Best Six Nations player: Maro Itoje and Ben Youngs named as France topped list | Rugby news

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Antoine Dupont is one of the three French in the preselection

England pair Maro Itoje and Ben Youngs have been nominated for the 2020 Six Nations Player Award, but French players make up half of the list of six finalists.

Itoje has been magnificent all through the tournament and, as a destructive force in the breakdown and explosive in defense, he played a key role in his team winning a third title under Eddie Jones.

Youngs won his 100th cap in Saturday’s victory over Italy which took the crown in Wales, celebrating the occasion with two tries to end a competition in which he has been very consistent.

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England head coach Eddie Jones and captain Owen Farrell congratulate Ben Youngs on becoming only second Englishman to win his 100th cap

England head coach Eddie Jones and captain Owen Farrell congratulate Ben Youngs on becoming only second Englishman to win his 100th cap

Despite England’s success, it was France that captured the imagination and they are represented by their dazzling half-backs Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack and the imperious No. 8 Gregory Alldritt.

Irish fullback CJ Stander rounds out the list, with all six looking to succeed Alun Wyn Jones as reigning Six Nations.

Irish players celebrate as CJ Stander scores his first try against Italy

Irish players celebrate as CJ Stander scores his first try against Italy

Voting is done by supporters on the official championship website and the winner will be announced on Friday.

Alun Wyn Jones: Wales must improve after Scotland defeat

Alun Wyn Jones says Wales “need to get better” after falling at four and their worst Six Nations campaign since 2007.

Wales’ weak 14-10 home defeat to Scotland at Llanelli has made five successive defeats under head coach Wayne Pivac, who can only think of two wins – against Barbarians and Italy – since taking over from Warren Gatland a year ago.

Alun Wyn Jones - defending Six Nations player - says Wales need to 'get better'

Alun Wyn Jones – defending Six Nations player – says Wales need to ‘get better’

And that’s in stark contrast to the Six Nations campaign, which won the Grand Slam last season, with a fifth place finish and just one win leaving Wales facing many questions ahead of a Nations Cup schedule of autumn which includes meetings with Ireland and England.

Asked about the losing streak, Wales captain Jones said: “It has to get better, don’t you, first and foremost. We’re pretty straightforward about this, as Wayne was also.

“We are entering the Nations Cup with a new start. I’m sure there will be changes and Wayne will continue to give opportunities to people, so it’s wide open in that regard.

“It’s interesting how we’re doing and who gets the opportunities, but at the end of the day we really need improvement.

Eddie Jones: We have to be ‘graceful’ to play during lockdown

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England lifted the Six Nations trophy on Sunday

England lifted the Six Nations trophy on Sunday

England head coach Eddie Jones said they should be “grateful for the opportunity” to continue playing international rugby as the latest lockdown measures restrict the movement of most people.

Coronavirus protocols meant England captain Owen Farrell presented his England teammates with their winners’ medals on Sunday morning as the celebrations continued after sealing their third Six Nations title in five years under the Australian with a victory over the ‘Italy.

Jones is already anticipating England’s next challenge, with his autumn Nations Cup campaign kicking off with a match against Georgia at Twickenham on November 14, with matches against Ireland and Country of Wales to follow the next two Saturdays.

Maro Itoje rivals Italian Johan Meyer in roster

Maro Itoje rivals Italian Johan Meyer in roster

In addition to the challenges they will face on the pitch, Jones also acknowledged that they need to stay focused on the topic by adhering to COVID-19 rules in their bubble, especially given the circumstances surrounding their canceled match against the Barbarians. last weekend.

Jones said: “All of our players and staff are aware of their responsibilities. Next week we’ll give the guys a little break and then we go in for the Georgia prep.

“We have to be aware that everyone is watching what we are doing.

“We have to be so gracious of the opportunity that we have. We are very lucky to be able to play international rugby when countries are stranded in Europe.

“We understand this responsibility and we want to make sure again to try to put smiles on people’s faces.

“We just had the trophy presentation, there were 40 or 50 people there, they had big smiles on their faces and I hope we can do a little more. “

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