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Six Nations LIVE: England and Ireland announce squads and new captains ahead of tournament

Gatland knew about Rees-Zammit’s NFL switch just ‘an hour’ before Wales squad announcement

The countdown to the 2024 edition of the Six Nations continues following the shock news that Wales have lost star Louis Rees-Zammit as he pursues a career in the NFL.

Earlier in the day, England announced the names of their squad, with Jamie George replacing Owen Farrell as captain after a break from international rugby to prioritize his mental health . Borthwick’s selection for the tournament includes a number of eye-catching potential debutants, including Exeter pair Immanuel Feyi-Waboso and Ethan Roots.

Then it was Ireland’s turn, Andy Farrell chose Peter O’Mahony as the new captain to replace the retiring Johnny Sexton. Head coach Farrell’s selection of 34 did not include any undrafted players. However, there are recalls for Leinster quartet Cian Healy, Harry Byrne, Ciaran Frawley and Jordan Larmour, Ulster trio Tom Stewart, Nick Timoney and Jacob Stockdale, and Munster wing Calvin Nash.

Follow all the reactions to both team announcements below:


Andy Farrell picks Peter O’Mahony as Ireland captain for the Six Nations

Ireland boss Andy Farrell has chosen Peter O’Mahony as captain for the Guinness Six Nations.

Munster winger O’Mahony takes on the role of Johnny Sexton, who retired following last year’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to New Zealand in Paris.

The 34-year-old, who first capped Ireland in a 15-12 win over the United States in June 2013, has won 101 caps for his country, plus one for the British and Irish Lions .

Ben FlemingJanuary 17, 2024 15:55


See more from Farrell

“The upcoming Men’s Guinness Six Nations presents an opportunity for us to grow and develop. The Six Nations is one of world rugby’s biggest tournaments and this year’s competition will be fierce.

“I am pleased with the quality of the expansion team’s performances over the past few weeks and believe the team is in good form. I congratulate all those who have been selected, especially those who are starting their international journeys.

“It’s not much tougher than the match against France on the opening weekend, but it’s a challenge that we’ll approach with a positive spirit.”

Ben FlemingJanuary 17, 2024 15:48


O’Mahony was appointed Ireland’s new captain

Not only is England looking for a new captain when Jonny Sexton retires after the World Cup, but Ireland is also looking for a new captain.

And Andy Farrell has chosen experienced back rower Peter O’Mahony, who has 101 caps.

Of the appointment, Farrel said: “He is a natural leader and someone who has been an influential figure for Munster and Ireland for many years. I am confident that the team will continue to benefit from his leadership skills, both on and off the field.

“He is thoroughly deserving of this honor and I know that he will enjoy working closely with the leadership team and the wider leadership team in the upcoming campaign. I congratulate him and his family at this special time.”

(Beautiful images)

Ben FlemingJanuary 17, 2024 15:42


Full Ireland squad

Bundee Aki (Connacht, 52 caps)

Harry Byrne (Leinster, 2 caps)

Craig Casey (Munster, 13 caps)

Jack Crowley (Munster, 9 caps)

Ciaran Frawley (Leinster, 1 cap)

Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster, caps)

Robbie Henshaw (Leinster, 62 caps)

Hugo Keenan (Leinster, 36 caps)

Jordan Larmour (Leinster, 30 caps)

James Lowe (Leinster, 26 caps)

Stuart McCloskey (Ulster, 15 caps)

Conor Murray (Munster, 112 caps)

Calvin Nash (Munster, 1 cap)

Garry Ringrose (Leinster, 57 caps)

Jacob Stockdale (Ulster, 37 caps)

Ben FlemingJanuary 17, 2024 15:36


Full Ireland squad

And here is the full lineup. First is the striker:

Ryan Baird (Leinster, 15 caps)

Finlay Belham (Connaught, 36 caps)

Tadhg Beirne (Munster, 46 caps)

Jack Conan (Leinster, 41 caps)

Caelan Doris (Leinster, 36 caps)

Tadhg Furlong (Leinster, 72 caps)

Cian Healy (Leinster, 125 caps)

Iain Henderson (Ulster, 79 caps)

Ronan Kelleher (Leinster, 26 caps)

Jeremy Loughman (Munster, 4 caps)

Joe McCarthy (Leinster, 5 caps)

Peter O’Mahony (Munster, 101 caps)

Tom O’Toole (Ulster, 12 caps)

Andrew Porter (Leinster, 59 caps)

James Ryan (Leinster, 59 caps)

Dan Sheehan (Leinster, 21 caps)

Tom Stewart (Ulster, 2 caps)

Nick Timoney (Ulster, 3 caps)

Josh van der Flier (Leinster, 57 caps)

Ben FlemingJanuary 17, 2024 15:29


Ireland announces squad

We played England before but now it’s Ireland’s turn. Here is their squad for the men’s Six Nations:

Ben FlemingJanuary 17, 2024 15:25


Warren Gatland not sure if ‘monster’ Louis Rees-Zammit can crack the NFL: ‘Wish him luck’

While Wales prepare for their Six Nations opener against Scotland, Rees-Zammit will focus on the NFL’s International Player Pathway in the hope of forging a gridiron career.

Asked if the 22-year-old would one day return to playing rugby, Gatland said: “Don’t know. There aren’t many people in the NFL who don’t know the game and played it at a young age.

Ben FlemingJanuary 17, 2024 13:45


What Owen Farrell’s move to France says about the future of club rugby

Farrell’s circumstances are different to most but his consideration of moving across the Channel reflects the general direction of rugby’s labor migration. France’s top 14 is now firmly established as the world’s leading domestic league financially, with bumper TV deals, passionate audiences and a thriving underlying structure that helps sustain the clubs. The club is professional in three divisions.

By contrast, rugby clubs in England have been shrinking, with the loss of four clubs in 12 months highlighting the financial problems in the system, where Covid challenges have led to reduce the salary cap. Proposals are being put forward to lift the current limit on player spending from £5m per year back to the previous figure of £6.4m, but with most clubs taking note huge financial losses every season, some people don’t want to increase the cap again.

Ben FlemingJanuary 17, 2024 13:37


Gregor Townsend has not decided on Scotland captain amid Jamie Ritchie’s physical battle

Gregor Townsend revealed his Scotland squad yesterday but said he is still deciding whether Jamie Ritchie will captain Scotland for the upcoming Six Nations as the Edinburgh back-rower bids to prove his form. his level and fitness before the tournament.

The 27-year-old winger has led the national team since replacing Stuart Hogg during the 2022 summer tour of South America but has been hampered by injury since last fall’s World Cup.

It was notable when Townsend announced his 39-man squad for the tournament on Tuesday afternoon that no one was listed as captain.

Read more of the Scotland head coach’s thoughts below:

Ben FlemingJanuary 17, 2024 13:27


Jamie George signs Saracens extension

The England batsman has been appointed as England’s new captain following Owen Farrell’s retirement from international rugby but there is more good news for the 33-year-old today as he has just announced that he will signed a contract extension with Saracens.

Ben FlemingJanuary 17, 2024 13:17


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