Premiership: The young players you need to know about this season

Jonas Mikalcius, Joe Marchant, Will Evans, Nathan Hughes
Who are the young stars looking to make their mark on English rugby this season?

The flow of talent coming through in the English game is as strong as ever, so BBC Sport has picked out five players you should keep an eye out for during the Premiership season.

Three of them are members of England sides who have dominated the World Junior Championship in recent years, although only two are from this year's triumphant crop.

There is also someone who has already made a big impression at club level but is newly qualified in England terms, and a young giant from Lithuania.

Joe Marchant (Harlequins)

Joe Marchant of Harlequins
Joe Marchant. Club: Harlequins; Position: centre; Age: 20; Height: 6ft (1.83m); Weight: 14st 6lb (89kg)

Any hopes Marchant might have had of easing his way into the public consciousness ended when coach Eddie Jones picked the youngster in his provisional England squad last month.

The centre, who has just turned 20, has made only a couple of starts for Harlequins but has been a stand-out in age-group rugby for England for several years.

Marchant's assured play was a significant factor in England's victory in the World Under-20 Championship in June.

He looks to be almost the complete centre, combining power, pace, footwork, footballing skills and a fine understanding of the game.

Expect him to make a big impact with Quins this season - and England too in the not too distant future.

Will Evans (Leicester)

Will Evans of Leicester
Will Evans - Club: Leicester; Position: open-side flanker; Age: 19; Height: 6ft (1.83m); Weight: 14st 4lb (91kg)

Joe Marchant is not the youngest player in Eddie Jones' England training squad - Leicester flanker Will Evans is only 19 and has enjoyed a meteoric rise.

The open-side flanker made his Tigers debut as recently as April but his excellent performances saw him picked for the World Under-20 Championship and he shone in England's powerful pack.

Standing 6ft tall and weighing less than 15 stone - he has still got plenty of filling out to do - he is a classic open-side who is quick to the ruck and good at getting over the ball.

A different option to many of the back-row monsters often found in the seven shirt these days, if Evans continues his ascent then the sky is the limit.

Nathan Earle (Saracens)

Nathan Earle in action for England Under-20s
Nathan Earle - Club: Saracens; Position: winger; Age: 21; Height: 6ft 1in (1.86m); Weight: 15st 8lb (99kg)

Whereas Joe Marchant and Will Evans impressed for England Under-20s this summer, it is two years since winger Nathan Earle lit up the same stage.

A 2014 IRB Junior Player of the Year nominee and contemporary of Saracens and England lock Maro Itoje, Earle's career has been derailed by a long-term injury.

Now back to full fitness and getting game time under his belt with New Zealand powerhouses Canterbury in the country's National Provincial Competition, Earle faces a make-or-break season when he returns to Saracens.

Lightning fast and with dancing feet, the 6ft 1in flyer is a danger every time he gets the ball - and with a bit of luck Premiership defences will be all too aware of that by the end of this season.

Jonas Mikalcius (Harlequins)

Jonas Mikalcius of Harlequins
Jonas Mikalcius - Club: Harlequins; Position: winger; Age: 21; Height: 6ft 3in (1.90m); Weight: 17st 10lb (112kg)

He lit up the Singha Premiership sevens during the summer - and he may make a big impact with Harlequins this season.

Big, quick and powerful, Jonas Mikalcius comes from the rugby outpost of Lithuania, and has only been playing the game for five years.

But as plenty of players from the Singha Sevens will tell you, the 6ft 3in recent convert to winger from the flank is mighty hard to stop when he gets the ball in hand.

Quins have him dual registered with Hartpury College, where he has been learning his trade, and, although he may be a wildcard with lots to learn, do not be surprised if this physically gifted powerhouse makes his mark on the Premiership at some point this season.

Nathan Hughes (Wasps)

Nathan Hughes of Wasps
Nathan Hughes - Club: Wasps; Position: number eight; Age: 25; Height: 6ft 5in (1.96m); Weight: 19st 10lb (125kg)

At 25, he may not be a youngster any more, but he is box fresh in England terms and, after qualifying for the national side this summer on residency, Fiji-born Nathan Hughes is set to be given his chance at international level sooner rather than later.

A powerful and skilful ball carrier, Hughes has been ripping up trees at number eight for Wasps for the past couple of seasons.

But, with Billy Vunipola filling the eight shirt for England in impressive fashion, coach Eddie Jones says he is looking at Hughes as a blind-side flanker.

Hughes has been picked in the 45-man training squad and, if he shows the form for Wasps he's produced over the past couple of years early in the season, it is not implausible that he will be running out with the red rose on his chest come the autumn Tests.

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