Flanker: David Pocock (Australia)
He has returned to rugby after a protracted sabbatical and it’s as if he hasn’t been away.
Flanker: Michael Hooper (Australia)
It takes a special player to lead a nation at 22, as Hooper did when first being handed the Wallaby captaincy against France in 2014. The flanker has now done the job 36 times whilst racking up 89 caps in less than five years – proof of his consistency and durability.
Number 8: Kieran Read (New Zealand)
Picture the All Blacks without Read as captain. Hard, isn’t it? Ever since he first cantered onto the international scene, the sight of the No 8 marauding down the touchline or linking play with a silken little offload has been a mainstay.