4&5. Maro Itoje (England) and James Ryan (Ireland): The partnership all of Europe wants to see. Two young, physical specimens with huge intellect and energy who are equally destructive in defence as they are massive operators in attack.
6. Aaron Wainwright (Wales): “Gatland believes he has the potential to be one of the best players in the world.”
7. Tom Curry (England: “Nailed on. His game has developed massively this last year by playing at number eight.”
8. CJ Stander (Ireland): “If everyone was fit and on form, Billy Vunipola is my number 8, but he hasn’t been fit and on form for a little while. I think Stander clearly knows South African rugby pretty well and just what he brings, I think his work-rate is unbelievable.”