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Anticipating Week 1: A Comprehensive Review of the 2024 Six Nations Squads

The countdown is on for the 25th Guinness Men’s Six Nations tournament, the ultimate rugby showdown in Europe.

Who will face off in week 1? Who will make the cut for the lineup? And where will the action take place? Stay tuned as we break it all down for you.

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#1. France vs Ireland

#2. Italy vs England

#3. Scotland vs Wales

A brief history of the Six Nations

The Six Nations tournament is not only the world’s oldest rugby union competition, but also the most prestigious.

Every year, the best men’s national teams from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales battle it out for the coveted Six Nations trophy.

The tournament has a rich and fascinating history, dating back to 1883, when it was first played as the Home Nations Championship among the four teams from the United Kingdom.

France joined the fray in 1910, forming the Five Nations Championship, but their participation was interrupted from 1932 to 1939 due to accusations of professionalism and violence.

Due to the World Wars, the tournament was halted for several years, until France rejoined the competition in 1947. It was not until 2000 that Italy became the sixth and final member, expanding the tournament to its current format.

How does the Six Nations Championship work?

Over six weeks in February and March, each team plays every other team once in a round-robin format. The teams alternate between hosting and visiting each other, creating a thrilling atmosphere in some of the most iconic stadiums in Europe.

At the end of the tournament, the team with the most points is crowned the Six Nations champion, and can also achieve a Grand Slam by beating all five opponents, or a Triple Crown by beating the other Home Nations.

On the other hand, the team with the least points receives the Wooden Spoon, a dubious honour that Italy has claimed 15 times since its debut.

Friday 2nd February: France vs Ireland

The Six Nations Championship for 2024 kicks off with a blockbuster clash between France and Ireland at the Stade Vélodrome on Friday 2nd February at 8.00pm GMT. The match will be refereed by former scrum half for Bedford Blues and Harlequins, Karl Dickson.

France, who are hosting the defending champions Ireland, are one of the favourites to win the 2024 Six Nations. They won four of their five matches in 2023, losing only to Ireland in a thrilling encounter in Dublin. They also reached the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in October, where they were narrowly beaten by South Africa.

Led by captain Gregory Alldritt, who takes over from the injured Antoine Dupont, France will be eager to avenge their defeat and claim their first title since 2010.

Ireland, on the other hand, are aiming to retain their crown and make history by becoming the first team to win three consecutive Six Nations titles. They were the only team to complete a Grand Slam in 2023, when they beat England 29-16 in Dublin.

France (“Les Bleus”)

France are one of the favourites for this year’s Six Nations, with their captain and No 8 Grégory Alldritt leading the way. Alldritt was the top try-scorer in the 2023 tournament with six tries, and he will be hoping to repeat his impressive performance this year.

However, France will have to cope without their star scrum-half Antoine Dupont, who is focused on the Paris Olympic Games instead.

Dupont was the Six Nations Player of the Championship in both 2020 and 2021, and he is widely regarded as one of the world’s best rugby players. His absence will leave a big gap in the French team.

Fortunately, France have two capable replacements in Maxime Lucu and Nolann Le Garrec, who will vie for the No 9 jersey in Dupont’s absence. Both players have shown their potential in the Top 14, and they will be eager to prove themselves on the international stage.

France have also strengthened their pack, with Emmanuel Meafou and Uini Atonio joining the squad. Meafou, who plays for Montpellier, has been called up as a replacement for the injured Thibaud Flament. Meafou is a powerful and athletic lock, who can also play in the back row.

Atonio, who plays for La Rochelle, has delayed his retirement from international rugby until after the World Cup in 2023. Atonio is a veteran prop, who will bring experience and stability to the French front row, which also boasts the likes of Cyril Baille and Julien Marchand.

France have a proud history in the Six Nations, having won the tournament 17 times, more than any other team except England and Wales. They have also achieved nine Grand Slams, the last of which was in 2010.

They have a good record against Ireland, having won 58 out of 99 matches, with seven draws and 34 losses. However, they have struggled in recent years, losing four of their last five meetings, including a 29-16 defeat in Dublin in 2023.

