Not all players have an easy ride to the top. These five have had ups and downs on their way to international rugby and the Six Nations.
1. Tom Johnson (England)
Johnson played for Chinor, Reading and Coventry before joining Exeter in 2007, playing a key role when the club won promotion to the Premiership in 2010. After a storming first season in the top-flight, the back-rower was called up to the England Saxons for the 2011 Churchill Cup and after impressing made his Test debut a year later. He went onto win 10 caps, which includes two Six Nations appearances against Wales and Italy in 2014.
2. Chris Harris (Scotland)
Playing for National League One side Tynedale for five years between 2009 and 2014, the centre scored a try on his professional debut for the Falcons. He’s since become a fleet footed attacker, catching the eye of Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, which led to him making his test debut during the 2018 Six Nations. He’s since moved on to Gloucester and currently has 10 caps for his country.
3. Joe Launchbury (England)
Harlequins decided not to offer Launchbury a professional contract at 18, which led to the lock signing for then National League 2 South side Worthing in 2009. His performances at that level led to him getting a trial at Wasps where he eventually won a full-time deal. He’s since gone onto captain the black and golds while establishing himself as an England regular.