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England quartet on award shortlist

Four of England's Grand Slam-chasing team have been named on the 12-man shortlist for the RBS 6 Nations player of the tournament.

Wing Chris Ashton, who scored a record-equalling six tries in England's victories over Wales and Italy, fly-half Toby Flood, flanker James Haskell and lock Tom Palmer have all been included.

In a change to the format of recent years, every player who picked up a man of the match award during the first four rounds of the championship has automatically been nominated.

The only country not represented are Scotland, who are still without a victory after their 22-16 defeat at Twickenham on Sunday.

Wales flanker Sam Warburton and fly-half James Hook make the list, as do the Ireland duo of flanker Sean O'Brien and fly-half Ronan O'Gara.

France captain Thierry Dusautoir is joined by full-back Maxime Medard while Italy, who beat Les Bleus for the first time on Saturday, are represented by scrum-half Fabio Semenzato and full-back Andrea Masi.

The winner will be chosen by supporters, who can cast their votes at until midnight on March 20.

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From Belfast Telegraph