Six Nations 2024 Rugby News

Guinness Six Nations Bolters Set To Have Major Impact On The Championship

Guinness Six Nations Bolters Set To Have Major Impact On The Championship

The 2024 Guinness Six Nations squads have been announced. Here are five new players who look set to break out for their nations during this year's event.

Jan 19, 2024
Guinness Six Nations Bolters Set To Have Major Impact On The Championship

Now that all of the Six Nations sides provisionally have named their latest squads, excitement for what’s to come is beginning to grow.

With the World Cup just gone, numerous teams are beginning rebuilds, introducing younger, fresher faces into their squads and looking to build something for the long-term.

Some of these players will struggle to adapt to the pressures of the international game, but others will thrive, cementing their starting spots for years to come.

Here, we take a closer look at five bolters who are set to shine in the upcoming Six Nations:

Nolann Le Garrec, France

Losing Antoine Dupont always was going to be difficult for France to maneuver, but with Nolann Le Garrec, France has the closest thing to a like-for-like replacement. 

The young Racing 92 scrum-half long has been touted as a potential French starter since breaking into the Top 14, and it seems now is his time to shine. 

He possesses a similar band of qualities to Dupont, from his expert ability to break around the ruck and step past defenders, to his capacity to find space downfield with deep kicks in play.

Le Garrec has used those attacking tools to unwind the opposition all season, scoring six tries in the Top 14, bettered only by Damian Penaud.

The 21-year-old also can kick for goal, just like his scrum-half counterpart Maxime Lucu, which makes him an extremely well-rounded player.

Many have mourned the loss of Dupont in the upcoming Six Nations, though they shouldn’t sleep on Le Garrec. The French No. 9 jersey is in good hands.

Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, England

Now that it’s confirmed that Immanuel Feyi-Waboso will be plying his trade for England, rather than Wales, we can begin to look ahead to the damage the young bolter might cause in February and March.

For a time, England relied upon more experienced heads to create some stability on the wing. The likes of Elliot Daly and Jonny May were safe options during the World Cup. However, Steve Borthwick now has the chance to travel a new path and experiment with some more exciting attacking options, of which, Feyi-Waboso is a key component. 

The young Exeter Chiefs winger has been a revelation this season, causing havoc with his electric step, acceleration and brute physicality in the contact zone. He's already well-rounded and easily could go from being an uncapped international to an important tool for England in the coming months.

Calvin Nash, Ireland

The absence of the injured Mack Hansen has opened a space for another budding Irishman to fill his spot on one wing. 

There are some big names in contention, including Jordan Larmour and Jacob Stockdale, but there is another, less-experienced player who stands a chance of breaking through, and that’s Calvin Nash.

The Munster winger has been a high performer for some time now, showcasing tight technical skills, both with the ball in hand and kicking, and a quick turn of pace, which makes him a menace out wide.

He was a pivotal piece in Munster’s championship-winning side last season and earned an international call-up off the back of it, coming off the bench to face Italy in a summer warm-up match.

He hasn’t pulled on the green jersey since, but he should be right in the running come the Six Nations.

Ross Vincent, Italy

The new era of Italian rugby under head coach Gonzalo Quesada has brought with it some changes in personnel, including the arrival of the uncapped Exeter Chiefs back-rower Ross Vincent.

The South Africa-born youngster qualifies for Italy through a grandparent and showed his loyalty to the Azzurri by captaining the U20s outfit at the 2022 Six Nations.  

The 21-year-old has impressed since linking up with Rob Baxter’s side in the Premiership, making the lion's share of his appearances off the bench with great effect.

Mostly playing at No. 8, Vincent is a powerful ball carrier who already has bedded well into the professional game. However, it’s his speed that sets him apart from others. 

Much like his Chiefs predecessor Sam Simmonds, Vincent has pace to burn, which could make him a real asset in Italy’s offloading game in the Six Nations.

Josh Bayliss, Scotland

With five Scotland caps to his name, Josh Bayliss is not an entirely new face in the Six Nations, but after suffering a serious thigh injury in the autumn, the Bath backrower has been subjected to rugby wilderness.

That’s why his return to not just his club, but his country as well, is a welcomed surprise for a man who’s had a lot to stomach in the last year.

Bayliss last featured for Scotland in the summer in a warm-up match against France, only playing six minutes.

But now he’s back, and even though there’s a lot of competition for starting shirts, with Jamie Ritchie, Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey, Matt Fagerson, Luke Crosbie and Andy Christie all in the mix for back-row jerseys, he should stand a chance for the difference points in his game.

Not only is Bayliss a big tackler with a presence at the ruck, he’s surprisingly nimble in attack and can help stretch defensive lines in a way that perfectly suits the style Finn Russell will want to operate.