Five youngsters who could shine come the 2027 Rugby World Cup
AFP Sport looks at five of the youngsters who could shine in the next edition in Australia in 2027.
Sam Prendergast – Ireland
The 20-year-old fly-half generated positive buzz after he kicked a match-winning penalty over England under-20s in 2022.
Since then the lanky playmaker has made his senior debut with Irish province Leinster and helped his country to the final of this year’s World Rugby under-20s championship.
With talismanic Ireland captain Johnny Sexton having retired from the sport, Prendergast joins Jack Crowley, Joey Carbery and Leinster teammate Ross Byrne as the candidates to fill the huge void left by him.
Posolo Tuilagi – France
The giant lock comes from a family of famous rugby players which includes former Samoa back-rower Henry Tuilagi, who is his father, and England centre Manu Tuilagi, his uncle.
The Perpignan second-row shone during this year’s World Rugby under-20s championship as he helped France to a third straight title.
The 19-year-old, who moved from Samoa to France aged three, weighs a hefty 149 kg (328 pounds) and will put his hand up to partner Thibaud Flament or Cameron Woki in the World Cup in 2027.
Henry Arundell – England
The Racing 92 winger will turn 24 less than a week before the 2027 final and has already scored seven tries in just 10 Tests, five of them coming in the pool stage win over Chile in September.
The fleet-footed former London Irish speedster announced himself to the rugby world by scoring a length-of-the-field try for the English club in Toulon in 2022 and will be a key part of Steve Bortwhick’s England squad over the coming campaigns.
Irakli Aptsiauri – Georgia
The tight-head prop made his international debut against Fiji during the World Cup in France just seven months after his 20th birthday.
The solid-scrummager joins a long-list of Georgian front-rowers to play in the French league system having joined second-tier Grenoble in 2021.
According to reports he has signed for ambitious Top 14 outfit Lyon for next season and is a leading contender to replace veteran Georgia props Mikheil Nariashvili and Beka Gigashvili in the starting lineup by 2027.
McKay ‘Macca’ Springer – New Zealand
The full-back who can also play on the wing was the top try-scorer at this year’s World Rugby under-20s championships with five a matter of months after making his Crusaders debut in Super Rugby.
The low-socked hot-stepper is considered one of the most promising youngsters in the rugby-mad country and will still just be 24 by the time the tournament across the Tasman Sea begins.
With Beauden Barrett turning 37 a few months before the World Cup in Australia, there is a vacancy at full-back.
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