We take a look at the stand out performers from the 2016 Six Nations, and which of them may have battled their way into next year’s Lions squad. Below is a positional breakdown of the front runners on current form, as well as a “need further consideration” section for the players who have had little or no game times during the Six Nations for various reasons…
Rob Evans – was solid if unspectacular throughout for Wales.
Jack McGrath – must now be first choice loosehead for Ireland.
Mako Vunipola – offers something a little different off the bench.
Need further consideration – Joe Marler, Cian Healy
Dylan Hartley – solid at the set piece, and now a proven leader.
Rory Best – has a huge impact around the pitch.
Ross Ford – has looked much more solid at the set piece.
Need further consideration – Scott Baldwin, Jamie George, Ken Owens
WP Nel – key to Scotland’s scrum, and handy around the park.
Dan Cole – unspectacular but remains a solid option.
Samson Lee – another solid scrummager who is a proven international.
Need further consideration – Kieran Brookes, Marty Moore
George Kruis – quite possibly the player of the tournament.
Maro Itoje – looks to be a star in the making.
Alun Wyn Jones – fantastic leader, and key figure for Wales.
Jonny Gray – a monster in the tackle, and useful at the line out.
Luke Charteris – a master disrupter of opposition set piece.
Need further consideration – Joe Launchbury, Richie Gray, Iain Henderson
Chris Robshaw – arguable the best blindside in the whole Six Nations.
CJ Stander – was a huge asset around the park for Ireland at six.
Need further consideration – Dan Lydiate,
John Hardie – one of the most natural opensides available to the Lions.
Sam Warburton – a former Lions captain and international leader.
Need further consideration – Justin Tipuric, John Barclay, Sean O’Brien
Billy Vunipola – a monster ball carrier who was key for England.
Taulupe Faletau – gets around the park and isn’t afraid to do the dirty work.
Jamie Heaslip – looked to be getting back to his best against Italy.
Need further consideration – Dave Denton, Nathan Hughes
Rhys Webb – needs more game time but looks sharp.
Conor Murray – a safe pair of hands for Ireland.
Danny Care – offers a point of difference with his sniping.
Need further consideration – Ben Youngs, Greig Laidlaw
Johnny Sexton – still one of the most consistent tens in Europe.
Dan Biggar – had a quite Six Nations but still a class operator.
Owen Farrell – can cover centre as well as fly half.
Need further consideration – George Ford, Finn Russell
Jamie Roberts – Mr Consistent for Wales.
Duncan Taylor – currently in the form of his life.
Robbie Henshaw – looked even more dangerous at 13.
Jonathan Davies – getting back into his top form.
Jonathan Joseph – a little quiet, but cut loose against Italy.
Need further consideration – Manu Tuilagi, Mark Bennett, Elliot Daly, Stuart McCloskey
Stuart Hogg – the most exciting talent in Europe right now.
Mike Brown – absolutely solid at the back.
Liam Williams – an attacking threat at wing and full back.
George North – looks to be getting back into his best form.
Anthony Watson – seems capable of finding space anywhere.
Tommy Seymour – has really kicked on for Scotland this year.
Jack Nowell – a reliable operator and hard worker for England.
Need further consideration – Leigh Halfpenny, Keith Earls, Simon Zebo