Jacob Stockdale’s record-breaking feats have seen the Ireland winger named as the 2018 Six Nations Player of the Championship.
The 21-year-old, who only made his international debut in June, took the tournament by storm in scoring seven tries across the five matches – surpassing the previous record of six set by Chris Ashton, Will Greenwood and Shane Williams.
Stockdale’s tally included a score against England on the final weekend as Ireland secured the Grand Slam with a 24-15 success at Twickenham.
That effort followed braces against Italy, Wales and Scotland and Stockdale was thrilled to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Brian O’Driscoll, Tommy Bowe and Paul O’Connell in claiming the individual prize.
Watch @JacobStockdale on what it feels like to join a list that includes @Paul_OConnell (2015), @TommyBowe14 (2010), @BrianODriscoll (2009, 2007, 2006) and @Gordonwdarcy (2004)! #NatWest6Nations pic.twitter.com/rdBAg0uTA1
— NatWest 6 Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 23, 2018
“To win the Player of the Championship was a bit of a surprise, I wasn’t expecting it,” Stockdale said.
“I especially wasn’t expecting it about eight weeks ago, if you told me it was going to happen. Not many guys get to do it, and to be able to do it in my first one is really exciting.
“I’m really grateful and thankful for everyone who voted for me – I voted for Keith Earls!
“I think the big standout moments for me were the end of the Wales game, to be able to score and intercept and finish off the game was a really great feeling.
“And then to be able to go over to Twickenham and get a win there – not a lot of teams have done that so I would say they are the two real standout moments for me.
“It’s brilliant to be nominated to begin with so to actually have won it is something that I will definitely not forget.”
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