Rugby Union: Five Nations' Championship - Famous five for the Five Nations?

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The Independent Online
Dan Luger England

The 24-year-old Harlequins wing with the quickfire name earned his spurs in England's 13-7 victory over South Africa last month, first by catching a high ball and putting Jeremy Guscott in for the all-important touchdown, and then, late on, by barging Pieter Rossouw into touch just as the visitors looked like snatching an ill-deserved victory with a breakaway try. Tall and powerfully built, Luger is very much in the modern mould for wings. He has come up through the ranks, having played previously for Richmond and Orrell as well as England students and Under-21. Now he has scaled the highest pinnacle, look for him to stay on the international scene for quite a while.

David Humphreys Ireland

To say the Ulster captain is on a roll is to understate the obvious. He has still to become a certainty in Warren Gatland's side, but there are increasingly persuasive arguments in his favour. The Irish can challenge everyone up front - it is what they do after that that causes them headaches. Eric Elwood, the incumbent at No 10, is efficient, but predictable, while the criticism of Humphreys has been that he is the exact opposite. But his masterminding of Ulster's campaign showed him in a new light, and if he can carry the confidence from that, then Ireland might have the tools to do more than rattle a few cages.

Franck Comba France

After spending the bulk of a hitherto undistinguished career with Toulon, this 27-year-old centre blossomed last summer when he won three caps on France's tour of Argentina and Fiji. Now flourishing at Stade Francais - although the recent European Cup semi-final defeat by Ulster will have been a jolt - Comba (below), diminutive but tough and fast, appears to have established himself as the Tricolores' first-choice centre. Indeed, his star is so much in the ascendancy that not only is he keeping Christophe Lamaison out of the side but he has been moved to the coveted inside-centre slot to act as a creative buffer between the gifted fly-half Thomas Castaignede and the highly physical Richard Dourthe.

Scott Murray Scotland

As Jim Telfer's team increasingly take on the look of Popski's Private Army of cosmopolitan mercenaries, one raw-boned yet impressively athletic lock forward, whose skills and battle hardness have been polished south of the border in recent years, can hold his head high as a genuine born- and-bred Scot. Just turned 23, this Musselburgh giant, who first made a name for himself as a Scottish schools basketball international, has had a torrid first season in Premiership One with Bedford - finding himself on the receiving end of several frustrating (though often narrow) defeats playing for a club lurching from one off-field crisis to another. Despite his age, though, Murray has been around - Preston Lodge and Edinburgh Academicals are both former clubs.

Colin Charvis Wales

Now 26, this burly, aggressive back row forward appears finally to have cemented his place in a Wales pack who have transformed themselves almost overnight under the direction of Graham Henry into a serious combative force. Neither Charvis's ability nor his physical presence have ever really been in doubt, but a series of disciplined performances for Swansea in their Anglo-Welsh friendlies against the cream of the Allied Dunbar Premiership suggest that he has added maturity to his other attributes. Along with the Quinnell brothers and the scrum-half Rob Howley, Charvis (below) will be one of the key figures as Henry plots to re-establish Wales as an international force and dispel negative memories of last year's thrashings by England, France and South Africa.

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