As the Six Nations rolls into town once again, an ill-fortuned group of key players must come to terms with the prospect of watching their team-mates from the sidelines.
From multiple Scotland props to France’s Wesley Fofana, each country is suffering from their own share of injuries and absentees.
In light of this, here we propose our own Six Nations’ ‘absent XV’:
Fullback: Jared Payne (Ireland)
Ulster Rugby has chosen to remove British and Irish Lion Jared Payne from their Champions Cup squad this week. The versatile Ireland international has not played since suffering migraine symptoms while on tour with the Lions in New Zealand. He now looks likely to also miss the Six Nations.
Winger: George North (Wales)
Back on the casualty list after missing the entire Autumn series due to a knee injury. Further damage has revealed that the speedster will be not fit to play again for ‘up to six weeks’.
Centre: Jonathan Davies (Wales)
Davies is set to miss the 2018 Six Nations after being ruled out for “in the region of six months” with a foot injury in November. The 29-year-old British and Irish Lions back was injured in the closing stages of Wale’s 29-21 loss to Australia and may miss the rest of the season.
Centre: Ben Te’o (England)
Worcester’s England powerhouse is set to miss the start of the 2018 Six Nations because of the ankle problem which has kept him out since October. The 30-year-old British and Irish Lions back has made just seven appearances for his club this season.