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Rugby World Cup 2023: Five youngsters to look out for in France

World Cup debutants
World Cup debutants

2023 Rugby World Cup

Hosts: France Dates: 8 September to 28 October

Coverage: Full commentary of every game across BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup is almost upon us but which new faces will be looking to impress in France?

BBC Sport profiles five youngsters from outside the home nations who are looking to make their mark at their first World Cup. The players we have selected will be aged 22 or under when the first ball of the tournament is kicked on 8 September.

Canan Moodie

Canan Moodie
Canan Moodie scored a try on Test debut against Australia last year

Country: South Africa

Age: 20

Position: Wing/centre

A balanced runner with elegant distribution who can operate on the wing or in midfield.

Defending champions South Africa have an array of world class attacking talent at their disposal but 20-year-old utility back Canan Moodie can mix it with the best.

He announced himself on the international stage with a stunning individual try on debut against Australia in September 2022.

A first Test start followed 11 months later in the Springboks' record win over New Zealand at Twickenham, when he intercepted a loose All Black pass before freeing Damian Willemse to turn defence into attack.

He will compete for a place in the side with the likes of Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi on the wing, or Lukhanyo Am at 13, but he is being tipped by many to be the breakout star of this World Cup.

Carter Gordon

Carter Gordon
Carter Gordon is one of two recognised fly-halves in Australia's World Cup squad

Country: Australia

Age: 22

Position: Fly-half

The man who could steer the Wallabies at fly-half.

Australia head coach Eddie Jones has backed Carter Gordon to play an influential role from number 10 after not selecting the experienced Quade Cooper in his youthful World Cup squad.

Gordon, 22, came off the bench to score a try on debut in the defeat by South Africa on 9 July.

He has since started the Wallabies' past three games, which have all ended in defeat, but at least they will have provided some valuable experience for when the tournament begins.

Jones will be relying on Gordon's tenacious defence, huge boot and creative flair to unleash the Wallabies' potent backline, which is set to include fellow youngster Mark Nawaqanitawase on the wing.

Juan Martin Gonzalez

Juan Martin Gonzalez
Juan Martin Gonzalez signed for Saracens from London Irish in July 2023

Country: Argentina

Age: 22

Position: Flanker

Tireless at the breakdown and powerful in the carry.

Juan Martin Gonzalez is hardly a newcomer to the international stage, but to have won 24 Test caps aged 22 highlights his pedigree.

Recently signed by English Premiership champions Saracens from London Irish, Gonzalez is a threat in the loose.

He has scored seven tries for Argentina, including a powerful burst in the Pumas' first-ever win over New Zealand last summer.

Gonzalez will be looking forward to the prospect of facing new Sarries team-mate Ben Earl against England when the two sides begin their campaigns against each other on 9 September.

Davit Niniashvili

Davit Niniashvili
Davit Niniashvili has scored nine tries in 24 Tests for Georgia

Country: Georgia

Age: 21

Position: Full-back

A player who combines attacking prowess with a steely defence.

Like Gonzalez, Georgia full-back Davit Niniashvili has international experience belying his 21 years.

He has nine tries in 24 Tests and his blistering speed, agility and eye for the tryline make him one of Georgia's key threats.

Niniashvili is no stranger to France - he plays for Top 14 side Lyon, who he was representing when he upended South Africa's colossus Eben Etzebeth in a thumping tackle during the 2022 Challenge Cup final.

Wales and Australia will have to have a plan to contain the livewire in Pool C.

Louis Bielle-Biarrey

Louis Bielle-Biarrey
Louis Bielle-Biarrey was a surprise selection in France's World Cup squad

Country: France

Age: 20

Position: Wing

Hard lines and gas to burn under the red scrum cap.

Hosts France are among the favourites to win their first World Cup and Damian Penaud and Gabin Villiere are likely to occupy the wings.

But 20-year-old Louis Bielle-Biarrey could prove to be more than a useful deputy as he was selected in Fabian Galthie's final squad ahead of fellow youngster Ethan Dumortier.

The fleet-footed Bordeaux-Begles wing marked his Test debut with a try in the recent warm-up win over Scotland and, born in June 2003, he is set to become the youngest player to represent France at the World Cup.

Yoram Moefana can also fill in for Les Blues on the wing but Bielle-Biarrey will want to impress on home soil if he gets the chance.