Let us introduce you to a few who’ll be looking to make their mark…
James O'Connor, Australia
James O’Connor is a versatile back who’s comfortable at fly-half, inside centre, wing and even fullback. The young Australian bagged a hat-trick of tries on his debut against Italy in 2008 and has already won a host of accolades in his relatively short career.
Shane Williams, Wales
Experienced winger Shane Williams will be playing in his second World Cup tournament and will be looking to add to his 81 caps and 55 international tries. Shane can play at scrum-half or on the wing and will definitely be one to watch during the tournament.
Gordon D'Arcy, Ireland
Inside centre Gordon D’Arcy is a powerful back who, with more than 50 caps to his name, will be an imposing figure in the Irish squad during this year’s tournament. The 31 year old will bring energy, spirit and dynamism to the Irish team as they prepare for a shot at glory.
Andrew Trimble, Ireland
Andrew will be at his second World Cup with Ireland, looking to attack with vigour and verve from the wing. The in-form back will have his sights set on leading the Irish to victory throughout the group stage and beyond.
Nick Easter, England
A seasoned veteran with bags of experience, England’s number 8 played a large part in guiding his team to the Final in 2007. After coming runners up last time out, Nick will be hungry to go one better this year and help England win the tournament.
Simon Shaw, England
At 6 feet and 8 inches tall, Simon will be one of the taller players at this year’s tournament! The gigantic Lock has 62 caps to his name after making his England debut aged just 22 against Italy in 1996, and was part of the 2003 winning team .
Salvatore Perugini, Italy
Italy’s Salvatore Perugini made his test debut in 2000 and has gone on to pick up 73 caps. The 33 year old Prop is an experienced campaigner and a vital part of the Italian team that will be heading to the Southern Hemisphere this summer.
Victor Matfield, South Africa
Standing at 6 foot 6 inches tall, Victor is a South African Lock who has played 105 times for his country. A winner in 2007, Victor will be looking to make his presence felt as South Africa look to defend their title.
Fourie du Preez, South Africa
With 56 caps and 65 points to his name, Fourie du Preez is South Africa’s scrum-half and another who played in the triumphant 2007 team. Widely regarded as the Best number 9 in the world at present, he’ll be doing his utmost to win another medal.
Gio Aplon, South Africa
Gio, or Kakkerlak as he’s also known, is a speedy South African winger. His 15 caps as his country’s number 14 have all come in the last year and a half after making his debut in 2010. He’s got pace, precision and skill and will be a threat for any opponent at this year’s tournament.
Dylan Hartley, England
England are expecting big things from New Zealand-born Hooker Dylan Hartley back in his country of birth. Hartley became the youngest Premiership captain ever during the 2009-10 season and his leadership skills coupled with a precision set piece make him the natural long-term successor to Steve Thompson.
Manu Tuilagi, England
Manu is the latest member of the Tuilagi rugby dynasty to make an impact in the Guinness Premiership. The centre and occasional winger has been a revelation over the last 12 months and his performances have catapulted him from youth team rugby on to the international stage.
Which players do you see lighting up this year’s tournament?