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Six Nations Players to Watch: France’s Thomas Ramos

Versatile and skilful, Thomas Ramos will have a key role to play if France are to retain the Six Nations title.

We take a look at his background and rugby career to date…

Rugby Union

Factfile

NameThomas Ramos
NationFrance
Place of BirthMazamet
Age28
ClubToulouse
PositionFly-half, Full-back
Height5ft 10in
Weight86kg
International Caps31
International Points274

Odds

Ramos' status as France's primary place-kicker has seen him installed as the 11/10 favourite to be the tournament's top points scorer for the second straight year, while his three touchdowns in 2023 make him a value shot at 20/1 for the top try scorer award.

His efforts could aid 11/10 favourites France to regain the Six Nations title, while they are 12/5 to repeat their 2022 Grand Slam.

Rugby Union

Background and Profile

Born in the commune of Mazamet in the south west of France, Ramos came through the ranks at Toulouse and has since helped the club to win three Top 14 titles, as well as the Champions Cup in 2019.

His early opportunities at the Stade Ernest-Wallon were limited by the quality around him, with 2011 World Cup finalist Maxime Medard often favoured at full-back and fellow youngster Romain Ntamack starring at fly-half.

A season on loan at Colomiers 2016/17 aided his development, and while not always a regular upon his return, Ntamack's ability to play in the centres offered Ramos opportunities to play at fly-half.

However, it was at full-back where he excelled, with Antoine Dupont, Ntamack and himself forming arguably the best nine-10-15 playmaker axis in the world of rugby.

Ntamack's injury issues have seen Ramos primarily feature at fly-half for Toulouse this season and he heads into the Six Nations as arguably Europe's form player. 

International career

After making his international debut against England in 2019, Ramos spent several years on the fringes of the French side due to initial doubts about his ability to transfer his club form onto the international scene.

However, with Ntamack injured, he stepped into the number 10 shirt to help Toulouse win the 2020/21 Top 14 title and proved just as successful when reverting to full-back upon his colleague's return, displacing new arrival Melvyn Jaminet in the side.

His combination with Dupont and Ntamack also persuaded Les Bleus boss Fabien Galthie to jettison Jaminet at international level by selecting Ramos at full-back for the autumn series in 2022. 

The 28-year-old's greater playmaking influence added another dimension to France's attack and he kept his place for the 2023 Six Nations, finishing as the tournament's top scorer with 84 points.  

Ramos was then second to England's Owen Farrell in the scoring charts at last year's World Cup, adding a try, 21 conversions and nine penalties to take his international points tally to 274.

What to expect

Arguably the best place-kicker on the planet, Ramos' understated style when striking for the posts sums up his unflappable demeanour.

Ramos' calmness around the field as a full-back allows him to survey the opposition's defence and identify gaps to glide through or kick into. 

That composure and his experience at fly-half also enables him to step in as a first receiver, easing the playmaking pressure on Ntamack and Matthieu Jalibert. 

With both preferring to play in space, Ramos' willingness to take over means they can occupy the backfield and choose their moments to demonstrate their carrying ability.

Despite his club form in the 10 shirt, he is expected to feature at 15 for France, with Jalibert's performances at last year's World Cup and subsequently with Bordeaux-Begles earning him another shot at being the main man. 

Dupont and Ntamack's absences mean Galthie is likely to go with an all-Bordeuax half-back partnership of Maxime Lucu at scrum-half inside of Jalibert.

Ramos' game intelligence and previous experience playing with the pair means he should take little time to settle into this new role, and Dupont's absence could see him have an even bigger say in directing his country's attack.

There is a chance, should Jalibert misfire, that he and Ramos could swap roles, but such an occurrence is unlikely to trouble the level-headed Toulouse star, who is a genuine early contender to be named player of the tournament.

Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

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