A Complete List Of World Class Players For Each Home Nation

No world class players?

Former England international Jeremy Guscott this week said Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning squad, “arguably” does not contain any world class players.

His comments caused huge controversy and rightly so. To say a team filled with Lions Test stars, that has just won a Grand Slam in dominant fashion and is ranked number two in the world doesn’t have any ‘world class’ players is just downright ridiculous.

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It’s actually quite embarrassing to be honest. His criteria for classing a player as ‘world class’ or not is also absurd. According to Guscott, you are not world class unless you make a ‘World XV.’

“You could argue there are better scrum-halves and fly-halves than Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton who would get into a world XV. Tadhg Furlong is one you would argue less about. But what they do have are 23 players playing very well.” Guscott said.

So by his calculations, there are only fifteen world class players in rugby right now. Nonsense. What defines ‘world class’ in my opinion, is being one of the very best in the world in your respective position.

That being said, I’ve decided to have a look through the players available to all four home nations to see just how many ‘world class’ players each of them have at their disposal.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there is at least one ‘world class’ player available to each coach. There’s a few injury-prone players listed below like O’Brien, Davies and Vunipola. But personally, I’ve seen enough of them to consider them world class.

I’ve listed some notable mentions. These are players I feel aren’t far off ‘world class’ at the moment.

England
Owen Farrell
Mako Vunipola
Maro Itoje
Billy Vunipola

Notable mentions: Elliot Daly, A fit and in-form Manu Tuilagi.

Ireland
Conor Murray
Johnny Sexton
Tadhg Furlong
Sean O’Brien

Notable mentions: CJ Stander, Robbie Henshaw, Keith Earls.

Wales
Jonathan Davies
Taulupe Faletau
Alun Wyn Jones

Notable mentions: Sam Warburton, Liam Williams.

Scotland
Stuart Hogg

Notable mentions: Finn Russell, Huw Jones, Jonny Gray