The squads of international rugby teams boast stellar talent when fully fit, but sadly injuries are part of the game.
Through bad luck or collisions, every player is bound to pick them up at some stage during their respective careers.
With this, we pick our best XV who will be unavailable for large spells of the upcoming Six Nations whether through injury or suspension.
15. Jared Payne (Ireland)
14. Elliot Daly (England)
13. Jonathan Davies (Wales)
12. Wesley Fofana (France)
11. Angelo Esposito (Italy)
10. Camille Lopez (France)
9. Greig Laidlaw (Scotland)While Laidlaw is expected to return to action at some point during the tournament, there is no guarantee he will be match fit after spending the last three months on the sidelines with a broken fibula. One of the central figures of a burgeoning Scotland team, Laidlaw offers terrific pace around the base of the scrum and has the ability to bring players into the game from any attack. His current spell at Clermont will have certainly improved his game – and at 32 – has the chance to further inspire Scotland in the lead up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
1. Joe Marler (England)The Harlequins loose-head will miss England’s matches against Italy and Wales after receiving a six-week suspension for striking with the shoulder against Sale earlier this month. Although he is free to play from February 20, it will be interesting to see whether Jones selects him considering the duration he will spend on the sidelines. His carrying and work at the breakdown will be a significant loss – and coupled with other front row injures – Mako Vunipola will be the only fit loose-head for the Red Rose’s key early fixtures.
2. Ross Ford (Scotland)
3. WP Nel (Scotland)
4. Jake Ball (Wales)The totemic Wales lock is a long-term casualty after dislocating his shoulder in Wales’ defeat to New Zealand in November. The 26-year-old, with 28 caps, is a towering line-out presence and his voracious work-rate has made him one of Gatland’s key men. Although he boasts nothing near the influence of Alun Wyn-Jones, the Scarlets player puts his body on the line and epitomises the warrior spirit of the Wales pack.
5. James King (Wales)The Ospreys lock-cum-back-row forward may have only featured for Wales just once in 2017 but injuries have somewhat curtailed his steady development as a player. The 27-year-old suffered a shoulder injury in his side’s win over Northampton last month and will miss the next five weeks. A hard worker in defence and a menace at the breakdown, the Cardiff native has the potential to be the bedrock of the Wales line-out when Wyn-Jones and Bradley Davies retire.
6. Taulupe Faletau (Wales)
7. Sam Warburton (Wales)The Wales and Lions captain has been ruled out for the rest of the season after having knee surgery. While he was already sidelined with a neck problem, the 29-year-old is likely to be out for up to six months. It was initially hoped that Warburton would be fit for Cardiff’s January fixtures in a bid to boost his match sharpness for the Six Nations, however, the proposed surgery was planned to give him the best chance of being injury-free in the build up to next summer’s World Cup. If Gatland’s men are to have a successful campaign in Japan, then Warburton is one of the marquee names they’ll be looking towards for innovation and leadership.
8. Billy Vunipola (England)