With only two days to go until the World Rugby U20 Championship 2017 comes to a close with the final between England and New Zealand, the five nominees for Player of the Tournament have been revealed.
Three nations are represented in the shortlist in England, New Zealand and South Africa with a split of two forwards and three backs.
England captain Zach Mercer and South Africa number eight Juarno Augustus both scored twice in their semi-final meeting on Tuesday, while Tiaan Falcon and Will Jordan were try-scorers in New Zealand's victory over France the same day. The other nominee is England winger Gabriel Ibiotye.
The task of narrowing down the contenders from the most competitive U20 Championship was a difficult one with a number of players unlucky to miss out, including the likes of Scotland winger Darcy Graham, England fly-half Max Malins and New Zealand winger Caleb Clarke.
Fans can cast their vote for the Player of the Tournament on World Rugby's Facebook page between now and 19:30 local time (GMT+4) on Sunday with the winner announced at a function for teams that evening.
Juarno Augustus (South Africa)
The powerful number eight is the joint top try-scorer going into the final round of matches, having scored six tries for the Junior Springboks in Georgia. He has scored in every match, including braces against France in the opening round – including the last-gasp try that enabled South Africa to snatch a draw – and the semi-final loss to England. He only started playing rugby at the age of 12 but has shown with his performances in Georgia and his knack of popping up in the right place at the right time that he will be donning the Springbok jersey before too long.
Zach Mercer (England)
The England captain has shown that he is a man for the big occasion, stealing the ball after 31 phases of Australian attack in their Pool A decider to ensure a 20-19 victory and then powering through the South African defence to score his second try of the match with four minutes to go and give the defending champions a lead they would not relinquish. A natural leader who inspires those around him with his performances, so don't expect the number eight to ever take a step back or shirk a challenge. He has four tries to his name in Georgia, having also scored a double on day one against Samoa.
Tiaan Falcon (New Zealand)
Falcon is on course to become the third New Zealander to finish as top points scorer in an U20 Championship – after Tyler Bleyendaal and Gareth Anscombe – having scored two tries among his haul of 69 points. The architect of so much of New Zealand's attacking rugby, Falcon has shown a great maturity to his game this year and clearly has the vision that fly-halves need to exploit a gap for the benefit of his team. The 19-year-old also isn't afraid to try something different, as his behind the back pass that led to Caleb Clarke's try against France showed.
Gabriel Ibitoye (England)
The dancing feet of Ibitoye have drawn comparisons with a former England U20 winger in Christian Wade and when he scores tries like he did against Australia it's easy to see why, one commentator referring to the touchdown as "a quite astounding finish in a phonebox that nobody thought he had a right to score". With his lightning pace and quick feet it's hard to believe he started out as a second-row, but the Harlequins man is definitely at home on the wing as his five tries and 381 metres made in Georgia demonstrate. Like his captain Mercer, he has already shown himself to be a man to rise to the big occasion.
Will Jordan (New Zealand)
Another member of a New Zealand backline that has at times cut teams to shreds in Georgia, the full-back is blessed with pace. strength and vision and is always looking for a gap to exploit in the defence. The 19-year-old's statistics say it all with 418 metres made as well as 11 clean breaks and 12 defenders beaten. His willingness to run from anywhere on the pitch has resulted in countless tries for New Zealand, including five for himself and a hat-trick against Ireland and he could yet finish top scorer in the World Rugby U20 Championship just as he did in the recent Oceania tournament.