|Dates: 4 February to 18 March|
|Coverage: Watch Scotland and Wales home games live on BBC One; match commentary on Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra or BBC Sounds; live text on BBC digital services; highlights on BBC Two, BBC Sport website and app|
The 2023 Six Nations begins seven months before the World Cup – perfect timing for a new star to break through.
Wales host Ireland in the tournament opener on Saturday, before England play Scotland at Twickenham and on Sunday Italy welcome defending Grand Slam champions France.
Here are some newer faces to look out for when the action begins.
England – Ollie Hassell-Collins
London Irish wing Ollie Hassell-Collins is yet to earn an England XVs cap, having previously represented the sevens side, but may be given his chance this Six Nations with new head coach Steve Borthwick leaving out veterans Jonny May and Jack Nowell. The late call-up of experienced wing Anthony Watson could halt Hassell-Collins’ progress, but the 24-year-old’s speed, solidity under the high ball and last-ditch defence may earn him a debut in one of the biggest games going when England host Scotland.
Ireland – Jack Crowley
Munster fly-half Jack Crowley is the latest man to try out for the role of Johnny Sexton’s successor, with the 37-year-old planning to retire after this year’s World Cup. Crowley, 23, has already been given his big break when he started in place of the injured Sexton against Australia in the autumn. It was Crowley’s replacement Ross Byrne – also in Ireland’s Six Nations squad – who kicked the winning penalty that day but Crowley will hope for another chance to show the kind of leadership he has displayed when given the opportunity at Munster.
Scotland – Ben Healy
Crowley is not the only Munster fly-half on this list. Crowley’s team-mate Ben Healy – who will join Edinburgh next season – represented Ireland at under-20 level and has been called up for Scotland because he qualifies through his grandparents. The uncapped 23-year-old was brought into the fold by Gregor Townsend in place of the injured Adam Hastings. The Scotland head coach praised Healy’s recent form with the Irish province and said he had “Test match ability”. Healy has an impressive kicking game and knows how to take charge of an attack, but will have to fight for his chance to do so as he competes with Finn Russell and Blair Kinghorn for a place in the matchday 23.
Wales – Christ Tshiunza
On the Rugby Union Daily podcast, Wales head coach Warren Gatland picked out Exeter forward Christ Tshiunza as the most likely player to break through in this year’s Six Nations. Gatland tends to know what he is talking about when it comes to rugby so we will not argue with his call. Tshiunza, 21, made two appearances in Wales’ 2021 autumn Tests and can play lock or flanker. With recent impressive try-scoring performances for Chiefs, he has caught the eye of former Wales captain Sam Warburton and is likely to catch many more when the Six Nations begins.
France – Nolann Le Garrec
France captain and star player Antoine Dupont is unquestionably the side’s starting scrum-half. But should he need a replacement, Racing 92’s 20-year-old Nolann Le Garrec is waiting in the wings. The uncapped and fearless Le Garrec offers a similar fast-paced and unpredictable game to that of Dupont, with a smart kicking game as well.
Italy – Ange Capuozzo
You could argue that Ange Capuozzo has already made a name for himself after his break led to Edoardo Padovani’s try that helped Italy claim their first Six Nations win since 2015 in Cardiff last year. The 23-year-old Toulouse full-back also scored two tries to help Italy to a first win against Australia in the autumn. His sharp footwork and turf-skimming speed may help him create even more history this tournament.