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Top 5 Breakout Stars in Rugby to Keep an Eye On

Which upcoming rugby stars should be on your radar?




With so many competitions now taking place across the rugby landscape, such as that of Super Rugby Pacific along with the HSBC 7s Series, there are a lot of new up-and-coming players delivering some excitement on the pitch; and in keeping tabs on the future stars of the game, we’ve highlighted 5 breakout rugby stars to keep an eye on this season:

Darby Lancaster 

21-year-old Darby Lancaster is currently excelling with the Rebels this Super Rugby season. He’s unpredictably fast, has a vast skill set, and knows how to score a try in a very limited amount of space.

Darby recently won Rebels fans’ hearts after scoring three tries against the Highlanders in round 8 of the Super Rugby, with the third coming from an intercept from the halfway line, showing his instinct for opportunities.

It’s likely that Lancaster is on the cusp of a national team call-up. Rugby fans can follow up on the star using Betway’s sportsbet options, where they offer comprehensive coverage and detailed stats that enhance the betting experience. Betway, a leading sports betting platform in South Africa, provides real-time updates, expert analyses, and competitive odds, making it a go-to resource for rugby enthusiasts and bettors alike.

Emoni Narowa

Chiefs winger Emoni Narowa is reviving his professional career having had unsuccessful stints in Super Rugby between 2019 and 2022. He’s turned this around to become one of the most lethal wingers in the world and only just missed the World Cup due to an injury. 

Narawa is amongst the top try scorers in the 2024 Pacific Super Rugby season and could even claim the title as the season heads into the business end of things. One of his greatest traits is using his strength to bust tackles and create chances for teammates.

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Tevita Ikanivere

Tavita Ikanivere is a fast-rising Fijian rugby player who is currently playing for the Fiji Drua in the Super Rugby. Tavita is the embodiment of a modern-day hooker through a combination of power and strength, but of course, being Fijian, also has the ability to run like a winger and can evade tackles like a fly-half. 

He started playing for the Drua side in 2019 and later made his international debut in 2020 against Georgia. The hooker also made the Fijian World Cup squad, and is projected to be part of the Fijian rugby revolution. You can follow up on his growth and team performance through Betway. 

Quewin Nortje

South African Sevens players never disappoint, which is the case for Quewin Nortje. The star was selected for the Blitzboks 2024 7s season and has impressed in several tournaments. This includes the Dubai leg, where he scored a try against the mighty Fijians in the quarterfinals.

Nortje is an all-rounded player, having played 15s rugby with the Blue Bulls since 2022. He’s a great defender, and his speed on the wing comes in handy in the ever-demanding seven-man game. 

Patrick Odongo

Another promising sevens player is Kenya’s Patrick Odongo. His first call-up was during the Harare Olympic qualifiers matches, where he put on a show and became the top try scorer during the tournament.

A memorable moment is when he won the final game for Kenya while playing a resilient Zimbabwean side. According to the speedy winger, his mother’s passing shortly before the tournament inspired him.


More players, including rookies, will get a chance throughout the remainder of 2024’s rugby calendar, but the above five young talents look to be on the precipice of breaking into the big leagues.

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Image credit: Blitzboks / Instagram

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