Along with massive hype comes massive pressure and while some rugby players embrace the attention, others simply fade away into mediocrity.
Sometimes injuries or psychological issues cause a player’s career to take a nosedive but at other times it is simply a matter of media and fans vastly overestimating his abilities or potential.
Ill-considered transfers have also undone many great prospects. Here are five prospects who faded away…
1. Matthew Tait
Making his debut against Wales, when the then-18-year-old was repeatedly dumped (see video below) by Welsh centre Gavin Henson is infamous.
Cardiff in February 2005 set back Tait’s development significantly, but he still played in the Rugby World Cup in 2007. After a quiet tournament, Tait lit up the final against South Africa with a dashing break that led to Mark Cueto’s infamously disallowed try.
But if Tait’s footwork in the final demonstrated his talent, then he is still to realise his potential. Shifts from outside centre, to wing and then to full-back stunted his progress and were indicative of a possible star who didn’t quite fit the mould in any rugby union position. Perhaps he should have stayed with rugby sevens.