15 Alex Goode (Saracens)
If he's this hot as a full-back – and his form is molten at the moment – what might he achieve in his optimum position of outside-half?
14 Chris Ashton (Northampton)
A try-poacher, but nobody's idea of a goal-hanger. The cross-code wing brought something fresh to the Premiership and could do the same for England.
13 Dominic Waldouck (Wasps)
Considered lacking in the "X-factor" department by the England selectors, he forced them into a change of mind with a series of eye-catching displays.
12 Olly Barkley (Bath)
A latecomer thanks to complex injury problems, the occasional England midfielder made up for lost time by delivering Test-quality performances at every turn.
11 Scott Hamilton (Leicester)
Time and space are the two principal indicators of class, and the New Zealander has them in abundance. Hugely effective in a quiet sort of way.
10 Toby Flood (Leicester)
His moment is coming. Indeed, it may already be here. Subtly inventive and quicker than he appears, his game-management skills are developing by the day.
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester)
A bright spark playing bright, sparky rugby for employers who know how to keep him honest. Potentially the best, performing in the best possible environment.
1 Soane Tonga'uiha (Northampton)
The Pacific Islands teams tend to struggle at the set piece come World Cup time. Eight Tonga'uihas would sort them out. An absolute bull.
2 Schalk Brits (Saracens)
If his work in the tight was a squillionth as good as his work in the loose, the South African would be a Springbok 50 times over.
3 Dan Cole (Leicester)
The find of the season and a potential saviour for England. Just a boy in tight-head terms, but he has something of the man-child about him.
4 Dave Attwood (Gloucester)
A shard of toughened steel at the heart of a powder-puff pack, the lock restored some old-fashioned values to the mix at Kingsholm.
5 Marco Wentzel (Leeds)
The central figure in a transformative season for Leeds: top captain, top line-out operator, top everything. Worth his weight in gold ingots.
6 Phil Dowson (Northampton)
The man who put the "work" in the Midlanders' work ethic and a priceless asset as a multitasking back-row forward.
7 Julian Salvi (Bath)
Utterly brilliant when his colleagues were anything but, the departing Australian should make a real name for himself at next year's World Cup.
8 Ernst Joubert (Saracens)
The Watford-based club can recruit as many South Africans as they like if they are this good. A high-calibre footballer with a resilient streak.Reuse content