Six Nations Best Players – Who Can Be Six Nations Player of the Championship

There are some brilliant players on show in all positions in this year’s Six Nations, and after the first four rounds of the tournament, there have been some incredible individual performances. We go through the runners and riders across all of the six competing nations and conclude with our best pick for the 2023 Six Nations Player of the Championship. France’s scrum-half, Antoine Dupont, won the award for the 2022 competition, his second individual title after also claiming the award in 2020. 

These odds from William Hill were correct at the time of writing.

Player of the Tournament

Best Players Review


Player: Maro Itoje

Position: Lock

Age: 28

Club: Saracens

Somewhat of an all-rounder, Itoje has been receiving rave reviews since making his international debut against Italy in the 2016 Six Nations. Sometimes us pundits expect too much from Itoje but his performance against Wales in Round 3, when he made 20 tackles, was a reminder of how much of a force he can be. However, he was unable to prevent the French wave after wave of points in Round 4 and we no longer think that he is in the running for this award.


Player: Antoine Dupont

Position: Scrum-half

Age: 26

Club: Toulouse

The eye-catching scrum-half is widely recognised as one of the most talented players in world rugby. He is renowned for being an exceptionally accurate distributor of the ball as well as possessing the ability to bring a docile crowd to life with some exceptional skill. His greatest strength is a lack of a weakness and he has won the award or been shortlisted in each of the last three seasons. Not a bad individual record considering no other Frenchman has ever won the title! Round 4 was the time when even non-rugby fans were impressed by Dupont’s skills as he put on one of the great performances by an opposing player at Twickenham against England. He is very much still in the running for the Six Nations Player of the Championship.


Player: Ange Capuozzo

Position: Full-back, Wing

Age: 23

Club: Toulouse

With rugby fans hoping to see Italy challenge at the top end of the Six Nations after many consecutive years of holding on to the Wooden Spoon, the French-born Italian could be one of the key players for the country to build their side around. He was a big contributor in two of Italy’s most recent triumphs – their Six Nations victory over Wales in Cardiff last year and the famous 28-27 victory over Australia in November. Going forward there is no doubt about his ability yet, particularly in the Round 3 defeat to Ireland in Rome, his defensive shortcomings were on show for all to see. However, sadly rugby fans will be seeing no more of Capuozzo in this year’s tournament. A shoulder injury had been troubling the player throughout the 2023 Six Nations and he eventually surrendered to the inevitable before Round 4.


Player: Caelon Doris

Position: Number 8, Flanker

Age: 24

Club: Leinster

After taking the Man of the Match Award in the win over France in Round 2 of this year’s Six Nations, the Irish number eight has catapulted himself into the running for the 2023 Six Nations Player of the Championship. Many pundits currently rate him as the best player in the world and his emergence at the top table has coincided with Ireland establishing themselves as the no.1 ranked side in world rugby. In the win over Italy in Round 3, the back row was not quite at his best but still played a crucial role in his team’s final try. He only lasted 12 minutes against Scotland in Round 4 before he was forced off injured and Irish fans will know doubt claim that they would have enjoyed a much bigger margin of victory if he had played the entire match. However, hopes are high that he will be available for the final game of the tournament, at home against England on Saturday evening.


Player: Finn Russell

Position: Fly-half, Centre

Age: 30

Club: Racing 92

Since making his international debut in 2014, the Scot has racked up 276 points for his country as well as contributing 11 points in one game in a brilliant performance for the British & Irish Lions against South Africa in 2021. But that is not to say that all his best moments are disappearing in the rear-view mirror, he has been nothing short of exceptional for Scotland so far in the 2023 Six Nations. He is recognised as Scotland’s best player and controls the direction and pace of play with his pin-point kicking. He picked up an injury towards the end of the clash with Ireland in Round 4 but is set to be raring to go again when Italy come to Edinburgh on Saturday 18th.


Player: Christ Tshiunza

Position: Lock, Flanker

Age: 21

Club: Exeter Chiefs

Although he is playing in a struggling Welsh side, and the Six Nations Player of the Championship award may be out of his reach in 2023, Christ Tshiunza could well get his hands on the trophy in future years. No Welsh player has won the award since Alun Wynn-Jones in 2019 but the Democratic Republic of Congo-born forward has been highlighted by many experts as one to watch in this campaign. He missed last year’s tournament with a hamstring injury but back to full fitness is a powerful player who can be unstoppable when he gets going. He is certainly a young player who Warren Gatland is building his team around and survived the axe when nine changes were made ahead of the visit of England on February 25th. He repaid the faith of his coach as one of Wales’ top tacklers in the match. However, he was out of the team for the trip to Italy and may well be kept out of the 23 for the final game in Paris.

Our pick for MVP

We see this being a straight fight between current holder, France’s Antoine Dupont and Ireland’s Caelon Doris. Both have been exceptional so far in the 2023 Six Nations and they are very much in the running for the award. There have been impressive performances from other players, notably Scotland’s Finn Russell, but so far none others have reached the same heights. Winning the tournament is not a prerequisite for winning the individual award and we could well see Ireland winning the Grand Slam but Dupont crowned as the Player of the Championship.

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