1. Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi – A great player in the loose as well as at the scrum. The Northampton Saint was one of the main reasons we beat the South Africa in the JWC final. His skills ball in hand gave us the edge against a very big pack.
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie – Like Danny, he loves a run and gives you that extra threat while being good in the core hooker role. He’s a class act.
3. Jason Hobson – The Bristol prop is a beast of a man and a great srummager. I tried to avoid him as much as I could in training.
4. Elliot Stooke – I have played with him for a number of years at Hartpury and at the JWC in France in 2013. I now live with him at Gloucester. He’s a big unit who always goes forward.
5. Mark Sorenson – He was a great leader for us at Bristol last year. A really nice bloke with the playing attributes to match his leadership skills.
6. Marco Mama – A tough call between him and Ross Moriarty but Marco can do it all. He can tackle, carry and can play anywhere in the back row.
7. Ardie Savea – I played against the Baby Blacks captain at the JWC in France. He was a handful with a very low centre of gravity which made him a pest at the breakdown. Not as quick as his brother, Julian, but quick enough.
8. Mitch Eadie – A very good No.8 who had a great season with Bristol from the back of the scrum. I’m sure he’ll be even more of a threat this year.
9. Riki Tipuna – A top No.9. It was great to train alongside him at Bristol and pick up as much as I could from his running game.
10. Handre Pollard – Three JWCs and a Test debut for the Springboks on the back of the last one proves how good he is. Controls the game and has the size to take you on if he wants.
11. Jack Nowell – A good mix of speed and power with a lethal inside step. Luckily I’ve only played with him or I would have missed a few tackles.
12. Ollie Devoto – We played together since England U16s. A very good player that came a long way last season at 12. He wasn’t sure if he was a fly-half, centre or full-back but hopefully he can kick on now.
13. Gael Fickou – I played against the French sensation with England U18s and you could tell how good he was. He could have played in the JWC this year but instead he was touring Australia with the senior squad.
14. Anthony Watson – Another hot-stepper. Probably the best foot work I’ve ever seen. Just getting your hands on him in touch at training was a mission.
15. Cheslin Kolbe – He played for South Africa in the 2013 JWC. One of the fastest guys around who is lethal ball in hand.
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