Which names should you be looking out for in the English top flight this season?

Gallagher Premiership Players to Watch 2022-23

The Gallagher Premiership season kicks off this weekend, but who should you be looking out for?

We’ve highlighted players to watch at each of the 13 Premiership clubs – and don’t miss the in-depth team guides in Rugby World’s start-of-season special 2022-23.

Gallagher Premiership Players to Watch 2022-23


Beno Obano missed most of last season with a ruptured ACL but at his best can challenge for an England spot – he won three caps in 2021.

The loosehead is a fearsome ball-carrier; he now needs to re-establish his credentials in the set-piece.

Bristol Bears 

It was a breakout season for Fitz Harding last time out but Bristol got caught in the mire. Imagine his ‘g’wan son, get stuck in’ style on the front foot more often.

Exeter Chiefs

The likes of Sam Maunder, Pat Schickerling and Dafydd Jenkins are emerging, but we’re picking out full-back Josh Hodge. Who can forget that electric try he scored at Kingsholm last year?


Before his horrific knee injury in 2020 against Scotland, Italy back-row Polledri was setting the bar as a carrier. The 26-year-old has dug very deep to get back. Don’t expect too much too soon.


Cadan Murley, their 2021-22 Player of the Year, made a chart-topping 24 clean breaks last season and is averaging a try every two matches in the competition.

Test honours surely loom for the physical 23-year-old.

Leicester Tigers 

Overlooked for the Premiership final, scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet played all three Tests for England in Australia, scoring in the first. It’s time for Leicester to start the 21-year-old regularly.

London Irish

Henry Arundell is a shooting star in a blazing young back-three unit. He has wowed for England now, too. Watch out.

Newcastle Falcons

Let’s see who takes the ten jersey. In come fly-halves Josh Thomas (22) and Tian Schoeman (30) to challenge Brett Connon, who navigated choppy waters last season.

Northampton Saints

When it became official he was leaving the Reds, coach Brad Thorn said of Lukhan Salakaia-Loto: “I’d like him to stay here…”

The back-five forward is not only a big unit and a willing worker, but Thorn – who has seen the 25-year-old’s rise closely – talks about his “heart”.

Sale Sharks

Bevan Rodd and Dan du Preez really shone last season, and Tom O’Flaherty out wide is one of the most savvy signings of the off-season.

However, it’s young Raffi Quirke at nine, finally the main man at Sale, who has a real opportunity to show us all how special he can be from the base.


When Hugh Tizard signed for Sarries, Mark McCall said: “We were impressed by his obvious hunger and determination to take his game to the next level.”

He was superb for Quins last season; another level up sounds quite scary.


Will Porter, 23, is learning from one of the best in Dan Robson. The No 9 can be a game changer.

Worcester Warriors

If Worcester are to turn things around it will start up front and Curtis Langdon, capped twice by England, will be a big influence. He’s a mobile, aggressive hooker.

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