Six Nations
France snubbed on player of tournament shortlist
ESPN Staff
March 24, 2015
Jonathan Joseph is one of four England players on the 12-man shortlist © Getty Images

France might have taken a small step towards saving face in denying England the title at Twickenham last Saturday, but none of Philippe Saint-Andre's men has been deemed fit to grace the official shortlist for Six Nations player of the tournament.

Les Bleus finished fourth after a tournament in which they failed to catch the eye, with bruising victories over Scotland and Italy built on forward efforts rather than Gallic flair. Their 55-35 defeat by England, however, was by a close enough margin to prevent England from lifting their first trophy since 2011.

Despite finishing runners-up, English players lead the nominations, with four of Stuart Lancaster's side named on the 12-man shortlist. Bath duo George Ford and Jonathan Joseph - who finished the tournament as leading try-scorer - are joined on the list by Billy Vunipola and Ben Youngs.

Champions Ireland are represented by scrum-half Conor Murray, centre Robbie Henshaw, and veteran lock Paul O'Connell. Both Henshaw and O'Connell chipped in with tries in a crucial final-day victory over Scotland, which saw Ireland defend their Six Nations crown for the first time since 1949.

Scotland finished the tournament as whitewashed wooden-spoon holders, but two of Vern Cotter's squad are on the shortlist. Jonny Gray is recognised for his efforts in the second-row, particularly after the loss to injury of brother Richie after two games, while Stuart Hogg is included after proving to be a rare bright spark for his side.

Two Welshmen make it onto the list, in the forms of Dan Biggar and Alun Wyn Jones, while Italy's talismanic captain Sergio Parisse is the only member of the Azzurri included.

Six Nations organisers says "each player has been awarded (or deducted) points based on statistical performance across different action categories that cover all aspects of the game.

"To ensure fairness, 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."

The award will be decided via a public vote on the official Six Nations website, with the poll closing at midnight on Wednesday.

The nominees are: Dan Biggar (WAL), George Ford (ENG), Jonny Gray (SCO), Robbie Henshaw (IRE), Stuart Hogg (SCO), Alun Wyn Jones (WAL), Jonathan Joseph (ENG), Conor Murray (IRE) Paul O'Connell (IRE) Sergio Parisse (ITA), Billy Vunipola (ENG) Ben Youngs (ENG)

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