The rising stars have the perfect stage this summer

Players this summer will face tough opposition and even competition for their shirt from their teammates. But it is a chance to prove themselves on one of the biggest stages.

There are always standout stars from every international window and there are some players who could stand above everyone else.

Read more: Five exciting things for this summer’s games

Here are five players who could make a name for themselves in the Summer Tours during coming months.

Fin Smith

The Northampton Saints fly-half has a good opportunity to show what he can do to England coaches this summer. George Ford has been ruled out with injury and Marcus Smith is likely to start all of the matches. But if Fin Smith can get on the pitch he can demonstrate why he should be the number two choice, or even number one.

Smith has just won the Premiership with Saints and was a key part to their campaign. If he brings his league form to the international arena it will cause Steve Borthwick selection headaches.

Edwill van der Merwe

South African winger Edwill van der Merwe is already making headlines this summer. His debut for the Springboks against Wales earned him a Player of the Match award and plaudits from fans and media alike.

If trusted to start against other opposition he is sure to make the same impact. The 28-year-old is late to the South African squad but has slotted into their star line-up as if he has multiple caps.

Regan Grace

Regan Grace may have been a surprise inclusion in Warren Gatland’s team this summer but for those who have watched him play it is less shocking. Grace, who scored 88 tries in 141 games for St Helen’s, impressed Bath coaches on his return from injury to back a permanent contract.

He will look to show what he can do on a rugby union international stage after already being capped for Wales in rugby league.

Josh Hathaway

Josh Hathaway is another rising star who could make a splash in the Wales team. The second half of the 2023/24 season saw Hathaway shine at Gloucester and it has caught the eye of Warren Gatland.

Hathaway was unable to play against the Springboks at Twickenham as it fell outside of the international window. But he will be able to win his first cap in their other matches this summer.

Sam Prendergast

The young Ireland player has been hyped by those watching him play and for good reason. He has so much potential with his exciting play and this summer could be his to break into the Ireland team.

Who better to show your skills against than the reigning World Cup champions?

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