The names to look out for from the Irish, Italian, Scottish, South African and Welsh teams

United Rugby Championship Players to Watch 2022-23

The United Rugby Championship is back this weekend and we’ve highlighted players to watch at each of the 16 clubs involved.

And don’t miss the in-depth team guides in Rugby World’s start-of-season special 2022-23.

United Rugby Championship Players to Watch 2022-23


Alessandro Garbisi has all the skills and, it seems, the right attitude to form an Azzurri half-back partnership with his older brother Paolo for the next decade.

The scrum-half, 20, is lightning fast and makes consistently good decisions.


Kurt-Lee Arendse lit up the URC last season with his penetrative running from broken field. He will be given more responsibility at the Bulls in the coming months.


Wing Theo Cabango made his presence felt when scoring two tries against Glasgow in March. He’s quick and dynamic and only 20. A player to keep an eye on.


Cian Prendergast, the young flanker. Everybody’s already watching him, including Andy Farrell.


The 21-year-old lock Ben Carter. Wayne Pivac has compared him to Alun Wyn Jones.


Emiliano Boffelli broke Scotland hearts with the last-gasp try that saw the Pumas pinch the summer series.

However, Edinburgh fans will again clutch the Argentina wing/full-back to their bosom, thanks to his excellence under the high ball, ability on the charge and near-faultless place-kicking.

Glasgow Warriors

Huw Jones had a weird time of it first time round in Glasgow and returns north bidding to regain the rapier-like form that made him one of the most highly-rated backs in Europe.

Earning selection for France 2023 will be a big driver for Jones this year.


Ciarán Frawley was terrific at ten for Ireland against the Maori on tour. Can he get more game time there with Leinster given Johnny Sexton and the Byrnes, Ross and Harry, are competition?

He also plays 12. You just hope he gets a run in the team as he’s a hell of a talent.


Jordan Hendrikse grew in stature last season. Many feel he should have been included in the Boks squad for the Wales series.

Back in the saddle for the Lions, the 21-year-old fly-half will be determined to prove a point.


He’s only just moved up from the academy but Alex Kendellen is already an important part of the senior side. It could be a huge season for the exciting back-row.


Joe Hawkins is only 20 but the centre is an exciting prospect. He can run, kick and pass. Let’s hope he gets enough game time to show what he’s got.


Sam Costelow is only 21 but the fly-half looks the part. It should be fun watching him.


The Sharks have been on the hunt for an abrasive and skilful blindside. Vincent Tshituka looks set to provide grunt and guile.


Many feel that the best is yet to come from No 8 Evan Roos, and that he will take his game to the next level in the coming months.


Ethan McIlroy on the wing is a lovely footballer with a vicious sidestep. A young player who gets people on their feet.

Zebre Parma

Pierre Bruno is not the biggest or quickest of wings, but there is something very watchable about the unfussily effective manner in which he goes about his business.

His threat will be pivotal to Zebre’s hopes of improving on a miserable record of only 32 URC tries last term (they conceded 90).

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