"Impressed or Dropped" - The Last 5 England Players Who Debuted in the Six Nations - Page 2 of 3 - Ruck

“Impressed or Dropped” – The Last 5 England Players Who Debuted in the Six Nations

3. Ollie Chessum – DEBUT: Italy 0-33 England 2022 Six Nations

Ollie Chessum of England before the Summer International match between England and Fiji at Twickenham Stadium on August 26, 2023 in London, England. ( Photo by Phil Mingo/PPAUK )

The only player to make their England debut during the 2022 Six Nations, Leicester lock Ollie Chessum has had a strong recent run within the national squad. Given the chance by Eddie Jones for England’s away victory over Italy, Chessum made a replacement appearence in the 33-0 shut-out. Coming off the bench for Tom Curry, Chessum began his England career in the back-row but swiftly progressed to lock for the following year’s tournament.

Chessum formed a solid partnership with Maro Itoje, with the two starting in the second row for every match of the 2023 Six Nations. The lock duo packed down the England engine room, and seamlessly interlinked around the park like they had been playing together for decades. Chessum was a star man of last year’s Championships, yet suffered an unfortunate ankle injury in the fourth round defeat to France. The lock battled back through physio, and after a lengthy spell on the side-lines, made his comeback in time for the Rugby World Cup.

Ollie Chessum of England during the England Rugby Captains Run ahead of the Six Nations Match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium, London on 24 Feb 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

The Leicester man was amongst England’s best players in France, and was integral to the side’s bronze-medal winning run. Chessum scored a crucial try to turn England’s favours against Samoa, as the Pacific Islanders looked set for an upset to close out Pool D. Chessum was dropped to the bench for England’s semi-final defeat to South Africa, with George Martin’s relentless tackling utilised from the off. Chessum’s Tigers’ teammate misses out on the 2024 Six Nations through injury, with Ollie named in the England five jersey, to play Italy in Rome tomorrow.

4. Beno Obano – DEBUT: England 6-11 Scotland – 2021 Six Nations

Beno Obano of England during the England training at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on July 7 2021. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

With three England caps to his name since 2021, Beno Obano has been on the fringes of the national squad for the best part of the last four years. The Bath man has been named in Steve Borthwick’s squad for the 2024 Six Nations, and will look to achieve a more consistent run of selection throughout the upcoming championships. Obano’s England career began as far back as 2018, when Eddie Jones named the loose-head for the Summer tour to South Africa. However, an untimely back-injury halted Obano’s debut hopes, and the prop soon lost momentum heading into the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Obano continued to ply his trade at Bath, and became a household name for the fans in blue, black and white. His stock continued to rise at the Rec, and Obano was rightfully recalled into Jones’ England squad for the 2021 Six Nations. The prop received his full test debut in the opening round defeat to Scotland, yet that 12 minute replacement appearence was his sole contribution of the tournament. Obano would go on to play in the Summer tests against the United States and Canada later that year, yet additional injuries hindered his hopes of future England call-ups.

Beno Obano of Bath Rugby during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bath Rugby and Exeter Chiefs at the Recreation Ground on 26 March 2023. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

The 29-year-old has been back to his very best this season, with Bath reaping the rewards of the front-rowers performances. With his litany of injuries now firmly in the rear-view mirror, the 2024 Six Nations could be the time for Obano to stake his claim to the future of the England number one jersey.

Joe Marler has been picked to start at loose-head against Italy, with Ellis Genge amongst the replacements. However, consistent performances and an impressive work rate would certainly put Obano in Borthwick’s plans, for when 33-year-old Marler calls time on his international career. The rumours on Marler’s England retirement where circulating following the Rugby World Cup, yet the Harlequin is set for future test caps for the foreseeable future.