Can they turn the tide and start their campaign with a win in Marseille?

Who’s in the France Squad?


Esteban Abadie (Toulon), Dorian Aldegheri (Toulouse), Grégory Alldritt (La Rochelle) (Captain), Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Cyril Baille (Toulouse), Gaëtan Barlot (Castres Olympique), Paul Boudehent (La Rochelle), François Cros (Toulouse), Paul Gabrillagues (Stade Français), Matthias Halagahu (Toulon), Anthony Jelonch (Toulouse), Thomas Laclayat (Racing 92), Julien Marchand (Toulouse), Peato Mauvaka (Toulouse), Emmanuel Meafou (Toulouse), Charles Ollivon (Toulon), Romain Taofifenua (Lyon), Sébastien Taofifenua (Lyon), Reda Wardi (La Rochelle), Cameron Woki (Racing 92)


Louis Bielle-Biarrey (Bordeaux-Bègles), Jonathan Danty (La Rochelle), Nicolas Depoortère (Bordeaux-Bègles), Gaël Fickou (Racing 92), Emilien Gailleton (Section Paloise), Antoine Gibert (Racing 92), Matthieu Jalibert (Bordeaux-Bègles), Melvyn Jaminet (Toulon), Nolann Le Garrec (Racing 92), Matthis Lebel (Toulouse), Maxime Lucu (Bordeaux-Bègles), Yoram Moefana (Bordeaux-Bègles), Damian Penaud (Bordeaux-Bègles), Thomas Ramos (Toulouse)

Ireland ( “The Shamrocks”)

Ireland strides into the 2024 Six Nations with a squad that’s not just balanced and experienced, but pulsating with a blend of youthful energy and seasoned veterans.

Their resilient teamwork and winning culture have seen them clinch the Six Nations title four times in the last 11 years, and now, they’re hungry to make it five in 2024.

As the defending champions, their opening match against France in Marseille promises to be a formidable challenge. Can they hold onto their title and repel the onslaught from their rivals? Let’s dive into the heart of their squad!

Leading the charge is Peter O’Mahony, set to captain Ireland in the 2024 Six Nations. A stalwart in the back row, O’Mahony, with 101 caps and ten previous leadership stints, steps into the captaincy, succeeding the retired Johnny Sexton from the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Coach Farrell expressed his excitement: ‘I am delighted to announce Peter O’Mahony as our captain for the Six Nations. He is a natural leader and a key figure for Munster and Ireland for many years. I am confident that he will inspire the squad with his leadership skills, both on and off the field.’

In a noteworthy squad update, Cian Prendergast, a dynamic back row from Connacht, joins the roster, filling the void left by the injured Thomas Ahern from Munster.

Among the three fresh faces, including Oli Jager and Sam Prendergast, Cian eyes his debut in the iconic green jersey, eager to make a lasting impression on the selectors.

Excitement is brewing as Ireland gears up for the Six Nations, with optimism radiating from every corner. Here’s to a captivating campaign ahead!

Who’s in Ireland’s 2024 Six Nations Squad?


Ryan Baird (Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht), Tadhg Beirne (Munster), Jack Conan (Leinster), Caelan Doris (Leinster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Ronan Kelleher (Leinster), Jeremy Loughman (Munster), Joe McCarthy (Leinster), Peter O’Mahony (Munster, capt), Tom O’Toole (Ulster), Andrew Porter (Leinster), James Ryan (Leinster), Dan Sheehan (Leinster), Tom Stewart (Ulster), Nick Timoney (Ulster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster).


Bundee Aki (Connacht), Harry Byrne (Leinster), Craig Casey (Munster), Jack Crowley (Munster), Ciaran Frawley (Leinster), Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster), Hugo Keenan (Leinster), Jordan Larmour (Leinster), James Lowe (Leinster), Stuart McCloskey (Ulster), Conor Murray (Munster), Calvin Nash (Munster), Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Jacob Stockdale (Ulster).

