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6N best player: Ireland captain Paul O’Connell

March 27, 2015

DUBLIN (AP) — Paul O’Connell has been named the Six Nations’ best player, less than a week after leading Ireland to successive championships.

Tournament organizers announced the award on Friday, in a vote decided by the public and match statistics.

The 35-year-old O’Connell became the oldest man to captain Ireland and score a try for the team last Saturday in the 40-10 win over Scotland at Edinburgh. A week before, he became the fourth man to play 100 Ireland tests.

O’Connell received 26 percent of the public vote, nearly 19,000 of the 70,488 total votes.

It’s the fifth time an Irishman has received the award in its 10-year history.

Fellow lock Alun Wyn Jones of Wales was second with 19 percent, and Ireland center Robbie Henshaw third with 11 percent.

The rest of the shortlist, in order, was: Dan Biggar (Wales), Sergio Parisse (Italy), Ben Youngs (England), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Jonathan Joseph (England), Conor Murray (Ireland), George Ford (England), Jonny Gray (Scotland), and Billy Vunipola (England).

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