As the Rugby World Cup in Japan are unfolding progressively, we thought that it is about time that we list down players that you should keep an eye on this tournament from teams other than the All Blacks, Wallabies, South Africa and others in the same category.
Though we do not tend to discredit others in this list, but these are the players who in our opinion will certainly step up to the plate and truth be told may even become a star player in the future.
Who knows right?
So here are our five picks, and tell us whether or not these names would fit into your list of players to watch.
Japan – Kazuki Himeno
It would be criminal to talk about players to watch if we do not mention an entrant from the host nation Japan.
The future leader of Japanese rugby, the Toyota Verblitz player is currently one of Japan’s main ball carriers. With the ability to gain much yardage as a lock, his traits are not only limited to attack but is also sound in defence given the number of turnovers he produces.
Georgia – Beka Gorgadze
Georgian Number 8, Beka Gorgadze can certainly bring a lot of dimension to the Georgian attack, which is centred upon the capabilities of its forwards to make a difference.
A player who loves to play in close quarters and is ever so willing to carve open defences with spirited runs, be sure to keep an eye out for him this tournament.
Uruguay – Santiago Arata
Uruguay scrumhalf Santiago Arata who plies his trade in USA’s Major League Rugby is all that you’ want in a scrumhalf – cool, calm and collected. More times than not, teams with Uruguay’s stature have fallen victim to scrumhalves who are not up to snuff.
But not this one.
He plays with a smile, has good vision and thrives under pressure, Arata epitomises what a modern day scrumhalf should be.
Italy – Jake Polledri
Breaking tackles is an important feature for any rugby player – but not many are masters of the game in the world where side step is king.
But Gloucester back-row Jake Polledri may have something to say about that.
A player that has played key role for the Azzurri with a statistic of beating one tackler every 10 minutes, he is also a mean tackler himself, completing 96% of his attempted 122 tackles.
Fiji – Peceli Yato
Running rampant in the TOP14, Peceli Yato is by far the best forward in the French game having beaten 67 defenders, scored 10 tries and ran 1,060 metres, bettering every other forward in the TOP 14 last season.
Gaining vital experience from the last world cup, the Fijian who is expected to translate his power in matches against Australia and South Africa, will surely be gunning for the knock out round come the World Cup.
Agree with our list of players to watch? Would you agree that in the next five we focus on what the big teams had to offer instead? Stay tuned and we’ll definitely hook you up next time round.