Saturday 3rd February 2024: Italy vs England

The anticipation reaches a fever pitch as the 2024 Six Nations Championship unfolds with an eagerly awaited clash between Italy and England at the illustrious Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday, February 3rd, at 2:15 pm GMT.

In the center of this rugby spectacle, the match will be orchestrated under the watchful eyes of referee Paul Williams, a seasoned figure known for his expertise in the Super Rugby competition and international test matches.

Italy, poised to face the formidable 2023 champions Ireland, embraces the underdog role in the quest for the 2024 Six Nations title.

Reflecting on a challenging 2023, marked by five consecutive losses and conceding the highest points and tries in the tournament, Italy also navigated the Rugby World Cup, finishing third in their pool.

Now, captained by the dynamic Michele Lamaro, a flanker from Benetton Rugby succeeding Luca Bigi, Italy aspires to script history by securing their maiden victory over England.

For Italy, the leadership transition extends beyond the captaincy, with a new head coach, Gonzalo Quesada, at the helm, succeeding Kieran Crowley in January 2024. Quesada, a former Argentina international with coaching experience at Stade Francias and France, brings a wealth of expertise to guide Italy’s journey.

On the opposing side, England, reeling from a disappointing 2023 campaign, aims for redemption. Despite reaching the Rugby World Cup semi-finals, their aspirations were thwarted by South Africa.

Now, under the newly appointed captain Jamie George, inheriting the mantle from Owen Farrell, England is resolute in their pursuit of a convincing victory to commence the Six Nations campaign, extending their unbeaten record against Italy.

Italy (” Gli Azzuri”)

All eyes eagerly fixate on the promising horizon as Gonzalo Quesada takes the helm as Italy’s new head coach, ready to steer the Azzurri through the challenges of this year’s Six Nations.

A spotlight shines on Italy’s standout player, Manuel Zuliani, whose prowess is set to dazzle and define their performance in the tournament.

Adding a fresh and dynamic edge to the squad is the uncapped Exeter Chiefs‘ flanker, Ross Vintcent. A rising star, Vintcent brings both talent and leadership, having captained the U20s and committed to the Azzurri after a stellar representation in the A side last year, courtesy of his grandparent relation.

Injury setbacks, unfortunate as they may be, will sideline HarlequinsDino Lamb and Benetton‘s Paolo Odogwu. However, a silver lining emerges as the resilient center, Tommaso Menoncello, makes a triumphant return after overcoming the World Cup absence due to injury.

With this eclectic mix of experience, talent, and fresh energy, Italy’s Six Nations journey promises to be nothing short of riveting. Get ready to witness the Azzurri in action, as they embrace new challenges and soar to greater heights!

Who’s in Italy’s 2024 Six Nations Squad?


Pietro Ceccarelli (Perpignan), Danilo Fischetti (Zebre Parma), Matteo Nocera (Zebre Parma), Luca Rizzoli (Zebre Parma), Mirco Spagnolo (Benetton Rugby), Giosuè Zilocchi (Benetton Rugby), Gianmarco Lucchesi (Benetton Rugby), Marco Manfredi (Zebre Parma), Giacomo Nicotera (Benetton Rugby), Niccolò Cannone (Benetton Rugby), Edoardo Iachizzi (Benetton Rugby), Federico Ruzza (Benetton Rugby), Andrea Zambonin (Zebre Parma), Lorenzo Cannone (Benetton Rugby), Riccardo Favretto (Benetton Rugby), Alessandro Izekor (Benetton Rugby), Michele Lamaro (Benetton Rugby), Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby), Ross Vintcent (Exeter), Manuel Zuliani (Benetton Rugby)


Alessandro Garbisi (Benetton Rugby), Martin Page-Relo (Lyon), Stephen Varney (Gloucester), Tommaso Allan (Perpignan), Paolo Garbisi (Montpellier), Juan Ignacio Brex (Benetton Rugby), Tommaso Menoncello (Benetton Rugby), Federico Mori (Bayonne), Marco Zanon (Benetton Rugby), Pierre Bruno (Zebre Parma), Ange Capuozzo (Toulouse), Monty Ioane (Lyon), Simone Gesi (Zebre Parma), Lorenzo Pani (Zebre Parma)

England (“The Red Roses”)

As the 2024 Six Nations Championship kicks off, England face a formidable test against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Led by the seasoned Steve Borthwick, who took over as head coach after the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the England squad is driven by ambition, aiming to reclaim their first Six Nations title since 2020.

