3. Dan Cole
What they said then: He may just be unmasked as the most promising English-born tighthead since Phil Vickery.
What they’ve done since: After an England Saxons debut against Portugal in February 2009, he went to the Churchill Cup in the USA and stepped up to make his Test debut in the 2010 Six Nations after just 21 senior starts for Leicester.
He was an ever-present in Six Nations fixtures for the next four seasons, as well as playing in his first World Cup in 2011. His 50th cap came during the 2015 Six Nations before heading for his second Rugby World Cup. He shared in England’s Grand Slam of 2016 and was an ever-present in a record unbeaten run up to the final round of the 2017 Six Nations. He took his total number of caps to 94 by the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.