Every season, a host of young players seem to come out of the woodwork and burst onto the scene in an emphatic fashion. In recent years, the likes of Daryl Clark, George Wiliams, Jamie Shaul and Mark Percival have all emerged from their respective academies to take Super League by storm. And, with a number of exciting young players filling the squad numbers of Super League sides, who will be the next to make their mark in the top flight in 2018?

Jack Walker - Leeds Rhinos

Arguably, full-back Walker made a name for himself already in 2017. Having forced Ashton Golding out of the No.1 position, Walker made the spot his own last season.

Displaying a confidence that belied his youthful age - indeed, his 18th birthday only came midway through August - he justified his inclusion in the Rhinos' side whenever he played. And, after contributing greatly to Leeds' march to Old Trafford with five tries in 13 games, Walker showed no signs of weakness or hesitancy at the back as the Rhinos secured their eighth Grand Final victory.

Walker is one of those young players that appears every so often that has the potential, the attitude and the talent to go the whole way in Rugby League. After signing a new three-year deal with the Rhinos in August 2017, Walker will compete with Golding for the fullback spot in the next few years. But, having showed what he is capable of in 2017, Walker is likely to force Golding out of the side once more if he starts 2018 the way he ended 2017.

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Definitely an England candidate for the future, Walker is a very bright young star.

Tom Johnstone - Wakefield Trinity

Johnstone has been a massive revelation for Wakefield in the past few seasons. With 37 tries in 50 appearances since making his debut back in 2015, he has established himself as one of the best up-and-coming talents in the game. But, with a serious knee injury, suffered in May of this year, keeping him out for the rest of the 2017 season, Johnstone was unable to carry on his sparkling form that earned him the Super League Young Player of the Year award in 2016.

With his injury nightmare behind him, and with the prospect of a full pre-season under his belt, Johnstone will be ready and raring to go once more in 2018. Arguably one of Wakefield's brightest ever prospects, Johnstone is still only 22 years of age. And, with England wingers Jermaine McGillvary and Ryan Hall nearly entering their 30s, Johnstone has been tipped to be a long-term replacement for either when they retire from the international setup.

With pace to burn and an ability to finish tries spectacularly, Johnstone is one of the most exciting young wingers in the game.

Morgan Knowles - St Helens

Back rower Morgan Knowles is still only 21 years of age, but has over 50 appearances under his belt for St Helens. Justin Holbrook's appointment as Saints' coach was the catalyst for Knowles to take his game to the next level. After some brilliant performances for the club towards the latter end of 2017, he was rewarded with a new contract that runs until the end of 2021, a nomination for the Young Player of the Year as well as a call-up to the Welsh side for the World Cup.

Knowles' work rate and his commitment to his own game and teammates is second to none and, with a toughness and tenacity that belies his tender age of 21, Knowles has a fine few years ahead of him. 2018 could be the year that Knowles cements his position in Saints' back row and enhances his reputation as one of the most durable young forwards in the game.

Liam Marshall - Wigan Warriors

Liam Marshall forced his way into the Wigan side after injuries to Dom Manfredi and Joe Burgess in March 2017. Since then, the 21 year old winger has not looked back. In just his second game in a Warriors' shirt, he scored four tries in a 38-16 win at Warrington and, by the end of the season, he had notched up a remarkable 22 tries in 19 appearances.

His ability to finish tries and his all-round game impressed greatly despite the weight on his shoulders to replace the England-quality Burgess. And, although Burgess and Manfredi are likely to be fit for the new season, there is no reason why Marshall cannot force either winger out of the side if he picks up where he left off in 2017. 2018 could well be the year that Marshall comes of age.

Danny Walker - Widnes Vikings

Yet another Walker in this list, Danny, was only drafted into the injury-ravaged Widnes side in late March 2017 to replace Aaron Heremaia. Walker, a hooker that has represented England at Youth and Academy level, was one of the bright sparks for Widnes in what was a terrible season for the Cheshire club. Walker went on to play 12 games for the Vikings, and earned a number of plaudits in the process. Widnes' success in securing their Super League status in 2017 relied heavily on their young players and Walker was at the heart of this.

Playing with passion, determination and a competitiveness that defied his young 18-year-old self, Walker established himself as one of the best players to come out of the Widnes Academy in recent years. And, having signed a four-year deal midway through the season, Walker now has the stability to take his game to the next level. If Widnes are going to survive in Super League once more in 2018, players like Walker will be essential; a mature head on youthful shoulders, he should well and truly kick on in 2018.