We take a look at which players are likely to stand out for their respective teams during the 2016 Six Nations tournament…
Brown remains one of the most consistent players in Europe, and will be looking to put the disappointment of last year’s World Cup behind him.
With Luke Fitzgerald ruled out of the Six Nations, Zebo will have to step up and provide a spark in the back three which he has proven more than capable of doing in the past.
Injuries have hampered Bennett’s season so far, but he is now back fit and can cement his spot as one of the most talented centres currently in the Northern Hemisphere.
The French squad looks set to play a much more open game which should suit Fofana who can hopefully build on the flashes of talent he has shown over the years.
Nowell will go into the Six Nations high on confidence after a stunning start to the season for Exeter and should benefit from a more expansive game plan under Eddie Jones.
Biggar was the stand out fly half from the Northern Hemisphere during the World Cup and goes into the Six Nations in the best form of those likely to be involved.
Laidlaw is currently in some of the best form of his life, and will once again prove a pivotal figure in Scotland’s hopes during this year’s Six Nations.
When this guy retires, Italy are going to find themselves in a bit of a hole such has been his importance to them, especially during the Six Nations over the years.
Tipuric looks set to see more game time during this year’s Six Nations, and will likely flourish if Wales play to the more attacking game plan that is currently being touted.
With the international retirement of Thierry Dusautoir, many in France are tipping Camara to step up in the back row and cement his place in the side during the Six Nations.
5.Alun Wyn Jones
Currently one of the best second rows in the game, Alun Wyn Jones continues to be a vital presence in the Welsh pack and will be key to their hopes of success this year.
Gray is already captaining his side Glasgow, and will bring leadership as well as hard work to the Scotland second row where he could continue to outshine his elder brother.
Nel proved to be one of the stars of Scotland’s impressive World Cup run, and looks set to be a key feature during this year’s Six Nations where he’ll press a claim for Lions inclusion.
Best has some huge shoes to fill as captain with the retirement of Paul O’Connell, but like many, we believe he will step up to the task and prove to be one of Ireland’s key players this year.
Vunipola has become a top class scrummager to add to his already impressive ball carrying and is therefore likely to be England’s first choice loosehead during the Six Nations.