Three Irish make shortlist for Six Nations player of tournament
Robbie Henshaw among a 12-man selection headed by four English players
Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw is one of three Irish players nominated for the RBS Six Nations player of the tournament award. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Four of the 12 players shortlisted for the 2015 RBS Six Nations Player of the Championship gong are English, three are Irish, and just two are Welsh - the three teams who finished joint top of the tournament table after the pulsating final day of play on Saturday.
Among Ireland’s other pivotal players to be overlooked is Johnny Sexton who had made the shortlist for 2014 World Player of the Year after the November internationals.
Yet he, Jamie Heaslip and Sean O’Brien all missed out on action throughout the tournament due to injury.
Wales and Scotland have two nominees each, Dan Biggar and Alun Wyn Jones for the former and Jonny Gray and Stuart Hogg for the latter.
The inspirational Sergio Parisse is the only Italian to make the list despite his team avoiding the wooden spoon.
There are no French representations on the list.
The RBS say that the selections were based on each player in the competition being “awarded (or deducted) points based on statistical performance across different action categories that cover all aspects of the game.
“To ensure fairness,” the competition organisers say, “the RBS Six Nations analysts have weighted the importance of different actions depending on different positions. These categories have been collated to give each player an overall performance score.”
Voting is now open on the website and closes at midnight on Wednesday.
The nominees are:
Biggar, Dan (WAL)
Ford, George (ENG)
Gray, Jonny (SCO)
Henshaw, Robbie (IRE)
Hogg, Stuart (SCO)
Jones, Alun Wyn (WAL)
Joseph, Jonathan (ENG)
Murray, Conor (IRE)
O’Connell, Paul (IRE)
Parisse, Sergio (ITA)
Vunipola, Billy (ENG)
Youngs, Ben (ENG)