5 Rookies to watch out for in the Premiership

5 Rookies to watch out for in the Premiership

The long-awaited return of the English Premiership season just a few short weeks we take a look at 5 youngsters that could make their breakthrough this year. There are a number of players that could have made this list following England u20s strength over the past year.

Joel Kpoku - Saracens (19 years old)

Kpoku may have to wait a bit to make his mark at Saracens with the defending champions harbouring an incredible depth in the second row but Joel Kpoku is really a talent to keep an eye on over the next few years.

He made a massive impact with the England u20s much like his club-mate Mario Itoje. The 1.96m tall, 126kg lock gets around the park and is extremely aggressive with his carries, tackles and his approach to rucks.

Kpoku promise has caught the eye of England head coach Eddie Jones who included in the youngster in his training squad for the upcoming season.

Jordan Olowofela - Leicester Tigers (20 years old)

After a few blockbusting performances for the England u20s, Jordan Olowfela looks set to make his mark on the Leicester Tigers squad this season. 

Chances will be hard to come by for Olowfela but his ability to play centre and wing should see him get a few opportunities especially during the international windows. 

His exceptional speed and deadly sidestep could be a real attacking weapon for the Tigers if and when they decide to utilise him. 

Sam Moore - Sale Sharks (19 years old)

Another up and coming youngster that has caught the eye of Eddie Jones having been included in the England training squad in February this year.

Moore adds to an already impressive Sale Sharks back row and should get more opportunities under Steve Diamond, after some high praise from Eddie Jones.

Jones complimented the back-rower saying "Sam is a tall guy, who plays a bit like Kieran Read and good in the open spaces". 

Mat Protheroe - Bristol Bears (21 years old)

Protheroe is the oldest player on the list but the Bristol back is still one of the most exciting talents on this list.

He rose to prominence with Hartpury College at the age of 18 before he signed with the Bears. 

The former England u20 will battle arguably the best fullback in the world, Charles Piutau, for a place in the starting line up but could force his way into the starting XV with both players comfortable on the wing.

Protheroe's season was cut short with an injury and will look to make his mark in his full debut season in the Premiership. 

Gabriel Ibitoye - Harlequins (20 years old)

The rising star that has enjoyed two fantastic seasons with the England u20s will look to make the 2017/18 season his breakthrough one.

Ibitoye has featured for the side during the Anglo-Welsh Cup and made 4 appearances in the Premiership last season but want to impress new Quins boss Paul Gustard enough to get regular game time.

Like Olowfela, Ibitoye size and speed allows him to play on the wing and at centre. 

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