🇫🇷 Leading from the front; on the charge #Ollivon pic.twitter.com/AtOOjJFfFP
— #RugbyToulon (@rugbytoulon_) February 5, 2020
We’re over the halfway stage of this year’s Six Nations Championship and there have already been a number of shocks, not least, a young and inexperienced France winning three out of three to keep the dreams of a Grand Slam alive. With Storm Ciara playing havoc with conditions in week two, and the dreaded threat of coronavirus postponing matches in week four, and potentially week five, there’s been no shortage of talking points.
While the rugby odds on the Six Nations outright winner remain very much in France’s favour, who’s looking like they’ll end the tournament as the top try scorer? Let’s take a look at a handful of the hopefuls.
3 – Josh Adams (Wales)
The Welsh wing unfortunately has no chance of adding to his total this tournament, following the news he will miss the rest of the Championship with the ankle injury he sustained in their loss to France. It’s a massive blow for head coach Wayne Pivac, with the wing previously scoring 14 tries in 23 tests. With injuries now stacking up against the Red Dragons, they travel to Twickenham to face England next. Adams could be side-lined for up to three months, consequently missing Pro14 matches, as Cardiff Blues look to climb the table in Conference B.
3 – Charles Ollivon (France)
The opening weekend of fixtures marked a new era for France. For the recently-appointed skipper Charles Ollivon, it wasn’t only the first time he had led his country, it was also the first time he’d started a Six Nations match – with his last appearance coming from the bench in 2017. With three tries, three assists and 15 points to his name thus far, Ollivon is a weapon for Les Bleus and the flanker is proving good value for Player of the Tournament too. With Scotland and Ireland left to play, if France are serious about the Grand Slam, they’ll be relying on their leader to continue his rich form.
2 – Jonny May (England)
Blessed with pace, the Leicester Tigers and England winger is a challenging opponent. Add to the mix his lethal finishing – he scored two tries in the Red Roses first match against France – his versatility and ability to play on both wings, he can certainly pose a threat to any opposition. It wasn’t until his eighth cap that he scored his first try, but recently scored a return of five in five matches. In fact, his brace against Les Bleus saw May climb into the top-five of England’s greatest try scorers, with 29 (from 53 caps). If he maintains that over the course of the tournament, he could easily climb the table, while keeping the dream of another Championship alive for England.
2 – Romain Ntamack (France)
The 20-year-old fly-half has only got 15 caps to his name, since making his international debut at last year’s Six Nations. At this year’s tournament, he’s recorded two tries (one against Italy and the other, versus Wales) and in that most recent victory, was named Man of the Match. Ntamack is currently the tournament’s leading points scorer with 39, contributing 17 in that upset to the defending champions in Cardiff. No-one could have predicted the Toulouse-born player to be the in-form star of the tournament but he will be key if France want to continue their winning run.