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RBS 6 Nations

Mike BrownSIX-NationsEngland full-back Mike Brown has been named Six Nations Player of the Championship after securing over 34% of the 68,000 votes cast by fans.

Brown, 28, scored four tries, including two in a man of the match performance against Italy, and was also man of the match against Scotland and Ireland.

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SIX-NationsIt has been a fantastic Six Nations and one that had a fairytale ending as Ireland handed Brian O’Driscoll the perfect retirement present by beating France to win the title.

The nail-biting victory in Paris meant Ireland took the championship ahead of England on points difference.

The two teams have been the form sides in the competition and although a few French and Welsh players showed well, it is the top two who naturally provide the bulk of my Team of the Tournament for 2014.

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SIX-NationsThe fourth round of the 2014 RBS 6 Nation Championship takes place this weekend with the first match kicking off in Dublin on Saturday where Ireland host Italy. Scotland are hosts to France shortly after this, while the final game of the weekend takes place on Sunday with England hosting Wales at Twickenham.

There  has been a bit of a gap in Six Nations action with no games played last weekend and so the thinking has been that this may be a good time to share an article to remind us of the action from the previous round.

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ScotlandFranceScotland were boosted by the availability of stalwart tight head prop Euan Murray for this Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations encounter against France at Murrayfield.

Murray has yet to feature in the tournament this year due to an injured thumb.

Meanwhile, France hooker Dimitri Szarzewski has become the latest in a long list of French players who will be unable to play in the match. He misses out due to an ankle injury.

This means that France will fielding their third choice hooker on Saturday.

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Edinburgh RugbyEdinburgh Rugby’s next home match against Ospreys on Friday 28 February (kick-off 7.35pm) will be played at Meggetland, the club confirmed on Wednesday

Concerns over the current Murrayfield Stadium playing surface – caused by a parasitic infection that damaged the roots – mean the club will relocate the RaboDirect PRO12 clash to ensure the international pitch is in robust health for Scotland’s home fixtures in the 2014 RBS 6 Nations, against England and France.

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ScotlandScotland have made three changes to their starting XV and three more changes to their bench for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations Championship match against England at Murrayfield.

There’s a new cap at openside flanker where Chris Fusaro, the 24-year-old Glasgow Warrior, a product of Bell Baxter High School and  the Howe of Fife club, who has graduated from Scotland 7’s and Scotland A, replaces Kelly Brown.  Fusaro will be Scotland’s 1052nd cap.

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FranceMention of the fact France have won the Five or Six Nations every year after a British and Irish Lions tour in the professional era can elicit deep consideration, confusion or shrugs, depending on who you mention it to.

That’s the thing about history, it can be interpreted in different ways. Or ignored. Or forgotten. Or remembered and its significance disregarded.

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Scotland1Grant Gilchrist, the 22-year-old Edinburgh Rugby lock, will win his first cap for Scotland in Saturday’s final 2013 RBS 6 Nations Championship match against France in Paris.

Gilchrist, the 6ft 8ins product of the Alloa and Stirling County clubs, replaces the injured Richie Gray. The only other change to the starting line-up sees the experienced Alasdair Strokosch preferred to Rob Harley at blindside flanker.

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SIX NationsThis weekend sees a return to action in the 2013 RBS 6 Nations Championship with the third round of games to be played, following a week’s break.  Two matches will be played on Saturday, one in Rome and the other in London. The third and final match of the weekend takes place on Sunday in Edinburgh. 

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ItalyItaly coach Jacques Brunel made only one change from the side that started in the 23-18 triumph over France last week for the Azzurri’s second Six Nations challenge against Scotland on Saturday.

Gonzalo Canale, who plays club rugby for La Rochelle in France, replaces Alberto Sgarbi at inside centre after the latter picked up an injury knock.

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EnglandGloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees will make his England debut in Saturday’s Six Nations match against Scotland at Twickenham. Twelvetrees, 24, replaces Manu Tuilagi and forms a midfield partnership with Brad Barritt of Saracens.

The only other change from the starting XV that beat New Zealand 38-21 in December is Joe Marler in for Alex Corbisiero at loose-head prop.

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