Five young English players primed to break out in 2021

Gabriel Oghre

While Wasps youngster Alfie Barbeary has stolen the recent headlines, hooker Gabriel Oghre is another of the club’s academy products who seems to be relishing life under new head coach Lee Blackett.

The 22-year-old shone as captain of Wasps A earlier in the season, before being handed opportunities in recent weeks in the Premiership in both the front and back rows, scoring in bonus-point wins over Worcester and Bristol.

With quick feet, a ferocious ball-carrying ability and tenacity at the breakdown, he’s putting pressure on the likes of Tommy Taylor and Tom Cruse for their No.2 shirt in the Wasps starting 15.

Cameron Redpath

Cameron Redpath
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A close friend of Worcester centre Ollie Lawrence, the bright young prospect is getting plenty of game-time at a revitalised Bath who are making a strong case for the Premiership play-offs.

The centre was named in Eddie Jones’ 34-man squad for South Africa in 2018 but was unable to travel with the team due to injury. If he keeps making waves at Bath, Redpath could well be awarded another call-up in the near future.

The 20-year-old has a wide skillset while he can also play at 10 and 15. Lawrence said: “He’s a close friend of mine and he’s very talented. I think in the next couple of years he’s really going to push on and be in the mix for England.”

Manu Vunipola

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Manu Vunipola looks like he is on course to follow in the footsteps of cousins Billy and Mako.

The 20-year-old Saracens fly-half has produced two 15-point hauls in recent wins over London Irish and table-toppers Exeter Chiefs, and is proving to be an able deputy for Owen Farrell at the club.

It might not be long before he gets the opportunity to play a similar role for his country. Despite being set for a season in the Championship, the former England U18 and U20 international is destined for a bright future.

Joel Kpoku

Joel Kpoku
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The giant lock is a massive asset to Saracens’ lineout and scrum. Having featured heavily in recent weeks for the 2018/19 Premiership and European champions, the England U20 international will be looking to emulate the achievements of team-mate Maro Itoje.

Kpoku was called up to the senior England training camp in 2018 but will be itching to pull on the jersey and earn his first cap.

Despite standing at a mammoth 6ft 5in and 19st 9lbs, there’s still plenty of room for growth, making Kpoku a pretty frightening prospect.

Richard Capstick

Richard Capstick
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The Exeter Chiefs back row is tipped for a big future in the game. Learning his trade alongside an ever-impressive Chiefs pack, the 20-year-old has been given a run of games since the restart.

He threw himself around the park in this month’s battle with Saracens where he made a whopping 22 tackles. Another who has played at England U18 and U20 level, he could well be part of a Premiership-winning side before he gets an opportunity to step into the international ring.


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