Aviva Premiership Rugby’s five breakthrough stars of 2017 - Ruck

Aviva Premiership Rugby’s five breakthrough stars of 2017

Aviva Premiership Rugby is never short of thrills and spills and over the last 12 months, we have seen some of the most exciting talent strutting their stuff on the biggest stage.

Outstanding performances have gone hand-in-hand with international call-ups and as we take a moment to catch our breath on another thrilling year of rugby, Premiership rugby have examined who has had a breakout 2017.

Sam Simmonds

An Aviva Premiership Rugby winners medal and your first England cap – it’s safe to say Sam Simmonds will look back on 2017 with a great big smile.

The 23-year-old’s tremendous speed and power helped steer the Chiefs towards league glory and that form was seen by Eddie Jones as Simmonds made his debut for England against Argentina in the autumn internationals.

While the first half of the year saw him gradually establish himself as a key member of the Exeter pack, no one in Devon will forget his dramatic, last-gasp try that earned the Chiefs a spot at Twickenham in their second consecutive Aviva Premiership Rugby final.

Simmonds has continued his stunning form into this campaign, scoring five tries and beating 25 defenders as Chiefs have thrived despite the absence of Thomas Waldrom for much of the season.

An international call-up in November was inevitable and having made his Test bow and after a meteoric rise in 2017, it would appear that 2018 will be another fine one for the England international.