The 2018 Six Nations reaches its halfway point this weekend, with household names from Aviva Premiership Rugby set to be at the thick of the action as the battle for Northern Hemisphere supremacy continues.
France and Italy meet in Marseille, Ireland roll out the red carpet for Wales in Dublin and reigning champions England make the trip to Edinburgh to do battle with Scotland.
Here’s our guide to what to look out for during Round Three of the Six Nations.
Guess Hughes back
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 23, 2018
Surely champing at the bit to thrust himself into the fray, Wasps No.8 Nathan Hughes has been inserted straight into England’s starting line-up for their clash with Scotland.
Hughes has missed the last six weeks with a knee injury but is back and ready to rumble, and returns at the ideal time for head coach Eddie Jones.
Exeter Chiefs’ Sam Simmonds had started both of England’s first two matches – victories over Italy and Wales – but has been ruled out of the Scotland game with a shoulder problem.
Enter 26-year-old Hughes, the only change to the England side that edged out the Welsh 12-6 at Twickenham on February 10.
Reid and co ready to flower
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) February 23, 2018
London Irish prop Gordon Reid has been an ever-present so far for Scotland during the 2018 Six Nations and he is in line for his third straight start in tomorrow’s Calcutta Cup showdown.
The 30-year-old will be attempting to put the brakes on England alongside Sean Maitland, who was a replacement as Gregor Townsend’s troops were beaten by Wales in Round One but was given the nod as the Scots defeated France 32-26 last time out.
From the bench, Worcester Warriors No.8 David Denton will be hoping to influence proceedings, as will Scott Lawson, of Newcastle Falcons.
Wales call on Will power
TEAM NEWS 🏴 Wales welcome back @lionsofficial trio Dan Biggar, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams for #IREvWAL. Croeso nol i Lewod Halfpenny, Williams a Biggar i wynebu Iwerddon dydd Sadwrn. pic.twitter.com/MDgRyrrmGM
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) February 20, 2018
Saracens flyer Liam Williams returns to the fold for Warren Gatland’s Wales as they attempt to upset Ireland on their own turf.
The 26-year-old Saracens winger, who toured New Zealand with the British & Irish Lions in 2017, has recently been sidelined with a recurrence of an abdominal problem but Williams is back and ready to fire for Gatland.
Gloucester’s Ross Moriarty will once again be starting at No.8 for Wales while Northampton Saints’ George North and Exeter Chiefs’ Tomas Francis will begin the game as replacements.