Six Nations transfer market: Which player from a rival team would each country want?
|Guinness Six Nations|
|Dates: 1 February-16 March|
|Coverage: Watch live coverage on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, Connected TVs and online; listen to match commentaries, shows and podcasts on BBC Radio 5 live, sports extra and BBC Sounds; follow text updates on the BBC Sport website and mobile app.|
If you could pick one player from another nation to bolster your Six Nations squad, who would it be?
Could France do with Johnny Sexton? Would Wales benefit from Billy Vunipola? And what would Ireland look like with Maro Itoje?
As football gears up for another transfer deadline day, we asked the Six Nations head coaches which player from another nation they would transfer into their side.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland thought Stuart Hogg could be useful, Ireland's Joe Schmidt picked an Englishman already in his ranks, Andy Farrell, and England boss Eddie Jones went left-field by choosing a player from a different sport - Manchester City midfielder David Silva.
Before the start of the 2019 Six Nations, the Rugby Union Weekly team of Ugo Monye and Chris Jones also picked their transfers for each nation and you can get involved by adding yours in the comments below.
- Listen: Rugby Union Weekly - the Six Nations transfer market
- Six Nations: BBC TV, radio & online coverage times
Chris Jones (CJ): With the Vunipolas back fit, England's pack has a much harder look to it compared to the autumn, but I just wonder about the cutting edge in the backline, especially if Eddie Jones opts for Owen Farrell at fly-half. With Jonathan Joseph a while off after long-term injury, I think England could most do with Ireland centre Garry Ringrose. I would have said prop Tadhg Furlong, but Kyle Sinckler really stepped up in November.
Ugo Monye (UM): Stuart McInally. England have no Dylan Hartley for the first couple of rounds, and although Jamie George and Luke Cowan-Dickie are able replacements at hooker, McInally's form for Edinburgh in Europe has been outstanding. His added ability to operate as an extra back row in defence would be a bonus for England.
UM: France are in need of a world-class winger. Teddy Thomas was their bright spark last year but he's now injured so I think France could do with Ireland's Jacob Stockdale. He is a match-winner and after two narrow defeats in the last Six Nations, Stockdale could really be the difference.
CJ: For years, France have been crying out for a consistent general at fly-half, someone like Farrell or Ireland's Johnny Sexton. But they also could do with a warrior-like lock, so I am going for Wales' Alun Wyn Jones.
CJ: The number two team in the world have very few - if any - deficiencies. The pack is rock-solid, and with young tyros like Furlong, James Ryan and Dan Leavy, it's also dynamic. However, would the backline be even better served by having Scotland's Stuart Hogg running amok from full-back?
UM: As we all know, Ireland are a world-class side and aren't desperately in need of any more players, but I'm going to give them England lock Maro Itoje. I just want to see him combine with James Ryan, and also they've lost Tadgh Beirne who's been outstanding this season.
CJ: Italy have no shortage of physical, confrontational forwards, especially in the back row. But, a little like France, they desperately need someone to step up and commandeer the number 10 jersey. England's Farrell or Ireland's Sexton? Let's go with Johnny Sexton.
UM: I'm also going with Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton. Italy could do with his leadership, his experience - and who wouldn't want the world's best player?
UM: In the absence of flanker Hamish Watson, who's been sheer class and will be a big loss for the Scots, I'm going to give them Wales' Thomas Young. Young is a player who hasn't tallied the caps at international level that his performances have warranted, and will slot perfectly into Gregor Townsend's set-up.
CJ: The jury is still out on whether Scotland can convert their class into consistency. Finn Russell has to play at 10, while at scrum-half they have either Greig Laidlaw's cool temperament or Ali Price's spark. However, how well would they go with Ireland's in-form Conor Murray at number nine? But with injuries hitting them hard up front, I am sending England number eight Billy Vunipola up north.
UM: Billy Vunipola is in high demand, and I'm sending him across the Severn Bridge to Wales. His cousin, Taulupe Faletau, is out with a broken arm and he would be a big loss to any team. Wales could do with the destructive ball-carrying ability of Vunipola from the base and also in phase play.
CJ: With injuries at full-back, boss Warren Gatland has already dipped into the imaginary Six Nations transfer market and signed Stuart Hogg. Another option would have been a number eight - Ireland's CJ Stander or Vunipola perhaps - with Faletau out and Ross Moriarty struggling. However, Wales still have uncertainty over their first choice fly-half, with Dan Biggar, Gareth Anscombe and Rhys Patchell all in the mix. So, in a sensational move, England's captain Owen Farrell is swapping white for red.
- You can hear more from all the Six Nations captains and coaches on the Rugby Union Weekly podcast - a Six Nations preview special - out on Sunday, 27 January.