Tom Hudson’s Preview of the Six Nations

1) Who is the one standout player for England that you think will impress?

I have no doubt that if given the opportunity our home grown lad Ollie Thorley will be hugely impressive for our home nation with ball in hand.

2) Who is the one standout player outside of England that you think will impress?

I have to agree with my friend Jake Polledri (who also answered some questions for LooseHeadz) when it comes to stand outs elsewhere, I think the Irish pack is a serious force in World Rugby and CJ Stander stands at the forefront of that.

3) Do you think this is going to be the most competitive Six Nations in some time?

If you look into the last couple of World Cup cycles, the Six Nations prior to each main competition seems to have that extra edge and I have no doubt that this one will be the same.

4) Who is your surprise package and why? 

I’m looking forward to watching Italy this year as a surprise package. With so many European countries making huge strides in world rugby, I feel they have a big job to justify their slot in this competition.

7) Which game are you most looking forward to and why? 

Without a shadow of doubt, my most anticipated game will be the Ireland v England as I feel that these two will be chasing the title.

8) Can you feel a ‘bringing to the boil’ of those selected players that you train with day in, day out?

As mentioned before hand, I for one can not wait to see my fellow Gloucester man Ollie Thorley get into the red rose and show the world that he is one of the best strike runners that the Premiership has. His nickname at the club is 110 due to his 110% commitment in everything he does and that won’t change over the next month or so.

9) Do the games in the 6 Nations take on greater importance with it being a Rugby World Cup year or do you think people play for pride at the 6 Nations and take the RWC as it comes?

There’s no doubt that this Six Nations will be a warm up for the main event later on in the year. All players and staff will have one eye on the RWC whilst taking nothing for granted in the next 5 games.

10) Coaching has always been important but now, more than ever, it has an increasingly bigger role in professional sport. 1) What type of approach do you think Eddie Jones will have for the Six Nations ahead of the RWC? And 2) Who is the coach that you think has got the edge in this years’ 6 Nations? 

Tactics and player management is a bigger part of the game than any so one thing I know for sure is that the team that lifts the trophy at the end of the month will have had the best back room staff, ranging from the analysts and tacticians to the physios for keeping the players on the pitch. As for any coaching staff with an edge…let’s wait and see.

11) What do you think the secret is to winning the 6 Nations? What special ingredient do you need to get over the whitewash as winners?

I don’t believe there ever is any secret ingredient to success although it would be nice to think there is! There are so many moving parts to a successful winning international side and it will be fascinating to see which parts take priority.

12) In your opinion, who will be the top try scorer?

Jacob Stockdale!!

13) Everyone has got a shout this year…But who is your pick for the tournament and why?

I shall be looking no further than the boys in white this year. I have full faith in the boys who have been chosen in the squad and I give them every bit of luck from my direction to get them over the finish line!

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