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Six Nations 2024: A Team-by-Team Guide to This Year’s Tournament

The Six Nations Championship is upon us once again, and as the rugby world anticipates another thrilling tournament, each team brings its unique tale of transition, challenges, and the pursuit of glory. We will take a closer look at each of participating teams – England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. From leadership changes to the repercussions of key player absences, we explore the tournament as teams fighting for supremacy in the Six Nations 2024. Discover the strategies, and potential game-changers that promise to make this year's championship an unmissable spectacle.

England

England enters this Six Nations with a new captain, Jamie George, and a fresh perspective. The absence of talisman Owen Farrell, who has chosen to play elsewhere, doesn't dampen the team's spirit. In fact, the bronze medal from the World Cup brings a welcome change from the struggles of previous Six Nations campaigns. George, the new captain, is expected to lead naturally, and with the easiest opening rounds against Italy and Wales, England aims to make a strong start. The spotlight is on George Ford, now stepping out from Farrell's shadow, to showcase his prowess as one of England's great fly-halves.

France

France faces a unique challenge as their former captain, Antoine Dupont, prepares for the Olympics, leaving a void in the squad. Despite this and being displaced from their home ground, France remains a formidable team. Jonathan Danty, an essential player in the midfield, becomes crucial to support the outrageously gifted Damian Penaud. The team will take their home matches around the country, starting with a crucial encounter against Ireland in Marseille.

Ireland

Ireland grapples with the post-Johnny Sexton era, acknowledging that even stalwarts can't continue forever. The absence of Sexton, the captain, poses a challenge, but the team boasts the most experienced squad in the Six Nations. The spotlight now turns to Caelan Doris, a dynamic ball-player at the base of the scrum, as Ireland aims to become the first team in the Six Nations era to secure back-to-back grand slams. The journey begins with a spotlight on Marseille in a challenging and unique setting.

Italy

Italy enters the tournament with the most callow squad, emphasising a rebuilding phase under new coach Gonzalo Quesada. Despite discouraging defeats in recent years, the squad draws optimism from the emergence of real talent. Tommaso Menoncello, a 21-year-old bruiser back from injury, pairs up with Paolo Garbisi, creating a sense of hope for Italian rugby. With a squad based on Benetton Rugby's success in the United Rugby Championship, Italy dreams of a new era.

Scotland

Scotland embraces change, opting for co-captains Rory Darge and Finn Russell, allowing predecessor Jamie Ritchie to focus on his game. Despite missing the talismanic Stuart Hogg, Scotland aims to make an impact. Blair Kinghorn, now a Toulouse rock star, steps into a leadership role, offering a new dimension at the back and the ability to run the game from fly-half if necessary.

Wales

Wales faces a significant rebuild with the departure of key players, including Louis Rees-Zammit, adding challenges to their campaign. Coach Warren Gatland shifts from co-captains to Dafydd Jenkins, the youngest Welsh captain since Gareth Edwards. The team acknowledges the gaps left by experienced players and hopes that Ioan Lloyd, a versatile playmaker, will inject excitement and creativity into the squad.

The Six Nations 2024 promises an exciting and unpredictable tournament. Each team faces its unique set of challenges, from rebuilding squads to adapting to the absence of key players. As the competition unfolds, keep an eye on the emerging talents and the strategies teams employ to overcome adversity. The stage is set for a thrilling championship, and every match is sure to bring its own set of surprises and memorable moments.