Next up, our first front-rowers and a Frenchman enter the fray. Other picks include an All Black speedster and an English exile.
90. Garry Ringrose – Ireland & Leinster
Position: Centre Age: 22
As he closes in on half a century of appearances for Leinster, it’s hard to believe that Ringrose is still only 22. Having made his debut for the club in 2015/16, aged 20, he’s since established himself as the true heir to Brian O’Driscoll’s No.13 shirt. Of course, 2017 hasn’t all been plain sailing with a few injury issues probably preventing him from being further up the list. A very exciting prospect still nevertheless.
Highlight: His brace of tries against Japan for Ireland in the summer
89. Jonathan Joseph – England & Bath
Position: Centre Age: 26
Edging slightly ahead of Ringrose is England centre, Jonathan Joseph. The Bath speedster played in four out of five matches as England retained the Six Nations before being selected the British & Irish Lions summer tour to New Zealand. Although he failed to crack the Test side, he completed an excellent team try in the tourists’ clash with the Highlanders in the 23-22 defeat in Dunedin. He then ended the year with a try for England against Australia at Twickenham.
Highlight: Scoring a hat-trick as England thumped Scotland 62-21 in the Six Nations
88. Liam Squire – New Zealand & Highlanders
Position: Number 8/Flanker/Lock Age: 26
Without a doubt one of the most important figures at the Highlanders, the versatile All Black has been a consistently strong presence in Super Rugby for a number of years. He became a regular starter for the Highlanders in the 2017 Super Rugby season and has been outstanding. A dynamic loose forward, Squire has also become a regular for the All Blacks, winning seven caps this calendar year, which saw him named in Sky Sports Team of the Rugby Championship.