Next up, we have three scrum-halves and a few Welshman enter the fray. Other picks include a Lions winger and two All Blacks.
80. Ben Te’o – England, Lions & Worcester
Position: Centre Age: 30
Ben Te’o went on his first British & Irish Lions Tour in 2017 and proved himself to be a real ace up Warren Gatland’s sleeve during the ten games in New Zealand, appearing in two of the Tests. Entering the trip with eight Test match caps for England and one international start, the Worcester Warriors centre belied those numbers with the maturity of his performances from the word go. Injury has blighted Teo’s year since the tour, which is why is probably not further up this list.
79. Ken Owens – Wales & Scarlets
Position: Hooker Age: 30
The honour of being a Lions captain is bestowed on few players but hooker Ken Owens can count himself amongst that elite company after the Lions Tour to New Zealand in 2017. He also led Scarlets to the Guinness Pro 12 title and established himself as Wales first-choice hooker. He also won his 50th cap this year.
78. Leigh Halfpenny – Wales, Lions & Scarlets
Position: Fullback Age: 29
Putting the longest transfer saga in rugby history aside, 2017 was hardly a year to remember for Leigh Halfpenny by his high standards. A stop, start Lions tour saw him nudged out of the test team by fellow countryman Liam Williams. However, he looked a lot closer to his best in the Autumn with a number of good displays. Wales will need him back to his best if they are to have a chance of winning the 2018 Six Nations.
77. Anton Lienert-Brown
Position: Centre Age: 22
Called into the All Blacks squad for the 2016 Investec Rugby Championship as an injury replacement for Sonny Bill Williams, dynamic mid-fielder Anton Lienert Brown has been rewarded for his consistent form for the Chiefs with a regular place in the national set-up. He played for the All Blacks 13 times this year, which includes all three Tests against the British & Irish Lions.