That was the best opening weekend to a Six Nations. I want you to challenge me on that because I’ve tried and tried and just can’t think of a year with so many heart-in-mouth moments and such excitement and drama and with so many plot twists.
It has been an unbelievable weekend and I can’t wait for the next, but we’ve got a while until then, so here are ten players I thought stood out from the crowd this weekend, who we can all really look forward to watching in round two.
1 – George North
Call him opportunistic, call him a poacher for tries, call him lucky. Whatever you call him, you can’t deny that his performance this weekend won the game for Wales. Man of the match North bagged a double after an horrific spill from Yoann Huget and an outrageous interception in the closing stages, and these two moments were the stand out highlights of the weekend. Time felt like it slowed watching the ball sail into North’s hands for his second score, and the roar of the few Welsh fans who survived the commuting hell was one of utter relief and joy. Warren Gatland said his side had forgotten how to lose after their match, and he really isn’t wrong, because North seriously dragged them from the abyss with his second half showing.
Only three players have scored more tries in the Five/Six Nations championship than George North.— bet365 (@bet365) February 1, 2019
Brian O’Driscoll – 26
Ian Smith – 24
Shane Williams – 22
George North – 19*
Incredible.#FRAvWAL #6Nations pic.twitter.com/DMkVGSDiWr
2 – Louis Picamoles
On the flip side to North’s stunning performance, credit must be given where it’s due, and Louis Picamoles really deserves a mention after Friday night. The number eight was everywhere, dominating the breakdown, crunching the Welsh with some massive hits, and even scored a superb try of his own. His performance proved exactly why he should never have been left out of the France squad, because a number eight who can tick all of the above is worth a hell of a lot to a national side. The battle of Billy Vunipola and Picamoles this weekend will be worth a very close watch; expect a head on bus collision between those two.