2012: JAN SERFONTEIN (SOUTH AFRICA)
Serfontein was a member of the South Africa under 20 team that won the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship. His performances in the tournament led to him being named 2012 IRB Junior Player of the Year. He was also included in the squad for the 2013 IRB Junior World Championship, but was later withdrawn to make him available for the senior national team.
He made his debut for the Springboks versus Italy on 8 June 2013 at Kings Park Stadium in Durban, playing from the bench as a replacement for Bryan Habana from the 71st minute. The centre won 35 caps between 2013 and 2017, scoring five tries before ending his international career to join Montpellier in the Top 14.
2013: SAM DAVIES (WALES)
The talented Welshman beat England’s Jack Clifford and New Zealand’s Ardie Savea to the award. Davies then made his senior debut for Wales versus Australia as a second-half replacement. The Ospreys number 10 has struggled to nail down a place in Warren Gatland’s plans, winning just eight caps since. Has been called-up as cover for Dan Biggar under Wayne Pivac but is yet to feature during the 2020 Six Nations.
2014: HANDRE POLLARD (SOUTH AFRICA)
2015: JAMES CHISHOLM (ENGLAND)
The Haywards Heath-born Number 8 joined Harlequins from Brighton College and captained England U18s to victory in the FIRA European tournament. The former Sussex Under 18 high jump champion represented England Under 20s during the 2014 Six Nations and won the Junior World Championship later that year. In 2015, James helped the U20s to the Six Nations title, before being named as the World Rugby U20 Championship Player of the Year.
Chisholm enjoyed a successful 2016/17 season, when he was named IG Players’ Player of the Season, DHL Player of the Season and Nick Duncombe Young Player of the Season after scoring six tries in 24 appearances.
2017/18 was similarly prolific for the dynamic back-rower, again winning the DHL Player of the Season award and being gievn the captaincy for the Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign.
2016: MAX DEEGAN (IRELAND)
The number 8 was named Player of the Tournament for his part in helping Ireland Under-20’s reach their first ever final during the 2016 World Rugby Under 20 Championship. He was promoted to Leinster’s senior squad ahead of the 2017–18 season, having made three appearances for the province during the previous season. The 23-year-old made his senior Ireland debut during the 2020 Six Nations.
2017: JUARNO AUGUSTUS (SOUTH AFRICA)
Augustus, fondly known as “Trokkie” by his team-mates, crossed the tryline in each of the team’s five matches in the international spectacle to finish the tournament with a grand total of seven tries at the 2017 U20 championship. Surely a future Springbok.
2018: JORDAN JOSEPH (FRANCE)
The 19-year-old flanker currently plays for Racing 92 in the Top 14. Scoring 10 tries in 14 appearances for France U20, he is a very exciting prospect for Les Bleus.
2019: JUAN PABLO CASTRO (ARGENTINA)
Centre Castro was the most recent winner of the award in 2019. Following an outstanding year, he was named in the Jaguares squad for the 2020 Super Rugby season.