Here are five players expected to light up the tournament hosted by France.
Antoine Dupont, France, scrum-half
The best player in the world has also redefined scrum-half play. Dupont is the complete package, his game management and attacking skills matched by his defence. Only 5’9” but deceptively strong and will act as France’s heartbeat.
Cheslin Kolbe, South Africa, wing
A diminutive player in a game played by giants, Kolbe is a thrilling talent who has the footwork and acceleration to conjure tries out of thin air. Also able to play full-back or fly-half, but it is on the wing where he has been at his deadliest.
Ellis Genge, England prop
England’s snarling front-row warrior was one of their star performers during the Six Nations, emerging as the pack’s most potent carrier. Nicknamed ‘Baby Rhino’, he is a ferocious competitor who carries the fight to the opposition.
Semi Radradra, Fiji, centre
At his explosive best Radradra is the most dangerous player in the game and while his time at Bristol was marred by injury, he remains a feared runner. Shows all the classic Fijian traits – side-step, hand-off and offloads – but with extra power.
Ardie Savea, New Zealand, number eight
In a position that produces bulldozing giants, Savea excels through athleticism as well as power. He is comfortable on the ball and has the speed and feet to sweep him through holes in defences. Also throws a mean dummy.