Eben Etzebeth
Eben Etzebeth is South Africa's man to watch. Getty

At six foot eight inches and more than 19 stone in weight, you can probably guess why 23-year-old Eben Etzebeth has assumed the role as enforcer-in-chief among the South Africa XV. For someone with such raw power, Etzebeth plays a highly disciplined game, rarely crossing the line and controlling his area of the pitch with measured aggression, boasting the impressive record of having never been sent to the sin bin in his professional career.

His most notable career moment to date arguably came in a 2012 Super Rugby semi-final meeting between Stormers and Sharks where the then 20-year-old became somewhat of a YouTube sensation after steamrolling his way through South African hooker and notorious hard man Bismarck Du Plessis.

Since being handed his first Springboks cap against England in 2012 his rise has been impressive, winning South African's young player of the year that year and the next, while also being nominated for the IRB Player of the Year award in 2013. Injury suffered in November that year however ensured a frustrating 2014, with a foot injury tempering his progress, albeit for the short-term.

Etzebeth has swiftly been fitted with the tag of the new Bakkies Botha thanks to his considerable power and formidable presence, two of the legendary lock's greatest traits. If he is to replicate Botha's influential role that saw South Africa win the competition in 2007, he will have to recover from a calf problem first, however. Etzebeth is the one doubt for South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer ahead of their opening game of the competition against Japan in Brighton on Sunday.

"Etzebeth started running last week and we will progress him this week," said team doctor Craig Roberts. "A decision on his availability will be made later in the week. Otherwise it is up to the coach to decide who he selects for the game."