Adding to the thrill is England’s flawless record against Italy – a streak they are determined to maintain.

Looking back at last year’s success, a convincing 31-14 win over Italy at Twickenham was a pivotal moment in Borthwick’s reign, following a narrow defeat by Scotland in the opening round.

The victory showcased England’s pragmatic and clinical approach, as well as their depth and versatility.

However, the upcoming showdown against Italy is not without its obstacles.

Key players like Ollie Lawrence, Oscar Beard, and Luke Cowan-Dickie have withdrawn from the Six Nations squad due to injuries. In their place, England have called up the talents of Max Ojomoh, Will Muur, and Jamie Blamire, who will be eager to prove themselves on the international stage.

With a history of grit and glory, England’s journey promises drama and intensity. Can they harness the momentum and overcome the challenges to secure victory in Rome? Brace yourselves for a thrilling start to England’s Six Nations campaign!

Who’s in England’s 2024 Six Nations Squad?


Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Sale Sharks), Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins*), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks), Theo Dan (Saracens), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Ben Earl (Saracens), Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears), Jamie George (Saracens) – captain, Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Beno Obano (Bath Rugby), Tom Pearson (Northampton Saints), Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs*), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby).


Oscar Beard (Harlequins*), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Saracens), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints*), Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs*), George Ford (Sale Sharks), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks*), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Fin Smith (Northampton Saints*), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Spencer (Bath Rugby), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers).

Saturday, 3rd February 2024: Wales vs Scotland

The Championship is set to continue with a riveting clash between the formidable teams of Wales and Scotland. This electrifying encounter will take place at the grand Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday, February 3rd, kicking off at 4:45 pm GMT.

Presiding over this rugby extravaganza is the experienced referee from New Zealand, Ben O’Keeffe. With a wealth of experience from numerous Super Rugby matches and over 35 international test matches, he is well-equipped to oversee this spectacle.

Wales, reflecting on their impressive performance in 2023, demonstrated their potential in the Rugby World Cup. Despite falling short of the final, their memorable journey promises a robust performance in upcoming tournaments.

Scotland, in contrast, is eager to end their title drought, drawing confidence from their promising 2023 campaign. Their performance in the Rugby World Cup 2023 was a blend of triumphs and setbacks, with notable victories over Tonga and Romania, but losses against heavyweights South Africa and Ireland.

At the helm of Scotland’s journey is head coach Gregor Townsend, a former Scotland international with a successful coaching stint at Glasgow Warriors and Scotland. His expertise and innovative approach continue to navigate Scotland’s course in the tournament.

Wales ( “The Dragons”)

In the midst of a transformative year for Wales, unexpected turns have set the rugby world abuzz. The recent revelation that star winger Louis Rees-Zammit is bidding farewell to the rugby pitch to explore a new path in the NFL has sent shockwaves through the sporting community.

Amidst this whirlwind of change, Dafydd Jenkins steps boldly into the spotlight, embracing the role of captain as Wales prepares to clash with Scotland.

This debut not only marks Jenkins as the second-youngest player ever to lead the senior Wales side, but it also highlights his impressive leadership skills and commanding presence in the second row.

Hailing from Exeter Chiefs, Jenkins brings a dynamic edge to the leadership role.

As Wales gears up for the impending challenges, the absence of World Cup co-captains Jac Morgan and Dewi Lake due to injuries casts a shadow.

Yet, in the face of adversity, a breath of fresh air sweeps through the team with the inclusion of five uncapped players in the 34-player squad.

The roster, a harmonious blend of 19 forwards and 15 backs, introduces Cardiff’s standout players, Alex Mann and Mackenzie Martin, alongside their club compatriots Cameron Winnett (full-back) and Evan Lloyd (hooker).

