The competition is just around the corner and young players want to make their mark
The Six Nations is just around the corner and the squads will be announced soon. There will be several experienced players fans will be familiar with but there will also be some Six Nations youngsters looking to make their mark on the tournament.
Here are some Six Nations youngsters from each nation to watch out for in the 2024 competition.
Read more: England Six Nations squad
Six Nations youngsters 2024
Fin Smith – England
The fly-half debate in the England squad is one that rumbles on and this Six Nations will be no different. Owen Farrell is taking a break from international rugby but George Ford and Marcus Smith will still be vying for the shirt. And Northampton Saints No 10 Fin Smith has also put his hand up with incredible performances for his club this season.
The uncapped 21-year-old has been a part of Saints’ unbeaten streak in the Premiership this campaign. He has pulled the strings in attack and defence which could make Steve Borthwick pick the star in his squad with the ten shirt up for grabs. He is Scotland-qualified but has pinned his hopes to wearing the rose for now.
Louis Bielle-Biarrey – France
France’s back three is blessed with an enormous amount of talent, especially with prolific try-scorer Damian Penaud. The skill is that high in the French backs that wing Louis Bielle-Biarrey has been flying slightly under the radar, even with an impressive maiden Rugby World Cup campaign.
Bielle-Biarrey, 20, made his debut for France in August 2023 and so while he has been a part of a Six Nations squad he is yet to play in the competition. He has staked his claim for a spot on the wing after leapfrogging Gabin Villière at the RWC after scoring some blistering tries.
It is not only with France he has been in form, his club performances have also been skilful. One example was his powerful score in Bordeaux’s record Champions Cup win over Saracens in January.
Tom Rogers – Wales
Tom Rogers is a versatile back which is exactly what Wales will need in the Six Nations. Liam Williams is unavailable and Leigh Halfpenny has retired and so they will need some cover across the back three.
As well as having versatility under his belt, he has been a consistent player for club Scarlets since making his debut in 2018. He is also on Warren Gatland’s radar after being included in the extended RWC squad last year.
Rogers, 25, made his debut for Wales in 2021 but he has never played in the Six Nations.
Tom Ahern – Ireland
Tom Ahern has been on the Irish radar for some time but some new-found versatility in his game has led to some calls for him to make an impact in a green shirt during the Six Nations.
Ahern is an experienced second row but has been making some appearances for Munster as a flanker. Head coach Graham Rowntree said: “The day I asked him to do it, it was like a lightbulb went on in his eyes and he’s enjoying it out there.”
The 23-year-old is being tipped as a player the national side will come to depend on and what better way to start a new era for Irish rugby than with a Six Nations campaign.
Callum Smyth – Scotland
Callum Smyth’s inclusion in Scotland’s Six Nations squad may be a long shot but that does not mean he doesn’t deserve a chance to prove himself.
The 19-year-old has been plying his trade with Scotland’s development squad after signing academy terms with Glasgow Warriors. The nation’s depth in the front row is not huge and so dipping into younger talent may be a good move for Gregor Townsend.
Tommaso Menoncello – Italy
Italian back Tommaso Menoncello, who can play centre or on the wing, missed his chance to really cement his place on the international stage at the RWC because of injury. But he will be looking to carve his name into the national team under new boss Gonzalo Quesada.
Menoncello, 21, has been making headlines for his performances for club Benneton and will want to follow in the footsteps of Ange Capuozzo in making Italian rugby exciting.
The star did play in the 2022 Six Nations and became the youngest try-scorer in the tournament’s history. The fact that the upcoming tournament is being spoken about as his breakthrough shows the heights of his talents.