the 6 players to follow

the 6 players to follow

The European games, which began on Saturday and continue on Sunday with France-Italy, will make it possible to reveal or confirm the state of form of the forces present.

Par Guillaume Paret

French scrum half Antoine Dupont during a training session at the Bourret stadium, in Capbreton (Landes), January 25, 2023.
French scrum half Antoine Dupont during a training session at the Bourret stadium, in Capbreton (Landes), January 25, 2023.
© Gaizka Iroz/AFP

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TWinner of the title after signing a grand slam in 2022 and victorious in their last thirteen games, the French team has forged the status of favorite for the 2023 Six Nations tournament. Fabien Galthié’s Blues are beginning their continental adventure, this Sunday, against Italy, while the kick-off of the competition was given on Saturday by Wales and Ireland (10-34) and England against Scotland (23-29) . The opportunity to review the players to follow in each of the selections.

Antoine Dupont, the superstar (France)

Crowned best player in the world in 2021, Antoine Dupont (26) is the indisputable scrum half of the XV of France. Captain of the Blues, the Stade Toulousain player – leader of the Top 14 – had already led the Tricolores to the Grand Slam in March, a first since 2010. Now, Antoine Dupont dreams of winning a new double (after 1997 and 1998), a perfect omen a few months before the World Cup at home.

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Ange Capuozzo, the crack (Italy)

Against Italy on Sunday, many Blues will find a man they know well. Revelation of the year 2022, Ange Capuozzo (23) has made a name for himself in the Italian starting XV thanks to his decisive tries and his crazy races. He will obviously be the main offensive argument of a Squadra Azzurra impatient to leave – finally – a sixth place that sticks to his skin. Trained at FC Grenoble, the Isérois will meet his native country for the first time on a pitch this weekend. The opportunity for him to show the extent of his technical palette against his partners at Stade Toulousain.

Dan Cole, the veteran (England)

Legendary pillar of the Tigers (35 years old, 303 club games), Dan Cole has signed his return to the XV of the Rose after the appointment of Steve Borthwick as coach. Left out of the group for the last two years under Eddie Jones, the experienced prop has been called up to give stability to the English pack and bring his experience into the fray. A long-awaited return for the one who could assert himself as the team’s most important player in the tournament.

Josh van der Flier, the safe bet (Ireland)

Best player in the world in 2022, the third row Josh van der Flier (29) confirmed his new status by beating the Habs Antoine Dupont in the last ranking. The Irishman is a powerful starter with the XV of Clover, and once again showed his talent during the November tour against the reigning world champions South Africa (19-16), then against Australia ( 13-10). Sparkling with his Leinster club, he will be the main Irish threat of the tournament.

Jac Morgan, the Mighty (Wales)

From the height of his 180 centimeters for more than 100 kilos, Jac Morgan (23 years old) has established himself as the new member of a high-level third line alongside Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau. The Ospreys player could really blossom during this 2023 tournament and become the Welsh revelation of the season. With his stocky build and very low center of gravity, Morgan can easily punch through the opposing rear guard, but he also shines with a formidable footwork that allows him to evade defenders and avoid tackles. In a pack that often lacks rigor in the last meters, he will be an essential asset for Wales.

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Finn Russell, the Elusive (Scotland)

Defenses often struggle to contain it. Talented opener for Racing 92, Finn Russell should be the most prominent Scotsman in the Six Nations tournament. His ability to bring the ball over the line and deploy various passes or kicks under pressure make him a unique and singularly dangerous player. Excellent since the start of the season with the Ile-de-France club, the elusive Finn Russell has not yet completed his rise to power.


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