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After more than 30 years with The Sydney Morning Herald and Fairfax Media in Australia, Greg Growden now writes exclusively online for ESPNscrum. Never afraid to step on toes, you can expect plenty of compelling insight from one of Australia's most renowned rugby writers.

Super Rugby
Greg Growden names six stars to illuminate 2014
Greg Growden
February 7, 2014
Greg Growden lists the players he expects to feature in more headlines than their rivals © Scrum.com
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The 15 Super Rugby teams each have a sprinkling of stardust in their squad - even the Lions - but which players will grab more than their fair share of headlines this season? Greg Growden lists six players he thinks will make a major impression on the competition in 2014.

Beauden Barrett

While Daniel Carter has a break during the Super Rugby season, this might be the moment for the Hurricanes No.10 to show he's the man to take the All Blacks to Rugby World Cup 2015. Barrett is certainly something special.

Israel Folau

Will he suffer from the dreaded second-season syndrome, or prove to be the best Australian league-to-union convert? And where will he end up at the Waratahs? Fullback? Centre? Wing?

Kyle Godwin

Western Force are often forgotten, but they could easily provide Australia's most fascinating new Test player this season. Have the Force the courage to try Godwin at No.10 on a consistent basis?

Benji Marshall

All of New Zealand and Australia is intrigued. Can Benji Marshall make it in the union ranks with the Blues, after a less than inspiring season with West Tigers in the National Rugby League last year?

Victor Matfield

Has the Springboks legend gone mad? He's in his mid-30s and hasn't played for three years, but now he wants to return to the Bulls and Springboks colours. The middle of the lineout is not exactly the place where someone can hide.

Ben Smith

A player is top shelf when he can impress, overwhelm even, when the rest of his team fall apart. That was the case with the Highlanders fullback last year, when he was a Super Rugby standout even though the rest of his side played as if they were punch-drunk. Now co-captain, can he resurrect Highlanders rugby?

Which players do you think will feature most prominently this season? Leave a comment below or join the conversion with Greg Growden on Twitter (@GregGrowden) using the hashtag #SuperRugbyStars

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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