1: Maro Itoje
The England lock is entering the prime of his career and is fast becoming the most complete forward in the world game. Athletic, powerful, combative and a game awareness and vocal presence that makes him a nightmare to play against, the Saracens forward looks to be the ideal candidate to captain the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.
2: Semi Radradra
Bristol have yet to see the best of the Fijian genius but he remains one of the most potent attacking talents in the world game. Radradra has everything, is a playmaker as well as a finisher who has the power to carry like a back row forward. If he is fit in 2021, he could emerge as the player of the Premiership.
3: Tom Curry
Arguably the standout player in the England side in the last 18 months and a guaranteed starter in the Lions back row to face South Africa. There is so much about Curry to like, but most of all is his ferocious work-rate and selfless commitment. His physicality is his point of difference but he also has a smart rugby brain and a skill-set to match it.
4: Faf de Klerk
What a player. In an era where power and size is king, de Klerk stands defiantly as a 'little superhero'. His precociousness is compelling. At just 5ft 7ins, he still manages to dominate proceedings and much bigger opponents with an unadulterated attitude. Teak tough, his box-kicking has improved at Sale and his running lines, tackling and distribution are top class.
5: Jonny May
A player blessed with frightening raw speed but the most improved all-round under Eddie Jones. His kick-chase and aerial presence are now world class, his footballing skills are outstanding and he represents the best virtues of the team player. And how he can finish, as he reminded us in England's victory over Ireland in what will long be remembered as one of the best tries scored at Twickenham.
6: Sam Underhill
Has established one of the most destructive back row partnerships in world rugby with Curry, reminiscent of Richard Hill and Neil Back, and his tackle technique now matches his power.
7: Owen Farrell
Trusted implicitly by England head coach Eddie Jones as his leader and as the ultimate professional on and off the field. Who can forget his kicking display in the Lions second Test victory against New Zealand in 2017?
8: Stuart Hogg
For every Owen Farrell, the game needs a Stuart Hogg. The Scotland full-back is an irresistible attacking talent who has benefited significantly from his time at Exeter Chiefs. Will push hard for a place in the Lions side.
9. Taulupe Faletau
Perhaps the most encouraging return from the autumn campaign for Lions head coach Warren Gatland was the performance by Faletau, who looked back to his world class best in Wales' victory over Italy.
10. Jamie Ritchie
Already tipped to be a future Scotland captain, the Edinburgh flanker is hot property who is flourishing under Gregor Townsend. Certain to make the plane for the Lions tour.
11: Zander Fagerson
Gatland has arguably never been so blessed with tighthead options when picking his next Lions squad. Fagerson is one of the form scrummagers in Europe.
12: Charles Piutau
New Zealand made the mistake of leaving him out of their 2015 World Cup squad and Europe has benefited ever since, with Ulster (via Wasps) and now Bristol, who made him the world's first £1m per season deal, enjoying his talents.
13: Jamie George
The Saracens hooker edged out Rory Best to become the Lions starting hooker in 2017 and is on course to do the same in South Africa. Mobile, a strong scrummager, and line-out stats to rival anyone.
14: Mako Vunipola
A phenomenal athlete who defies the energy-sapping rigours of the front row to offer himself up for carries and tackles to match any back row forward.
15: Billy Vunipola
It has been an injury-disrupted season for the No 8, but he showed signs of returning to his best during the autumn. A game-changing carrier when at his best.
16: Marcell Coetzee
No wonder Jake White, the Blue Bulls head coach, is keen on bringing the 30-capped Springbok back home. The Ulster No 8 is one of the most destructive ball carriers in Europe.
17: Jonny Gray
The Scotland lock was one of the star performers in Exeter's Premiership and European double success following his move from Glasgow earlier in the year.
18: Jonny Hill
Gray's Exeter's second row teammate has emerged as a genuine Test forward in the autumn and has given Eddie Jones yet another front five option.
19: Jacob Stockdale
His international transformation to full-back for Ireland is not without teething problems, but the Ulster player remains one of the best attacking talents in Europe even if he has yet to hit the peaks of his sensational season in 2018.
20: Alun Wyn Jones
The Wales legend may be raging against the dying of the light but the 35-year-old remains one of the most influential forwards in Europe. A strong Six Nations could see him on the plane to South Africa.
21: Manu Tuilagi
Do you agree with this list? Is there anyone you think should or shouldn’t be on it? Tell us in the comments section below.
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