Top New Zealand Media Outlet Names The Top 10 Rugby Players In The World Right Now
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The best in the world.
Popular New Zealand media outlet Stuff has had a go at naming the top 10 rugby players in the world right now with 2019 World Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit topping their list.
Springboks teammate Cheslin Kolbe comes in at second, with Duane Vermeulen also making their prestigious list.
Two All Blacks, two Welshman and two English players also making their list along with Fiji’s Semi Radradra also making the cut by coming in at seventh.
Here’s their list in full along with their reason for selection.
The Top 10.
1. Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa):
“A 2-metre tackling machine who can stop a Vunipola brother in his tracks but can also produce a chip kick to set up a try, as he did against the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship. At 27, du Toit is well on his way to becoming a Springboks legend and he’ll be at his prime when he takes on the British and Irish Lions in 2021.”
2. Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa):
“Almost single-handedly won the Top 14 for Toulouse in France last season with his ability to make tries out of nothing and proceeded to do exactly the same at the Rugby World Cup. Flies the flag for smaller wings everywhere and is virtually unplayable when he gets a bit of space.”
3. Ardie Savea (New Zealand):
“Consistency in 2019 almost defied belief. From the opening round of Super Rugby, he was the best-performing player in New Zealand for almost every weekend of the year. Injury-enforced break at the start of 2020 not necessarily a bad thing to recharge the batteries.”
4. Duane Vermeulen (South Africa):
“Came back from France to be part of Rassie Erasmus’ plans and at the age off 33 was the best player in the Rugby World Cup final. His experience and presence over the ball were key reasons behind the Springboks’ success.”
5. Owen Farrell (England):
“Very few, if any, can switch seamlessly between No 10 and No 12 in the way Farrell can, giving England two tactical templates to play with. Brilliant goalkicker with a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude to winning that provides some objectionable moments but was clearly critical to England’s progress towards the Rugby World Cup final.”
6. Maro Itoje (England):
“It all fell apart in the Rugby World Cup final but there is little doubt the 25-year-old Londoner is a rare talent who is still improving. His lineout display against the All Blacks in the semifinal was superb and his work over the ball is as good as any lock in the world.”
7. Semi Radradra (Fiji):
“Balance, speed, strength and skill: the former NRL player showed at the Rugby World Cup that he truly belongs at the highest level. Pat Lam has signed him for Bristol, where he will line up beside lost All Black Charles Piutau.”
8. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales):
“Talismanic lock and captain is one of the toughest men in the game, with 134 Welsh caps and three British and Irish Lions tours under his belt. Still remains fiercely driven though and hasn’t ruled out a shot at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, when he will be 38.”
9. Beauden Barrett (New Zealand):
“Produced some extraordinary plays for the All Blacks after being handed the difficult task of learning a new role before the Rugby World Cup. All Blacks’ selectors Ian Foster, John Plumtree and Grant Fox have a big decision to make on where his future lies, at No 10 or No 15.”
10. Gareth Davies (Wales):
“Supremely fit Wales halfback lifted the whole side with his strong all-round game. His best asset point, however, is his running game and his performance against the Wallabies in the crucial group stage game was outstanding.”