Team of the Week: Six Nations Round 2 standouts combine
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 11/02/19 9:54pm
After another hectic weekend of Six Nations action, the best players from Round 2 combine in our XV this week...
England backed up their Round 1 win in Dublin with a crushing 44-8 success over France, Ireland responded with a 22-13 victory in Scotland and Wales got over the line in Italy 26-15.
Find out who makes our cut and have your say when it comes to the most influential player of the weekend with our vote below...
15. Rob Kearney (Ireland)
Ireland missed Kearney's solidity badly against England in defeat during Round 1 of the Championship, and in their victory on Saturday at Murrayfield, he once again demonstrated his importance to the side.
His reading of the back-field is superb, and very much underrated, while he made some 88 metres with ball in hand going forward, put his hand up for 13 carries, beat five defenders and made three breaks.
His place in Joe Schmidt's starting XV is very much safe again.
14. Josh Adams (Wales)
Jacob Stockdale was in menacing form for Ireland in Scotland, beating six defenders and scoring a sensational try, but we've plumped for Adams after his efforts in Rome.
The Worcester Warriors man has developed into a superb Test player in his second campaign, and on Saturday he made 12 carries, 68 metres in attack, beat five defenders and scored a vital try.
13. Henry Slade (England)
This time last year, Slade wasn't even in the conversation for England's starting team. Now, he looks undroppable at outside-centre.
As well as scoring a super try where he showed a strong step off his left foot, Slade made nine carries, but it's his ability to drop the ball onto his foot and provide another creative outlet for England which is so valuable.
12. Sam Johnson (Scotland)
Having made his Scotland debut during Round 1 of the Championship, Johnson has proved a super introduction to Gregor Townsend's set-up.
The Australian-born centre was Scotland's brightest spark in defeat to Ireland on Saturday, as he combined to put in eight carries, seven tackles, beat two defenders and scored a brilliant try.
11. Jonny May (England)
Surely the player of the weekend? May is in absolutely sensational form right now and his hat-trick was one of the best you will see.
For so long regarded as a player with great potential but without the attributes to make full use of his qualities, the Tigers man is playing outstanding rugby.
His pace is and always has been phenomenal, but his aerial ability, kicking game and finishing is better than it ever has been. His 12 carries on Sunday was more than any back on the pitch.
10. Owen Farrell (England)
Close behind May, Farrell is playing some wonderful stuff right now.
On Sunday against France, he made ten tackles, 10 carries, beat two defenders, kicked well off the tee, kicked magnificently out of hand, earned one turnover and scored a try.
The England skipper is an out-and-out winner and is absolutely irreplaceable for Eddie Jones.
9. Ben Youngs (England)
Conor Murray showed up much better for Ireland but is still not quite at the peak of his performance, so England's other half-back Youngs gets in.
The Leicester Tiger kept the tempo of their performance up well against the French, while his kick through before Slade's try on the stroke of half-time was a touch of real class.
1. Cian Healy (Ireland)
On the loosehead side of the scrum this week, Ireland's Healy gets in after a fantastic performance in Scotland.
The Leinster prop put his hand up for 12 tackles, seven carries and beat two defenders in an immensely physical display. He was also part of a scrum which operated at 100 per cent at Murrayfield.
2. Jamie George (England)
With skipper Dylan Hartley out injured, Saracens hooker George was tasked with taking his chance in these first two weeks, and take it he has.
The 28-year-old's energy and physicality is top notch, and at Twickenham on Sunday he made 11 tackles, earned one turnover and operated at 88 per cent (seven out of eight) on his lineout throw.
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
Wales' Samson Lee showed up well in Rome, but Ireland's Furlong was exceptionally good.
The tighthead made a phenomenal 16 carries, put in nine tackles and worked with Healy to dominate at scrum time in a commanding 67-minute performance.
4. Courtney Lawes (England)
Brought in to replace the injured Maro Itoje, Lawes was magnificent in the second row against France.
The Northampton Saint stood out in almost all aspects at Twickenham, making 15 tackles - many of them of fearsome force - and ten carries. He also beat three defenders going forward and ruled the lineout: claiming four balls and stealing another two.
5. James Ryan (Ireland)
Alongside Lawes in our XV, Ireland's Ryan was back to his best in victory over Scotland.
The 22-year-old lock made some 15 carries and 15 tackles at Murrayfield, while he also claimed six balls at the lineout and stole one.
6. Mark Wilson (England)
Aaron Wainwright and Peter O'Mahony performed well for Wales and Ireland respectively over the weekend, but England's Wilson earns our blindside spot after another display full of hard work.
The Newcastle Falcons man made a massive 20 tackles - no one on the pitch at Twickenham made more - and contributed a turnover too.
Since being brought into the side in November, Wilson hasn't looked back and has now become an integral member of England's back-row.
7. Braam Steyn (Italy)
Only the second member of our XV to have suffered defeat this weekend, Italy flanker Steyn put in a performance to remember over Wales on Saturday.
The Azzurri may have suffered a worrying 19th Six Nations loss in a row to Wales, but Steyn was absolutely everywhere.
He made 12 carries - more than any Italian - 20 tackles - the most of anyone from either side - scored a try, claimed two lineouts and stole another two. He was very impressive.
8. Josh Navidi (Wales)
The official man of the match from Wales' Italian success, Navidi very rarely seems to have a bad game these days.
Perhaps more accustomed to playing on the flank, the Cardiff Blues man is showing up well from No 8 - he made 10 tackles, seven carries and earned a turnover.