5 Of The World’s Best Players Under 22
The Worlds Best Under 22’s.
Maro Itoje has set an unbelievably high standard for emerging youngsters on the international stage, starting 21 tests and losing only once. But who makes the top 5 players who are yet to hit their 23rd birthday.
5. Zander Fagerson, Age: 21, Position: Prop, Nation: Scotland
Debuting as an international prop at 21 is often a tell-tale sign of great potential, for example; Phil Vickery, Owen Franks and Mako Vunipola. This is because it’s hard to break into a position that relies so heavily on experience when you’re only a youngster. However, Scotland’s Zander Fagerson despite being 21 has already collected 12 international caps! Watch this space.
4. Gary Ringrose, Age: 22, Position: Centre, Nation: Ireland
A unique running style and an uncanny knack for beating men in an Irish and Leinster number 13 shirt, remind you of anyone? Yes, Ringrose is being touted as the next Brian O’Driscoll and is even being nicknamed ‘The Heir’ over in Ireland. Young Gary has started international life rather impressively racking up 22 points in his first 11 appearances.
3. Reiko Ioane, Age: 20, Position: Winger, Nation: New Zealand
Whether Jonah Lomu or Jason Robinson some players just have that effect that makes everyone lean forward or stand up, no matter where they get the ball. Reiko Ioane is one of those players, he is simply lethal and his 3 tries in 4 appearances for New Zealand reflects that. I could go on about his pace, his step or his finishing, but the fact that he beat Julian Savea for the Kiwi left wing spot says it all.
2. Jordie Barrett, Age: 20, Position: Full Back, Nation: New Zealand
One of Super Rugby’s stand out talents has now broken his way into the All Black set up and a thrilling career is about to unfold before us all. Jordie alongside brother Beauden is already tearing up teams for fun in Super Rugby. If Jordie can even get close to the level of his brother in internationals then he will become one of the world’s greatest players.
1.Maro Itoje, Age: 22, Position: Lock, Nation: England
The man himself, Maro Itoje has conquered any rugby challenge set before him (apart from the Lions, but he came bloody close!) with domestic, continental and international titles all under his belt already. In 21 international starts he has won 19, lost 1 and drawn 1, a truly remarkable testimony of his influence in games. Surely an England and Lions captain in the making.