WELCOME to our pack of what we consider as the best 8 forwards going to the world cup. Do you agree with our selection? Tell us in the comments.
01) Cian Healy (Ireland)
Healy, although only back from injury, is the most destructive loosehead on the international scene. Originally the Leinster prop was graced for his huge ball-carrying ability but he has now established himself as a world class scrummager also leaving him as the #1 prop in international rugby.
Understudy: Joe Marler
02) DANE cOLES (New Zealand)
The Hurricanes hooker has proved to be a very reliable lineout and scrummaging operator in recent seasons but has also shown a creative edge to his game that makes him stand out from the crowd. The 28 year old is a capable passer, runner and can occasionally throw a sublime offload or give intelligent kicks into spaces and for that reason, he is straight into our team.
Understudy: Bismark Du Plessis
03) OWen franks (New Zealand)
The Crusaders man has been recognized as the world’s greatest tighthead for quite some time now and his recent performances would suggest that he is still worthy of such a title. The kiwi is very rarely under pressure from opposing looseheads as he has shown every dark art in the book to date. Definitely one that all tightheads should study.
Understudy: Dan Cole
04) Eben ETZEBETH (South Africa)
Young, physical, intelligent and mean. Etzebeth has impressed the world of rugby with powerful performances for both the Stormers and the Springboks over the last few years. Etzebeth is best known for his big hits and bumps but also has an eye for a try as he proved in South Africa’s World Cup warm up games against the World XV and Australia.
Understudy: Brodie Retallick
05) PauL O’CONNELL (Ireland)
The Munster legend had an inspiring Six Nations campaign as Irish captain earlier this year and continues to show that age is just a number. The former Lions captain still bosses international line outs, makes all the tackles and he has even shown big improvements in his ball carrying and handling ability in the last 12 months to arguably make him better than he has better been. He will take off for Toulon next season but is sure to play a massive role for his country in the World Cup this Autumn before he retires from Schmidt’s side.
Understudy: Victor Matfield
06) PetER O’Mahony (Ireland)
Peter O’Mahony is the ultimate workhorse for Munster and Ireland and his aggression, rucking ability and lineout capabilities have earned him a space in the team. Admittedly, the competition for blindside isn’t as high as it is for the open side spot but O’Mahony is still one of the world’s best forwards on his day.
Understudy: Liam Messam
07) David Pocock (Australia)
Pocock for us is the best openside by a decent distance and that says quite a lot. The Wallaby was exquisite this season as he conquered the breakdown, pushed defenders out of his way and even scored two hattricks for the Brumbies. As a result he has to be seen as the best flanker going into the World Cup after being out injured for so long.
Understudy: Michael Hooper
08) Sergio Parisse (Italy)
Although he won’t be achieving too much with at the World Cup, Parisse is probably the greatest number eight in the game. His running and handling ability, his leadership, passion and even his tendency to kick and cover the backfield with class surely indicates that he is a special player. Kieran Read comes close but the Stade Francais captain just has a legendary status. Understudy: Kieran Read
Thanks for reading. If this gets 20 likes on Facebook we will do a part two for the backs!