Six Nations XV
Skysports.com names its team of the weekend from the opening round of Six Nations games
Last Updated: 09/02/11 12:35pm
A fantastic weekend in the RBS Six Nations saw the opening salvos fired - with England, Ireland and France able to look back on winning starts.
With the World Cup approaching fast, a good run of form now is crucial - as England found out in 2003.
Having won the tournament in Australia eight years ago on the back of their Grand Slam success, the class of 2011 got off to a positive start as they toppled Wales in Cardiff.
Ironically it was England's first win in the Welsh capital since 2003 - and although there is plenty to work on, boss Martin Johnson will have been pleased with his side's positive approach.
France began the defence of their title with an impressive 34-21 win over Scotland, with the front row, in particular, looking fearsome in Paris.
Scotland will take heart from their display, though, as they scored three tries at the Stade de France.
Ireland escaped with victory in Italy but only after they were given a scare by the Azzurri. Ronan O'Gara's late drop goal snatched victory away from the hosts.
And following all the action, Skysports.com rugby union expert Tony Curtis names his team of the weekend - so feel free to let us know your views via the form below...
15 James Hook (Wales)
One of the few Wales players who can be pleased with his shift at the Millennium Stadium but why wasn't he starting at fly-half? When Hook was eventually moved to 10, the Wales backline looked far more dangerous.
14 Chris Ashton (England)
Ashton might be gaining a reputation as being a clinical finisher, but it is worth noting that his work-rate as a winger is second to none and allows him to be in the right positions at the right times.
13 Aurelien Rougerie (France)
The centre had a hand in one try - courtesy of his delightful grubber kick - and was unlucky not to score one himself.
12 Alberto Sgarbi (Italy)
So often the whipping boys of the competition, it is rare to see an Italian make it into the XV. However Sgarbi deserves his spot after giving Ireland a torrid time in Rome. Was a threat throughout with some powerful runs, while he made some telling tackles.
11 Keith Earls (Ireland)
One of the few Irishmen to leave Rome with his reputation enhanced. Looked dangerous with the ball in hand and was consistently looking for work.
10 Toby Flood (England)
A faultless performance from the Leicester man, who is really growing into the fly-half shirt for England. Kicked brilliantly all night in Cardiff, while he spotted the gap to set Ashton up for the first try.
9 Morgan Parra (France)
Everything that was good about France's back play in Paris came from Parra. He set the pace for the game and kept Scotland on the back foot.
1, 2 & 3 Thomas Domingo, William Servat and Nicolas Mas (France)
So impressive was France's destruction of Scotland upfront in Paris it is impossible to split up Domingo, Servat and Mas. As a unit, there is possibly not a better front row in world rugby. Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford and the once-untouchable Euan Murray will not enjoy watching the repeats of the match.
4 Alastair Kellock (Scotland)
Rose to the occasion as skipper and put in an impressive shift for his side. Scored a try, worked tirelessly throughout and was constantly rallying his troops.
5 Tom Palmer (England)
Quickly becoming the heartbeat of the England pack and argued a good case to be the man of the match in Cardiff. Made plenty of yards with the ball in hand, was the banker option in the lineout and produced some telling hits in defence.
6 Tom Wood (England)
Watch out Croft there is another Tom with his eyes on the England No.6 jersey ahead of the World Cup. In the absence of Lions international Croft, Wood took his chance at the Millennium Stadium with an impressive debut.
7 John Barclay (Scotland)
The pick of the Scotland back-row in Paris as he stood toe-to-toe with the French pack. Seemed to cover every blade of grass in attack and defence and was a constant menace at the breakdown.
8 Sergio Parisse (Italy)
One of the best players in the world and he showed his talent as he upstaged the Irish pack with a stunning display. Unlucky to walk off a loser as his display deserved so much more.