers who earned their names on our teamsheet this week....
15. Jessy Tremouliere (France Women)
Ireland's Rob Kearney ran Tremouliere very close, but for her match-winning display in breaking England hearts, the France Women full-back has to make it in.
She notched two tries, including one in the final minute to confirm an 18-17 victory in front of a world-record crowd of 17,440 in Grenoble.
Her first saw her hang out on the left wing before finishing strongly, while the winner came after she saw off the challenges of three English players to glide over and keep France on course for a Grand Slam.
14. George North (Wales)
North had something of a point to prove heading into this game after his recent off-field problems with Northampton, but prove it he did.
He looked in really good form in Wales' 38-14 victory over Italy on Sunday, contributing two tries and 101 metres.
Once released, his pace and power is near unstoppable.
A mention too for Scotland's Blair Kinghorn, who notched his first Test try on the occasion of his first Test start. His feet, handling skills and physical stature really came to the fore in Dublin. What a talent.
13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
While Kearney was the official man of the match from Ireland's 28-8 victory over Scotland in Dublin, for many, the player of the match was Ringrose.
Thrust into the action after injuries to Robbie Henshaw and Chris Farrell, his display over the Scots was only his seventh outing of the season, but you wouldn't have known it.
Ringrose looked sharp defensively and his feet were outstanding from an attacking point of view. He also proved the architect for Stockdale's second try on the stroke of half-time.
The centre made 12 carries, 12 tackles, beat five defenders and made 92 metres with ball in hand. Welcome back!
12. Jan Serfontein (Montpellier)
Top 14 leaders Montpellier thumped second-placed Racing 92 41-3 on Saturday, as they opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the table.
Inside-centre Serfontein was the best player on the park as he crossed for two tries in a man-of-the-match display.
The Springbok showed wonderful inventiveness for his and Montpellier's first as he chipped over the Racing defence, regathered and slid over, before he showed super power on a crash ball for his second. A classy operator.
11. Jacob Stockdale (Ireland)
The Ulster winger now has 10 tries in eight Tests for Ireland following his double against Scotland.
He also, as a result, became the first Irishman in history to score six tries in a single Six Nations campaign, and the fourth from any nation.
Things seem so easy for the 21-year-old who has been a superb addition to Joe Schmidt's side.
A note too for France left wing Remy Grosso, who made 106 metres against England in a physical performance.
10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
His kicking off the tee against Wales two weeks ago may have been off key, but against Scotland on Saturday, Sexton was back into the groove.
He kicked four from five, including four superb conversions, and though he will be disappointed with the missed penalty, it was another marvellous display from the Ireland 10.
His kicking from hand was strong once more, control of the game splendid, and defensive work fantastic. He also forced three turnovers. Is there a stronger fly-half defensively in world rugby?
9. Conor Murray (Ireland)
France's Maxime Machenaud was close but Murray impresses nearly every time he steps onto a rugby pitch. The control, intelligence and composure he exhibits on the field is outstanding.
Against Scotland, he was at his usual best, with his kicking game typically supremely strong, defensive performance invaluable, and passing game magnificent.
The Munster man also chipped in with another try, sniping off the back of a maul to touch down as Bundee Aki latched on to provide support.
Since the 2015 World Cup, Murray has scored nine Test tries - two more than any other Tier-1 scrum-half. He's a class apart.
1. Cian Healy (Ireland)
He may have only lasted 50-odd minutes, but during the first half against Scotland, Healy was the best player on the pitch by a distance.
Time and again he showed up for carries, 10 of them in fact, which is a superb effort for a prop forward, particularly considering the time he was on the pitch.
He also chipped in with six tackles, missing none, at a time when several of his team-mates were frequently letting Scots slip through.
His power and acceleration are freakish when he's on song. What an asset to have.
2. Guilhem Guirado (France)
Though the France lineout may have been a disaster against England, in the loose skipper Guirado worked his socks off in an industrious display of super energy levels.
The hooker made 12 tackles, while he also earned 41 hard metres going forward. The breakdown was an area France won without question, and in this facet Guirado was brilliantly physical.
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
Another Irishman fills the tighthead slot as Furlong could not be left out on his return. The prop was head and shoulders above any other performer in his position over the weekend.
Having missed Ireland's victory over Wales due to a hamstring complaint, the British and Irish Lion was back to his rampaging best against the Scots.
The 25-year-old made an astounding 12 carries, beating three defenders, while he also pitched in with a turnover. As is customary, he was also solid as a rock at scrum time.
4. James Ryan (Ireland)
What a find this man is turning out to be. Still just 21 years of age, Ryan made the most carries (15) and most tackles (14) of any Irish player at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
He has slotted into Schmidt's side seamlessly and is slowly developing into a key part of it. He does his job, and does it effectively.
The scary thing is, you get the sense there is still so much more to come from the former U20 skipper.
5. Jonny Gray (Scotland)
Though France lock Paul Gabrillagues worked extremely hard in victory over England putting in 16 tackles, he was outdone in the tackle stakes by Gray, who completed an extraordinary 26 in Dublin.
The only member of our XV to have been on the losing side this week, Gray gets in by virtue of being an absolute tackle machine. He also contributed an offload in attack.
6. Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets)
Another Irishman takes the blindside slot, but not one who was performing in green.
After last week's disruption, Scarlets and Leinster managed to put on their rearranged fixture on Friday night, and once again the star of the show was Beirne.
Claiming yet another man-of-the-match medal, Beirne made 14 carries, eight tackles, two offloads, beat two defenders and claimed four lineouts in an astonishing performance.
He also took his PRO14 turnovers for the season to a remarkable 36 - 15 more than any other player.
The most recent of those came at the death at Parc y Scarlets on Friday as he carved out the opportunity for Dan Jones to claim a 10-10 draw with the final kick.
7. Yacouba Camara (France)
France ensured England will not be going into the final weekend of the Six Nations with a title still to fight for after their 22-16 success in Paris.
The pick of the bunch was openside Camara who put in a fantastic showing.
The flanker made a game-high 13 carries, while also making 10 tackles, earning three turnovers and beating two defenders.
Camara was part of a France pack which utterly battered England at the breakdown.
8. Akira Ioane (Blues)
The Blues produced a stunning comeback to see off last year's Super Rugby finalists the Lions 38-35 at Ellis Park on Saturday.
With six minutes remaining, the Blues were 11 points down but they somehow pulled it out of the fire, with No 8 Ioane a central figure as to the reason why.
Ioane, older brother of All Black winger Rieko Ioane, was monumental throughout in South Africa, scoring a try at the end of the first half to keep the Blues in it, while also making 75 metres off 10 carries.
He also, phenomenally, beat 10 defenders going forward. Expect to see the 22-year-old alongside his brother for New Zealand sooner rather than later.