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Jones And Wafer Named In Team Of The Championship

Neve Jones and Aoife Wafer 22/3/2024

Ireland Rugby Women's Captain’s Run, Stade Marie-Marvingt, Le Mans, France 22/3/2024 Neve Jones and Aoife Wafer Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Ireland’s Neve Jones and Aoife Wafer have been named in the Guinness Women’s Six Nations Team of the Championship announced today by Six Nations Rugby.

Wafer, who picked up two Player of the Round awards as well as a Player of the Match against Wales, was shortlisted for the Player of the Championship but lost out to England’s Ellie Kildunne. Jones was another standout performer with her trademark tackling to the fore.

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Kildunne claimed 38% of the 32,240 votes in this year’s record-breaking fan vote, which registered over double the number of people having their say, compared to last year, to decide the awards winner.

Kildunne had fierce competition for this year’s award, in the form of France powerhouse back row Romane Menager, Ireland breakthrough back row Aoife Wafer and Italy’s star winger Alyssa D’Inca, on her way to being crowned Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship.

The statistics gathered across the Guinness Women’s Six Nations highlighted the standout players per position, with fans then asked to cast their votes to determine which players made the Team of The Championship. The top players, from a stats and votes perspective, then dictated the shortlist for the 2024 Guinness Player of The Championship.

Champions England dominate the team with nine players while France, Italy and Ireland have two apiece.

2024 Guinness Women’s Six Nations Team of the Championship

15. Ellie Kildunne (England, Harlequins): Scored nine tries, the most by any player in a Guinness Women’s Six Nations campaign since teammate Jess Breach crossed nine times in 2019. Kildunne’s tallies of 13 line breaks and 869 carry metres were the most by any player in an edition of the Championship this decade, while she also beat the most defenders (29).

14. Alyssa D’Incà (Italy, Villorba Rugby): Won eight turnovers this year, more than any other player, while she also made at least four more dominant tackles than any other back in the Championship (11). D’Incà also made 14.1 metres per carry, the best rate of any player (min. 10 carries).

13. Megan Jones (England, Leicester Tigers): Recorded the best tackle evasion rate of the 71 players to face 20+ tackles in this year’s Guinness Women’s Six Nations (61%), while only teammate Holly Aitchison (9) made more line break assists than the Red Roses centre (3).

12. Beatrice Rigoni (Italy, Sale Sharks): Won the joint-most turnovers of any centre (4) and was one of three centres to complete 50+ tackles in the Championship (50, also Emma Orr and Gabrielle Vernier). Rigoni slotted the most penalty goals of any player, not missing a single attempt (4/4)

11. Abby Dow (England, Trailfinders Women): Crossed the gainline with 32 of her 34 carries in the Championship this year; her gainline success rate of 94% was the best of any player (min. 10 carries). Dow also crossed for five tries – only teammate Ellie Kildunne (9) scored more.

10. Holly Aitchison (England, Bristol Bears): Directly assisted nine line breaks, at least three times as many as any other player in the Championship. She also kicked the most goals of any player (21) and was the second top points-scorer (42), behind teammate Ellie Kildunne.

9. Natasha Hunt (England, Gloucester-Hartpury): Provided the joint-most try assists of any player (5, also Pauline Bourdon Sansus) and was one of just three scrum-halves to cross the line themselves in this year’s Championship (1, also Bourdon Sansus and Keira Bevan).

1. Hannah Botterman (England, Bristol Bears): Won four turnovers, the joint-most of any prop (also Ambre Mwayembe) and hit the most defensive rucks of any front row in the Championship (33). Botterman also scored two tries – no prop scored more (level with three others).

2. Neve Jones (Ireland, Gloucester-Hartpury): Made more carries (42) and completed more tackles (63) than any other hooker. Was also one of just three forwards to reach double figures for dominant tackles (12, also Linda Djougang and Sara Tounesi).

3. Maud Muir (England, Gloucester-Hartpury): Scored two tries in the Championship this year (no prop scored more – level with three others), while she also made the most carry metres of any front row (220).

4. Manaé Feleu (France, FC Grenoble Amazones): Made 17 lineout takes, with only Zoe Aldcroft (21) making more, while being one of just two players to win multiple jackal turnovers while playing in the second row (2, also Georgia Evans). Feleu also crossed for one try.

5. Zoe Aldcroft (England, Gloucester-Hartpury): Hit 124 attacking rucks, more than any other player, while she made the most lineout takes (21) and was one of just two players to steal 5+ opposition lineouts (5; also Louise McMillan, 6).

6. Aoife Wafer (Ireland, Leinster): Made the most line breaks (6) and carry metres (417) of any forward, and won the most turnovers of any forward (5). Wafer also had an effective impact at more defensive rucks than any other player (10).

7. Sadia Kabeya (England, Loughborough Lightning): Had the highest dominant carry rate among the 78 players to make 20+ carries (68%). Kabeya crossed for two tries and registered one try assist.

8. Romane Menager (France, Montpellier): Made 113 metres in contact, more than any other player, while being one of just three forwards to beat 10+ defenders (13, also Aoife Wafer and Alex Matthews) and one of two to make 300+ carry metres (404, also Wafer).