#RugbyRising Finalists – The Premierships Most Exciting Young Talent

#RugbyRisingWith two round of the Aviva Premiership already down and teams starting to find their feet in the new Premiership season we thought now would be the perfect time to unveil our #RugbyRising finalists.

Throughout the off-season we have unveiled club-by-club a list of the young talent within each time at let the fans vote for who they think has the brightest future ahead of them. Whilst most of the players included are young emerging talent some are slightly older players who could be set to finally make their breakthrough this year. We at In The Loose believe many of the players covered could be set for a big future in the Premiership and potential international recognition.

You can view the club-by-club player guide over here to view each teams most talented young players. With England’s U20’s victory in this years World Championship in France there are plenty of talented youngsters who could be set to make the step up to receive full international honours in time for the Rugby World Cup.

With the Aviva Premiership looking stronger than ever this season it will be some of these talented individuals who could really help to make or break their teams season. Have your say below and make sure to get involved in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #RugbyRising.

Anyway, without further ado here are our 12 #RugbyRising finalists…

Bath Rugby – Anthony Watson

Age – 19

Position – Wing/Full Back

anthony watson bathDespite being surrounded by star talent in the Bath backs Watson has already made his mark starting in both of Bath’s opening victories over Newcastle Falcons and Leicester Tigers. Watson joined the club from London Irish over the summer after a successful U20’s World Championship with England over the summer and looks set to receive further honours for his country in the future. An exciting and dynamic player with bags of pace, Watson ensures Bath fans are on their feet when he gets hold of the ball.

Exeter Chiefs – Luke Cowan-Dickie

Age – 20

Position – Prop/Hooker

luke cowan-dickie exeterVersatile front-rower Luke Cowan-Dickie made a real name for himself over the summer as he helped steer England U20’s to the World Championships title. Cowan-Dickie is a strong ball carrier with plenty of scrummaging ability and will be a key asset in an Exeter side packed with young talent. It seems only a matter of time now before he is called up for a full England debut where we’re sure he will put plenty of pressure on the likes of Dylan Hartley, Rob Webber and Tom Youngs for the number 2 shirt.

Gloucester Rugby – Dan Robson

Age – 21

Position – Scrum half

dan robson gloucesterAfter a breakthrough season at Gloucester last year Dan Robson looks set to challenge Tavis Knoyle and Jimmy Cowan for the starting 9 shirt this season. He had his shoulder cleaned out over the summer and looks set to come back even stronger than last season having started for Gloucester in the opening game of the season. Robson could help create an exciting half-back combo with Freddie Burns that will feature for Gloucester for years to come.

Harlequins – Jack Clifford

Age – 20

Position – Back row

jack clifford harlequinsYoung Harlequins back row forward Jack Clifford captained England U20’s this summer as he led his team to victory in this summer World Championships. Clifford is already making a name for himself at Quins were he looks like the natural successor to Nick Evans. A strong athletic ball carrier with fantastic leadership qualities who has come through the clubs academy, Clifford already looks like the exact type of player Connor O’Shea will be looking to for years to come.

Leicester Tigers – Owen Williams

Age – 21

Position – Fly half

owen williams leicester tigersYoung fly half Williams joins Leicester Tigers for the Scarlets with a big reputation and an even bigger boot. Tigers Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill moved quickly to secure the services of the young Welshman after his stand-out performance against Leicester during last seasons LV=Cup. Williams will have to find his way past incumbent Toby Flood and new signing Ryan Lamb to play regularly at 10 for Leicester this season but looks to have all the attributes to do so.

London Irish – Marland Yarde 

Age – 21

Position – Wing

marland yarde london irishYarde will be regarded as one of the better known names in this list but that does not take away from his meteoric rise last season that culminated in a call-up to England’s tour of Argentina. Yarde is already beginning to stand-out at London Irish already this year and looks set to receive more England caps during this years Autumn Internationals. A winger with electric pace and incredible strength, Yarde is a natural-born finished who could be key to Irish’s survival hopes this season.

London Wasps – Sam Jones

Age – 21

Position – Flanker

sam jonesLondon Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young has so much faith in young flanker Sam Jones that he has made him interim club captain in the absence of Chris Bell. Young even called up Jones to this summers Baa Baas squad were he looked at home amongst a star studded side. Despite his team losing in both of their opening games Jones has been a stand-out performer willing to put his body on the line for his team.

Newcastle Falcons – Dominic Barrow

Age – 20

Position – Lock/Back row

dom barrow leedsBarrow was another member of the successful England U20’s side at this summers World Championships in France. His powerful ball-carrying and work around the field ensured he was a key member of the team. He has since continued that form for Newcastle Falcons since the start of the season were he has been a stand-out performer helping his side to an away victory at Sale Sharks last weekend. Barrow looks like he could be Dean Richards biggest signing of the season based on current form.

Northampton Saints – Luther Burrell

Age – 25

Position – Centre

luther burrell northampton saintsAt 25-years-of-age Burrell is one of the elder statesmen on this list but can still be classed as a rising star after an exciting debut season for Northampton Saints last year. Despite suffering relegation with Leeds and a turbulent season with Sale Sharks Burrell rapidly established himself as a key member of Jim Mallinders Premiership finalists last term which culminated in a call-up to the England senior squad. If Burrell continues his form this season there’s no reason why he shouldn’t receive more international honours in years to come.

Sale Sharks – Tommy Taylor

Age – 21

Position – Hooker

tommy taylor sale sharksTaylor was one of the highlights of a turbulent season for Sale Sharks last seasons alongside fellow front-rowers Ross Harrison and Henry Thomas. His past experience as a flanker added an extra dimension to Sale’s breakdown play whilst his ability to get around the field was a huge boost to his side. Taylor was originally thrown into first team duties as Sale suffered a front-row injury crisis but he quickly established himself as a regular started and looks set to be a key member of his side this season.

Saracens – Billy Vunipola

Age – 20

Position – Back row

billy vunipola saracensYounger Vunipola brother Billy is another player who has become recognisable across the Premiership after a stand-out season for London Wasps. Vunipola finished the season by agreeing a move to join his brother at Saracens and touring Argentina with England where he scored a hat-trick for his country. Billy is already establishing himself as a regular in the Saracens back row and looks sure to receive more caps for England in the very near future.

Worcester Warriors – James Stephenson

Age – 23

Position – Wing

james stephenson worcesterStephenson has joined Worcester from Championship side Bedford Blues this summer and looks set to establish himself in the Premiership. Stephenson amassed 15 tries in 17 appearances last-term and will be hoping to replicate that kind of form for new Worcester Director of Rugby Dean Ryan this season. His pace and impressive finishing record could be a key source of tries for the Warriors as they look to avoid a relegation dogfight this year.

Let us know what you think by voting and commenting below or joining us on Twitter using the #RugbyRising and tweeting to @InTheLoose.

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Comments

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10 comments

  1. Luke Cowan-Dickie

  2. Unfortunately I am afraid you are wrong it obviously the winner is tommy taylor

  3. Tommy Taylor is the man

  4. Tommy Taylor all the way !

  5. Tommy Taylor is the most exciting talent in the premiership

  6. Rob Taylor (uncle)!!

    Tommy Taylor (Jnr) – great talent, even better than his Dad at playing hooker for Sale

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