Four Irish players named in an All-Time Six Nations team

Welsh newspaper the Western Mail made the selections ahead of the tournament

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Ireland's Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll celebrate after winning the 2014 Championship. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

The Six Nations is only a week away as Scotland welcome England to Edinburgh for the opening game next Saturday.

It is the 17th season since the Six Nations expanded to include Italy and Welsh newspaper the Western Mail has picked it's best team from the six countries in the Six Nations era.

They have picked four Irish players to join six Englishmen, three Welsh, one Frenchman and an Italian. Ireland's four players include three former captains and contains two back and two forwards.

Keith Wood is the oldest Irishman in the team. He was picked because he "played in an Ireland side that often struggled at the top end of the game but he proved himself to be in the mix with the best players in the world during his career."

Unsurprisingly both Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll were also named in the team. O'Driscoll's 28 Six Nations tries are "unlikely to be surpassed for some time" according to the Western Mail while they state O'Connell is an "inspirational lock". 

The most surprising Irish player to be named in the team is arguably Tommy Bowe. The Ulster winger has won three Six Nations winners medals and has starred on two Lions tours.

You can see the full team here.