2018 Six Nations: Young Guns to Watch

Players attempt to score a try

The 2018 Six Nations is fast approaching and rugby fans are set for yet another epic viewing spectacle as Europe's finest national sides get ready to lock horns.

It's only a matter of days now until the 2018 Six Nations gets underway, and while all the focus is on which team has the best all-round squad, it may well prove prudent to take a look at some of the new faces amongst the sides as there are some hugely talented youngsters, who could be the difference between winning the trophy and just missing out on it, coming through.

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Marcus Smith (England)
The Harlequins youngster is unlikely to see any game time in this year's tournament unless England suddenly faces a fly-half injury crisis. Stranger things have happened, mind you, so it's still worth taking a look at Smith, who I think will end up being England's first choice pivot in the near future.

The 18-year-old has seen his stocks rise significantly since making his senior Harlequins debut against London Irish last September. He went on to put in a man of the match performance against Wasps a few weeks after making his debut, with his showing against the Coventry side thrusting him into the English rugby conciseness.

Blessed with a blistering turn of pace, a magician's wand for hands and a great rugby mind Smith will certainly make an impact for England in the near future.

Matthieu Jalibert (France)
The Bordeaux Begles youngster has come out of nowhere to claim a spot in the French Six Nations squad. He had a handy Under 20's tournament last year but he's really caught the eye since then running the show for the Bordeaux Begles in the Top 14.

He's a solid fly-half with a brilliant boot and is also able to get the best out of his outside backs with his slick distribution skills. It is a bit of a gamble fielding him however as he is rather lightweight weighing in at just 79 kilograms. He's also yet to be tested at this level with the pinnacle of his rugby career, thus far, being a game for the French Barbarians against a heavily depleted All Blacks midweek team.

Jordan Larmour (Ireland)
This young man looks the real deal with his outrageous Champions Cup and Pro 14 performances belying his tender age. Capable of playing across the back three as well as in the centre, Larmour is a very handy player for Joe Schmidt to be able to call upon.

While the Leinster youngster is capable of playing in a variety of positions in the backline, his best showings have come at fullback where he has time to scan the field before going on one of his trademark mazy runs.

He has an outrageous side step and is one of the quickest players plying his trade in Europe. The 20-year-old could well be on the shortlist for the IRB's Breakthrough Player of the Year Award come the close of this season.

Simone Ferrari (Italy)
The 23-year-old isn't exactly a new face on the block having already gotten six Test caps under his belt, but this could be the year the Benneton prop consolidates his position in the Italian front row. He's been quality rugby for his club side in the Pro14 and he seems to have matured a great deal as a scrummager.

Also, wouldn't it be great to witness a 121-kilogram tank go hurtling down the field on a solo run with the commentators screaming out Ferrari as the big man evades all in sundry?

Blair Kinghorn (Scotland)
Another adaptable youngster who is being touted to produce the goods in this year's Six Nations is Edinburgh's Blair Kinghorn.

Like his Irish counterpart Larmour, Kinghorn has a very happy pair of feet on him as well as a devastating turn of pace. He's also something of an intercept specialist as a few of his Pro14 tries attest to. It will certainly be interesting to see how and when head coach Gregor Townsend utilises this exciting youngster's talents.

Seb Davies (Wales)
The Cardiff Blues man only signed his first senior contract this past December but that didn't keep Wales from handing the big man two Test caps in June of last year.

While primarily a lock, the 6 foot 6 Davies is also capable of filling in on the side of the scrum due to his athletic prowess. He's a very tidy lineout option and a handful at the breakdown.

With Wales' incumbent locks reaching the Autumn of their careers, Davies certainly offers a fascinating option for Warren Gatland to ponder.

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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