All the teams: Guinness Six Nations Round 1

Dan Biggar is tackled by James Ryan and Andrew Porter 5/2/2022
The wait is over. The 2023 Guinness Six Nations is finally here and as the clock counts down to the opener in Cardiff, all six teams for round 1 have been announced.

The wait is over. The 2023 Guinness Six Nations is finally here and as the clock counts down to the opener in Cardiff, all six teams for round 1 have been announced.

Wales host Ireland at their cauldron that is Principality Stadium, with Ireland looking to leave Cardiff with a victory for the first time since 2013.

Following that battle, the action heads over the River Severn, where the small matter of a Calcutta Cup will take place, as Scotland look to defeat England for the third time in a row in the Championship after an historic victory at Twickenham two years ago.

The complete guide to Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby

Then on Sunday, the reigning champions will look to lay down their marker in Rome, as they chase down history of their own, looking to become the first side to ever win consecutive Grand Slam titles.

But ahead of all that action taking place, we have all the team news in one place for your pre-match perusal or to help you make your late Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby team selections.

Wales v Ireland

Warren Gatland has named a side packed with familiar faces in his first game back since being re-appointed as Wales head coach.

Eight of the 23 selected were in the 2012 Grand Slam-winning squad, showing how much Gatland values experience.

Led by hooker Ken Owens, and supported by former captains Dan Biggar and Alun Wyn Jones, Gatland calls on trusted bodies in George North, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau.

There are some new faces however, as Rio Dyer is named on the left wing and Joe Hawkins at inside centre, with the pair making their Guinness Six Nations debuts, while Jac Morgan is another exciting young talent in the back row who made his Championship debut 12 months ago.

Preview: Wales v Ireland

Andy Farrell has been buoyed by the news that his talismanic captain and fly-half Johnny Sexton is fit and firing but he is without two important players as Tadhg Furlong and Robbie Henshaw both miss out with injuries.

That gives opportunities to Finlay Bealham and Stuart McCloskey who are tasked with filling in the incredibly large holes the Leinster duo leave.

10 of the starting XV stem from the in-form Dublin side, meaning that cohesion should be at an all-time high, including 2022 World Rugby Player of the Year Josh van der Flier and World Rugby Breakthrough Player nominee Dan Sheehan.

Ross Byrne is chosen on the bench ahead of Jack Crowley alongside experienced heads Conor Murray and Cian Healy.

Wales team to face Ireland: 15. Liam Williams, 14. Josh Adams, 13. George North, 12. Joe Hawkins, 11. Rio Dyer, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Tomos Williams; 1. Gareth Thomas, 2. Ken Owens (c), 3. Tomas Francis, 4. Adam Beard, 5. Alun Wyn Jones, 6. Jac Morgan, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: 16. Scott Baldwin, 17. Rhys Carre, 18. Dillon Lewis, 19. Dafydd Jenkins, 20. Tommy Reffell, 21. Rhys Webb, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Alex Cuthbert

Ireland team to face Wales: 15. Hugo Keenan, 14. Mack Hansen, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Stuart McCloskey, 11. James Lowe, 10. Johnny Sexton (c), 9. Jamison Gibson-Park; 1. Andrew Porter, 2. Dan Sheehan, 3. Finlay Bealham, 4. Tadhg Beirne, 5. James Ryan, 6. Peter O’Mahony, 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Caelan Doris

Replacements: 16. Rob Herring, 17. Cian Healy, 18. Tom O’Toole, 19. Iain Henderson, 20. Jack Conan, 21. Conor Murray, 22. Ross Byrne, 23. Bundee Aki

England v Scotland

There is a new coach for England in Steve Borthwick and with him comes change throughout the team with a handful of players set to make their Guinness Six Nations debuts.

Five players take to Twickenham for the first time during the Championship – uncapped Ollie Hassell-Collins and Jack Walker, Jack van Poortvliet, Ollie Chessum and Ben Curry.

While there are new faces, there are also plenty who were prevalent during the Eddie Jones reign, with Owen Farrell named as captain at inside centre and Jamie George passing fit.

Meanwhile, Ben Youngs looks to extend his lead as England’s most capped men’s player, joined on the bench by fellow experienced campaigners Dan Cole and Anthony Watson.

