Six Nations 2015: The best tattoos of the Six Nations

Tattoos play a big part in rugby - but not necessarily for the reasons you might think.

Much of the ink - see below - adorning bodies in the Six Nations has similar motivations behind it as that of any other young European.

However, many of them are inspired, at least partly, by the traditional tattoos sported by players with Maori or Pacific Island heritage - although for the likes of England's Samoa-born centre Manu Tuilagi, who has missed the tournament because of injury, that link is of course a direct one.

Richard Hibbard
Wales hooker Richard Hibbard has a permanent reminder that he played for the British and Irish Lions

Wales hooker Richard Hibbard explains: "I started off when I was a kid, my brother had tattoos so I wanted some. But when you are a youngster you don't really care what you get so I have a few dodgy ones on my back.

"Once I started meeting some of the islanders through rugby they started talking about their families and their relevance to the tattoos.

"The leg tat (above) is the main part and has all the meaning of where I am, where I've been and where I'm going."

Courtney Lawes
Forwards like their tattoos - 6ft 7in England lock Courtney Lawes being no exception
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Jim Hamilton
6ft 8in, nearly 20 stones, serious ink? Check. Scotland lock Jim Hamilton has got the enforcer look down pat
Mathieu Bastareaud
Mathieu Bastareaud is the only back in this list - the 18st French centre is the size of a prop though
Romain Taofifenua
Romain Taofifenua has Pacific Island heritage - his father is from Wallis and Futuna
England fly-half George Ford and prop Joe Marler
George Ford's look says it all. 'Flowers Joe, on a biceps that big?' England prop Marler sees the funny side
Saturday's Six Nations finale
Italy v Wales (12:30 GMT); Scotland v Ireland (14:30 GMT); England v France (17:00 GMT); Coverage: Live on BBC television, HD, Red Button, BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra, BBC Sport website, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

The tournament finishes on Saturday and there is a four-way race for the title.

Wales have a chance of winning the tournament, but will need results to go their way when they travel to Rome, kick-off 12:30 GMT.

Later on Saturday, Ireland visit Scotland as they bid to retain their title, before current leaders England face France at Twickenham.

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