The nod to Bath prop Archie Griffin and the return of James Botham, who missed the World Cup due to a hamstring injury, add further layers to this revitalized lineup.

With a fusion of new talent and seasoned leaders, Wales braces itself for a thrilling odyssey in the 2024 season. Can this rejuvenated squad soar above the challenges and etch their mark on the Six Nations stage?

Check out Gatland’s take:

Stay tuned for a thrilling chapter in Welsh rugby history!

Who’s in Wales’ 2024 Six Nations Squad?


Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Rugby), Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets), Gareth Thomas (Ospreys), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Evan Lloyd (Cardiff Rugby), Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Rugby), Leon Brown (Dragons), Archie Griffin (Bath), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs), Will Rowlands (Racing 92), Teddy Williams (Cardiff Rugby), Taine Basham (Dragons), James Botham (Cardiff Rugby), Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby), Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby), Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons)


Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby), Sam Costelow (Scarlets), Cai Evans (Dragons), Ioan Lloyd (Scarlets), Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby), George North (Ospreys), Joe Roberts (Scarlets), Nick Tompkins (Saracens), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby), Rio Dyer (Dragons), Tom Rogers (Scarlets), Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby)

Scotland (“The Thistles”)

Gregor Townsend, the seasoned former fly-half and Scotland’s head coach since 2017, steps into the role as the captain leading Scotland’s charge in the 2024 Six Nations Championship.

Townsend takes the reins after the retirement of Stuart Hogg following on from the 2023 Rugby World Cup, adding an exciting chapter to his illustrious career.

The Scotland squad welcomes fresh faces, with four promising uncapped players making their debut appearance.

Props Alec Hepburn and Will Hurd, winger Arron Reed, and versatile back-three operator Harry Paterson earn their first call-up, infusing youthful vigor and talent into the team.

Each brings a unique skill set, with Hepburn and Reed qualifying through familial connections, while Hurd and Paterson showcase their prowess developed in under-20 and age-grade sides, and Scotland 7s.

In a strategic move, Elliot Millar Mills joins Townsend’s squad, stepping in for the injured Leicester Tigers prop Will Hurd. Playing for Ealing Trailfinders and hailing from a rugby-rich family with ties to England, Mills adds another layer of depth and versatility to the team.

Townsend’s leadership strategy involves the dynamic duo of Finn Russell and Rory Darge as co-captains for the tournament. Russell, a maestro with 67 caps for Scotland and playing for Racing 92 in France, is revered as one of the world’s best fly-halves.

Darge, showcasing his prowess with 15 caps for Scotland and playing for Glasgow Warriors, brings an impressive work rate and physicality to the back row.

The rest of Townsend’s squad maintains a familiar look, with star names like Duhan van der Merwe, Huw Jones, Adam Hastings, and Jamie Ritchie. Comprising a blend of players from Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh Rugby, and those playing outside Scotland, this squad promises a thrilling blend of experience and fresh talent.

As Scotland sets its sights on the Six Nations glory, the stage is set for a captivating journey. Stay tuned for the vibrancy and excitement that these remarkable players will bring to the tournament!

Who’s in Scotland’s 2024 Six Nations Championship Squad?


Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh), Josh Bayliss (Bath), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), Andy Christie (Saracens), Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), Will Hurd (Leicester Tigers), Johnny Matthews (Glasgow Warriors), WP Nel (Edinburgh), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh), Sam Skinner (Edinburgh), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Glen Young (Edinburgh)


Adam Hastings (Gloucester), Ben Healy (Edinburgh), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Kinghorn (Toulouse), Stafford McDowall (Glasgow Warriors), Harry Paterson (Edinburgh), Ali Price (Edinburgh), Cameron Redpath (Bath), Arron Reed (Sale Sharks), Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Warriors), Finn Russell (Bath), Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh), Ben White (Toulon)

Like what you see?

Drop your thoughts on the latest Six Nations lineup in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

By Peter Wakeford

Just your everyday grassroots guru. I'm here to sprinkle some sportsy magic on your day with the latest boot drops, guides, news, and a dash of quirky humor. Let's lace up and have a laugh on this sporting adventure!

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