In August, The Observer newspaper published an article outlining their top five hot rugby prospects or ‘ones to watch. With the new season about to be a month old lets have a look at how these are getting on.
1. Tom Stephenson (Northampton)
Unfortunately for Tom, the big England U20’s centre has yet to make an appearance for the saints this season. He’s being kept out of the side by the Burrell Pisi partnership so may have to wait for the Autumn Internationals to feature.
2. Henry Slade (Exeter)
Henry Slade has been an ever present fixture in Exeter’s impressive start to the season, picking up 3 penalties and a conversion in the process, all whilst playing ‘out of position’ at 13.
This form has seen him sign a long term contract with Exeter this week along with being tipped for Englands 2015 rugby world cup squad. Undoubtedly, one to continue watching.
3. Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues)
Although at 25 you might say Dacey is a bit beyond a ‘prospect’, but last year was certainly his breakthrough season and what a season he had, being the regions top try scorer, which must make him unique for a Pro 12 Hooker.
Somewhat unfathomably, Dacey has failed to cement a place in the starting line up (currently being held by Matthew Rees) however after just 50 minutes of rugby this season, he’s already chalked up another try. At 17 stone and 6 2′ he can’t be far off Gatlands gaze in his ongoing quest for massive Hookers.
4. Jordi Murphy (Leinster)
The talented back rower who already has 4 Ireland Caps to his name has yet to make an appearance this season as he is struggling with a shoulder injury. He’s likely to be out for at least another 9 weeks, possibly ruling out any appearance in the Autumn Internationals.
5. Adam Ashe (Glasgow)
Adam Ashe has been a firm fixture amongst the Glasgow Warriors replacements bench and has made it onto the field every game so far this season. The future still looks bright for this versatile back rower