For many years the National Provincial Championship was one of the biggest events on the New Zealand rugby calendar. It was here that the best of the best in the country fought it out for provincial bragging rights, with great prestige being held in winning the trophy.
With the advent of Super Rugby thought, the NPC, or ITM Cup as it is now known, has become something of a second-tier development competition. The All Blacks no longer partake and players are brought into the fray very young.
It acts as the launching pad for many careers, as it is the final stage in proving oneself worthy of a Super Rugby contract.
Consequently there are always players to emerge from nowhere and have stellar competitions. This season was no different, with a handful of youngsters coming on in a big way, especially amongst the top three teams in the Championship division.
Here we look at 10 of the very best of these. Keep an eye on these names in the coming years, there is plenty of potential amongst this group.