Fantasy Rugby 2018: Best newcomers to pick in ESPN's free Six Nations game

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Playing in the Six Nations is an exciting prospect for anyone, let alone a player who is yet to make their international debut. The competitiveness of the tournament sees sides usually stick to their tried and tested players, but injuries and dazzling club form can often result in new players arriving on the scene.

With that in mind, ESPN has highlighted five players who could make their international debuts and potentially light up Fantasy Rugby this year.

Zach Mercer (England)

It's been a quick elevation to this point for the 20-year-old, but the Bath No.8 has stepped up to the plate before and looks more than capable of fulfilling a role against Italy next week. Eddie Jones has always liked the look of the former England Under-20 captain, highlighting his work rate and speed, but wants him to work on his physicality in defence to be a similar weapon to the injured Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes.

Nathan Earle (England)

Earle, 23, has already had an interesting career, finding his feet in New Zealand with Canterbury after a serious Achilles injury curtailed his early prospects. Since then, he has made a name for himself with some strong cameo performances for Saracens which have seen him pick up a contract with Harlequins at season's end and sneak into Eddie Jones' plans. England have a lot of quality outside backs but Earle's speed, size and prolific try-scoring ability make him a contender to feature at some point this tournament.

Matthieu Jalibert (France)

Such is the nature of French Rugby that at the start of the season Jalibert hadn't played any top-flight rugby, but fast-forward a few months and he is Les Bleus next big hope. The fly-half, 19, is a young head on old shoulders and has starred for Bordeaux in the Top 14 and the Challenge Cup with his quick pace off the mark and eye for the try-line. Under new coach -- and former Bordeaux boss -- Jacques Brunel, he could well start at No. 10 for France over Anthony Belleau.

Jordan Larmour (Ireland)

As far as raw talents go, Larmour, 20, is right up there. He has already made a mockery of defences with speed and footwork that have seen him compared to a young Christian Cullen. While he's come from a background of playing as a centre, he's starred at fullback for Leinster as well as on the wing, where he performed admirably against Nemani Nadolo. Ireland face Italy in round two which could be the perfect time to introduce him to the international stage.

Josh Adams (Wales)

Adams, 22, has shown serious persistence and determination to get to where he is now after a bumpy ride over the last few years. Surplus to requirements in Wales, he signed for Worcester but struggled to make the grade and was sent out on loan. Gary Gold finally gave Adams an opportunity at the Warriors last season and he has built on that in spades this term, becoming the Aviva Premiership's leading try scorer with nine touch downs. His attacking skills in broken play make him a likely candidate to step in for an injured Liam Williams.

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