We take a look at 12 players who will be looking to make a statement during the Six Nations to secure their place in their national teams starting XV…
Wales coach Warren Gatland has himself called into question North’s involvement in the national side. North will therefore be looking to lay down a marker during the Six Nations to ensure he retains his spot going into the World Cup later this year.
Farrell was left hung out to dry in many respects during the Autumn Internationals after being thrown straight into action for England despite limited game time for Saracens. He now has a fight on his hands to wrestle the number 10 shirt back from George Ford.
Injuries have meant Visser has been unavailable for Scotland selection for some time, which has given Tommy Seymour the chance to claim his shirt. Now back fit and firing Visser will be desperate to break back into the Scotland side.
Madigan’s versatility has also been his downfall for both club and country meaning he often plays second fiddle to others so he can be utilised in weaker positions. At 25 now is the time for him to really push for a regular start for Ireland.
Not so long ago Corbisiero was pretty much guaranteed to start for England, however a long injury lay-off means he has a serious fight on his hands to win back the number one shirt from incumbent Joe Marler.
Much like George North, Alex Cuthbert’s inclusion has been called into question from a number of angles and has heaped pressure on the Welsh winger to prove that he offers genuine value in an increasingly competitive backline.
This time last year Allen was being touted as the poster boy of Italian rugby, however the young fly half largely failed to deliver and now finds himself with a battle on his hands to get back into the starting XV in time for the World Cup.
Injury has severely restricted O’Brien’s game time of late and has meant a number of other players have stepped up in his absence. He now must quickly prove he can get back to his best to reclaim his place in the side.
There’s no doubting Kockott is a top talent and is likely to feature for the French over the next couple of months. The question however is whether he can do enough to force his way into the starting XV during the Six Nations.
Haskell is one of those England players who is within touching distance of a regular start for England but hasn’t quite been given the opportunity yet. He will need a big Six Nations to stake his claim for a regular start ahead of the World Cup.
The Scotland back rower was only given limited opportunities during the Autumn Internationals thanks in large part to the performances of Adam Ashe. He now needs to show his best form for Scotland, and quickly.
Much like his compatriot O’Brien, Healy faces a battle to prove he is back to his best during the Six Nations as his international and club teammate Jack McGrath has proven to be a more than adequate replacement in his stead.