IRELAND captain Paul O’Connell has been awarded the RBS Player of the Championship a week after leading Joe Schmidt’s side to back-to-back 6 Nations titles.
Securing over 26% of the public vote, Munster second row O’Connell received the backing of 18,842 fans.
Limerickman O’Connell, who made his 101st appearance during the Championship said: “I’m delighted to receive the RBS Player of the Championship Trophy. When you see the names that have gone before, you realise what a great honour it is. I’m very grateful for all the supporters who voted for me”.
This unique shortlist for the RBS Player of the Championship is decided through a combination of match statistics, analysing the best performing players across a set range of criteria, and a public vote. The combination of the two processes should ensure the 12 man shortlist is a true reflection of the greatest players throughout the Championship.
Wales’s Alun-Wyn Jones came in second with 19% of the vote, in the wake of his fine performance in the Welsh win against Ireland in Cardiff. The race for third place was a hotly contested affair with just 0.9% of the votes separating Ireland’s rising star Robbie Henshaw (third with 7750 votes) and Wales’s Dan Biggar (4th with 7681 votes). Italy’s talisman Sergio Parisse was rewarded for his commanding performances, finishing 5th with 7% of the votes, just ahead of England’s star player Ben Youngs in 6th with 6% of the votes.
Players at every RBS 6 Nations match this year were awarded (or deducted) points based upon a number of different performance categories which cover all aspects of the game. These categories were proportionately weighted based on the different positions by an algorithm created by RBS 6 Nations statisticians.