Darry Worthington takes a look at five young players to watch out for when the 6 Nations kicks off on Saturday, 06 February.
Image copyright – Steve Haag Sports
The Six Nations is fast approaching its start and we’re in for a rather intriguing tournament as coaches start looking to blood impressive young players in a bid to turn them into seasoned internationals by the time the 2023 Rugby World Cup rolls around.
Below, we’ll take a look at five young players who could make a mark during the 2021 Guinness Six Nations.
Scotland managed to pinch former England Under 20 international from England, with the Bath man set to follow in his father’s footsteps and represent the Scottish national team at senior level.
Redpath made the switch from Sale to Bath this season and has been in solid form for his new side this term playing 17 games and scoring two tries. He is an explosive centre who has great feet and is also has a solid passing game.
He generally operates at inside-centre but is able to push one out to 13 if need be.
Check out his footwork here against Wasps.
Probably the biggest bolter on this list, Odogwu has seen his stocks sore after making the switch to outside centre from the wing for his club Wasps.
The 23-year-old qualifies for both Italy and England but he has chosen the latter after being called up by Eddie Jones to the senior England squad.
As noted earlier, Odogwu has played most of his rugby on the wing but has caught the eye at club level in the midfield. Whether Jones views him as an international 13 is up for debate but don’t be surprised to see him get a run there against Italy.
He’s a big boy with blistering pace and a centre pairing of him and Manu Tuilangi would be a scary proposition for even the most defensively astute midfield in the game, let alone an Italian side.
It’s still rather strange to think this youngster will only turn 20 just before the 6 Nations kicks off as there’s been so much hype around him that it seems like he’s been on the scene for many a year.
Zammit already made his debut for the Dragons last year as he came off the bench against France in a friendly. He then went onto play two games in the Autumn Nations Cup and bagged a try against Georgia.
He recently reminded the world of his electrifying talent with this magnificent try he scored at the start of January for Gloucester.
The Bristol nine may not be everyone’s cup of tea – he’s got a bit of a slow pass on him – but he’s got his call up to the England squad and he’ll be eager to impress.
As noted above, Randall isn’t the slickest of distributors but what he lacks in passing he makes up for with his snipping runs and great support lines.
The 23-year-old has been in great touch for his club side and has often spearheaded attacks. If the English coaching staff can work on his passing and tactical kicking, then Randall may well develop into England’s first-choice nine.
Check out some of the little whippets best snipes and support lines here
The Ulster youngster has really made his mark for his province this term playing a starring role in Ulster’s solid start to the PRO14 campaign.
While he’s got some seasoned veterans ahead of him, O’Toole could well usurp them in a short time as he’s a dynamic prop who is capable of getting down and dirty at the coal face but also capable of putting in a shift around the park with barnstorming runs and heavy tackles.
He’s actually a rather experienced prop having already played 50 times for Ulster since making his debut for the Irish club side in 2018. He’s likely to get his Irish debut in the coming weeks and will be hoping to at least bring up 50 Test caps for his nation.