England suffered several injuries in camp, with the likes of Henry Slade, Elliot Daly, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry and Courtney Lawes absent, forcing Borthwick’s hand in his first game in charge.

Preview: England v Scotland

Gregor Townsend too had to contend with his fair share of injuries, but one man who is fit to play is Duhan van der Merwe – the scorer of Scotland’s sole try in their 11-6 win at Twickenham two years ago.

He is joined by another who has terrorised England in the past – Huw Jones, who starred in the 25-13 win at BT Murrayfield five years ago.

Darcy Graham, Hamish Watson and Zander Fagerson all miss out through injury, giving Kyle Steyn and Luke Crosbie the chance to impress, while experienced tighthead WP Nel comes in for Fagerson.

There is no space in the 23 for Ali Price, with Ben White starting and George Horne named among the substitutes.

England team to face Scotland: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Max Malins, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Jack van Poortvliet, 1 Ellis Genge, 2 Jamie George, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Ollie Chessum, 6 Lewis Ludlam, 7 Ben Curry, 8 Alex Dombrandt

Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Ollie Lawrence, 23 Anthony Watson

Scotland team to face England: 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Kyle Steyn, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Sione Tuipulotu, 11. Duhan van der Merwe, 10. Finn Russell, 9. Ben White; 1. Pierre Schoeman, 2. George Turner, 3. WP Nel, 4. Richie Gray, 5. Grant Gilchrist, 6. Jamie Ritchie, 7. Luke Crosbie, 8. Matt Fagerson

Replacements: 16. Fraser Brown, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. Simon Berghan, 19. Jonny Gray, 20. Jack Dempsey, 21. George Horne, 22. Blair Kinghorn, 23. Chris Harris

Italy v France

Kieran Crowley has named a strong Italy side for their opening clash with reigning champions France, with just one key man missing – Paolo Garbisi.

That means Tommaso Allan starts at fly-half, alongside Stephen Varney in the half-backs, in an exciting backline that contains superstar Ange Capuozzo and try scorer against France 12 months ago Tomasso Menoncello.

Michele Lamaro leads the team from openside flanker, joined in the back row by Sebastian Negri and Lorenzo Cannone, and Giacomo Nicotera fills in for the injured Gianmarco Lucchesi at hooker.

On the bench, there is a potential debut for Edoardo Iachizzi, while try-scorer in their historic win over Wales last year Edoardo Padovani is also named among the replacements.

Preview: Italy v France

Fabien Galthié has seen three of his key men from the Grand Slam-winning side a year ago ruled out for the duration of the Championship this year, with Jonathan Danty, Cameron Woki and Gabin Villière all absent.

That sees Yoram Moefana start at inside centre, with Thibaud Flament in the second row, while there is a debut handed out to impressive winger Ethan Dumortier.

Thomas Ramos retains the full-back jersey after impressing in November, while Charles Ollivon is back into the side for the Championship after missing last year’s triumph due to injury.

On the bench, Nolann Le Garrec is set to make his debut with Maxime Lucu ruled out, while Gaëtan Barlot, Reda Wardi, Sipili Falatea Thomas Lavault and Sekou Macalou will all make their Championship debuts.

Italy team to face France: 15 Ange Capuozzo, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Tommaso Menoncello, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Stephen Varney, 1 Danilo Fischetti, 2 Giacomo Nicotera, 3 Simone Ferrari, 4 Niccolò Cannone, 5 Federico Ruzza, 6 Sebastian Negri, 7 Michele Lamaro (c), 8 Lorenzo Cannone

Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Federico Zani, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Edoardo Iachizzi, 20 Giovanni Pettinelli, 21 Manuel Zuliani, 22 Alessandro Fusco, 23 Edoardo Padovani

France team to face Italy: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Yoram Moefana, 11 Ethan Dumortier, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont (c), 1 Cyril Baille, 2 Julien Marchand, 3 Uini Atonio, 4 Thibaud Flament, 5 Paul Willemse, 6 Anthony Jelonch, 7 Charles Ollivon, 8 Grégory Alldritt

Replacements: 16 Gaëtan Barlot, 17 Reda Wardi, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Thomas Lavault, 21 Sekou Macalou, 22 Nolann Le Garrec, 23 Matthieu Jalibert