JWC 2010: Four to watch in semi finals

(IRB.COM) Thursday 17 June 2010
 
 JWC 2010: Four to watch in semi finals
Julian Savea gets the nod from Nigel Starmer-Smith - Photo: Martin Seras Lima/IRB

We put commentators Nigel Starmer-Smith and Willie Lose on the spot and ask them to pick a player from each the of the IRB Junior World Championship 2010 semi finalists to keep an eye on. Will they agree?

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AUSTRALIA V ENGLAND - 14:10 LOCAL TIME (18:10 UK / 02:10 AUS)
NEW ZEALAND V SOUTH AFRICA - 16:30 LOCAL TIME (07:30 SUN NZ / 21:30 RSA)

AUSTRALIA

Willie Lose: I like the look of their loose forwards and I thought Matt Toomua was one of their best players the last game, but I would go for LIAM GILL, who only just turned 18 last week. David Pocock was identified as an 18-year-old and rushed into the Wallabies squad so he could learn off George Smith and Phil Waugh. This kid is as good as Pocock at such a young age and has had time in Sevens and learned about running the right lines and support play. At the breakdown he was just so committed. He will be a Wallaby, if not next year then definitely 2012, no doubt about it in my mind.

Nigel Starmer-Smith: LUKE MORAHAN. He's 18, I saw him last year in the Under 20s, I've seen him in the IRB Sevens and he looks to me absolute class. A Queenslander who has been very much a key figure knocking on the door already of full international rugby. I like him, Australia's full back.

ENGLAND

Willie Lose: TOM HOMER, he is just class and he was there in Japan last year. That has added to his experience, but I think like Lambie he just has time, he is good at the counter-attack and looks a strong defender. He gets involved, from set play he sets a target and he comes up to first receiver, takes control and starts directing where to go. He is not a full back who stays and waits for the ball, he gets involved in the action. He's also the top points scorer in JWC history.

Nigel Starmer-Smith: TOM HOMER. Well he played last year as well, like Morahan and has not just kicked all the points, he's kicked 42 points and last year 68 points so it's an exception in that respect, but I also think he's got a tremendous power coming into the three quarter line and London Irish were very quick to snap him up and have signed him up for another two years so they obviously rate him too.

NEW ZEALAND

Willie Lose: The one stand out player for me has been TYLER BLEYENDAAL, the captain. He has the ability to chance the game, find space and also his goal kicking prowess. His defence was unbelievable and he shows so much maturity, not many 10s have that. There are similarities with Aaron Cruden, last year's winning captain and another fly half. They both took the right options and they just showed such maturity for young heads.

Nigel Starmer-Smith: When it comes to New Zealand well, bias here because I've seen this guy already before this tournament and I think he is clearly an All Black in the making. Perhaps not yet a Jonah Lomu or Rokocoko, but to see him break through so many teams, not just in this tournament but in the World Sevens Series which I've seen is JULIAN SAVEA. I mean he's 16 stone, he's six foot three and he's scored more tries than anyone else in the tournament, six I believe, and to me he's a player with All Black stamped all over him.

SOUTH AFRICA

Willie Lose: In the game I saw against Australia, there were a couple of standout players, probably the best was full back PATRICK LAMBIE. He was a try scorer, the goal kicker, for his positional play and just the way he was able to attack and counter-attack and find spaces against Australia. He just had so much time and also for his ability to control the two wings when not in the game, he was always talking with them, telling them where they should and shouldn't be, like a general on defence, breaking from the back.

Nigel Starmer-Smith: I suppose if there are other young men who are going to make their mark on the international scene it would probably be in the back row forwards, outside the backs, and in this respect I'd pick CHRISTAN 'CJ' STANDER, the captain of South Africa. He played last year, he's a 19-year-old and I'm certain that he's going to be on the edge of the Springbok team before long. He's already signed up with the Blue Bulls and I remember seeing him first as a youngster in an Under 19 squad when he was in the Junior South West Districts side and his presence in the side has been absolutely vital to the success of South Africa here.