As the Autumn Tests edge ever nearer, more and more focus will be placed on the home nations. I wanted to tilt the scales a little and look at some of the rising stars who may face our sides…stars who are frighteningly good, especially given their tender age.
We may as well kick off with the best team in the world – and by the way, they are still the best team in the world even if they had a recent hiccup against Australia.
Hands down the most exciting prospect in world rugby at this current time, although some may argue with me calling him a prospect considering he has bossed it on the global stage already.
He completely justified Steve Hansen’s decision to select him in the All Blacks first test against the Lions by delivering a game-changing, two try, performance. Move your attention to the Rugby Championship and he emerged joint-top try scorer and achieved the most defenders beaten and metres made.
Yet, I’m so excited by this guy, I think he should be called a prospect because of just how good he could get!
The future of the All Blacks back row?
Let me say there’s a lot of potential here and he may get a run out from the start in some of the All Blacks ‘lesser’ games, as he did in the Rugby Championship.
For the time being I believe the New Zealand back row selects itself, however the likes of Read can’t go on forever so some big performances during these Autumn Tests could put Fifita in a very strong position!
The Boks have had a turbulent year that has seen them put in some really below par performances, however they also deliverred a couple of inspired ones in the Rugby Championship that suggested they may be on the road to recovery! There's a couple of young guns who could just help them.
This young fella, who plays Fly Half (or Full back) for the Sharks, is a very special player who lit up the U20 World Cup in the summer. He possesses a skillset that far exceeds his years and killer pace that frightens the living daylights out of defenders.
He’s yet to really make an impression on the international stage, however if he gets his chance this Autumn I bet you he takes it!
Jean-Luc Du Preez
Weighing in at 116kg’s, this 22 year old No.8 has the world at his feet. Du Preez is a true athlete, whose engine would rival that of a Bugatti Veron.
He was given some game time in the Rugby Championship and will be looking to build on that this Autumn – There’s one this for sure, as a Bok he will bring plenty of physicality to the table!
The Wallabies are in a state of disarray in terms of their grassroots and domestic rugby but they're still plugging away at test level.
A 23 year old back-rower who could be the heir to the back prowess of the likes of Hooper. He had a couple of fantastic games in the Rugby Championship and will no doubt get a run out during the tests this November.
The Aussies still have superstars like Foley and Hooper but they could also have one in the making in the form of Dempsey...we shall see.
The Pumas have done more than hold their own in the Rugby Championship, although they've struggled to record many a victory.
That said, they possess much class in their ranks and the newest individual to fall into that category is Bofelli. He's also one of the nominees for breakthrough player of the year and although I think ioane will deservedly win, this young fella has plenty of quality - a real Imhoff in the making!