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World class!

  • 23-08-2022 1:38pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6,911 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    Who's currently world class? Is it those who are beyond the competition? Does recency play a part? Are players world class for the duration of their careers? My opinions of world class is likely different to most. Each of us has our bias and tinted goggles!

    Here's my list of current world class players.

    LH. Genge.... an unlikable lad but, fantastic player.

    Ox Nche. A brilliant player.

    Hooker. Marchand, Marx .

    Th. Furlong, Antonio, Malherbe.

    #4. Itoje... in a class of his own. De Jager

    #5. Ethebeth, Willemse, Skelton

    #6. Kolisi, Curry, Woki.

    7. VDF,DeToit, Hooper

    #8. Savea, Aldritt

    #9. Dupont

    10. Sexton, Ntamack

    LW. Mapimpi, May

    #12. Fickou, Danty

    13. Vakatawa, Am

    RW. Jordan, Kolbe, Penaud

    Fb. Barrett Beauden, Hogg, Keenan

    I've probably forgot some, these are off the top of my ceann.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,424 ✭✭✭arsebiscuits1

    Absolute nailed on certs that aren't on the list would be:

    • Henshaw
    • De Klerk

    In the traditional sense of your team, Kolisi and PTSD should be switched around given blind and open sides wear opposing numbers in South Africa.

    I think you're being extremely generous to Woki to put him in as a 6. 5 starts in the 6 nations all at 4 and is listed on Racing site as a second row also. Not really seeing much evidence to him being a world class 6

    I think you're being extremely generous to include Hogg in the conversation of world class. Excellent player. Not the same player he was circa 2016

    Your generosity is extended to BB at 15 too. He's unquestionably a world class player. And for me it's still at 10

    I'm not really seeing what you're seeing about Ox Nche also. South Africa have 3 top class looseheads in him, Nyakanye and Kitshoff but I don't really think he stands head and shoulders above any of them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,815 ✭✭✭TRC10

    Baille and Kitsoff are the two standout LHs in world rugby right now for me. Ox doesn't even get in the SA 23 when everyone's fit.

    Koch>Malherbe IMO. Tupou could be a shout too.

    I'd have Courtney Lawes in there at blindside.

    I can't be the only one who doesn't see the hype around Curry? He had some excellent performances in 2019 but I honestly don't see what he's done since then. VDF, Savea, Kolisi and Hooper are all better 7s than him so I don't think he can be called "world class".

    Henshaw I think deserves to be there. Danty had a very good 6N but I don't think he has the body of work to be called "world class". Henshaw has been consistently excellent since the RWC.

    May was world class maybe 2 years ago but he's not at that level anymore. I think he's lost a yard of pace and I don't think he'll be a starter for England anymore.

    Beauden isn't even the best full back in his family

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,192 ✭✭✭RichieRich_89

    Matera and Radradra, maybe. Haven't seen too much of them lately.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 9,483 Mod ✭✭✭✭aloooof

    Ollivon when fit deserves a shout. Handre Pollard as well. De Allende?

    Retallick and Whitelock would've been certs for this list for the guts of the last decade.

    Interesting no Wales and Scotland players mentioned yet; Maybe Ree-Zammit and Watson respectively closest to be in with a shout? Josh Adams?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,911 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    It's all subjective! Olivon has been out! Maternity is one I forgot! But I think next year, my world class lads will have new arrivals and some exits!

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  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 34,453 Mod ✭✭✭✭pickarooney

    Good player but he's been out of shape for about 9 months

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,985 ✭✭✭Shehal

    The Vakatawa who cant even get into the French squad is World class?

    In what universe is Henshaw not World Class and Danty is? Just because you wear a blue jersey and are a back doesnt automatically make you World Class.

  • Registered Users Posts: 260 ✭✭Itxa

    Like them or not and prolonged absence or not Farrell, Vunipola and Curry are all world class. Possibly Underhill also.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,815 ✭✭✭TRC10

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,911 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    My opinion! You're welcome to your own. I've never thought Henshaw was world class. But, that's just my opinion. Henshaw is primarily a 12. He's played maybe 5 matches at outside center since arriving from Connacht.

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  • Subscribers Posts: 39,934 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    Actually started 20 games at outside centre since joining from Connacht

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,911 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    Really? But, he's usually at inside center. I do think that Keenan will be the world's top fb! He's still growing into his role, imo.

    My hope is that Porter can make strides and be World class. As far as Kelleher/Sheehan go, I think they both have the ability!

    Amongst the other top ranked teams, I don't see anyone coming onto Sexton/Ntamack type level! After these two, I would think that Pollard would be next in line. Too early to judge Marcus Smith.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 9,483 Mod ✭✭✭✭aloooof

    Really? But, he's usually at inside center.

    Since he moved from Connacht, he’s started 18 tests at 12 and 13 at 13. (And the Ill-fated one at 15).

    Even since Farrell came in it’s a 6/9 split.

    I think he’s more influential at 13; thinking back to that opening 20 mins defensively against England that seemed to turn the momentum for Farrell, or the solo try he ran in v France.

    Fwiw, I’d definitely have him in the world class bracket for the last season or 2.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,911 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    Henshaw is a very good player. But, he's not elite, imo. He's not going to be an all time great. He's similar to DDA, imo. Himself and Ringrose are quality options but, neither of them are BODesqe.

    Am is better imo! Slade is similar to them,imo. Are they world class? I think they fall just short.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 9,483 Mod ✭✭✭✭aloooof

    I guess this is back to the crux of what it means to be World Class again, but I'd argue you can be World Class at points during your career, without being an all-time great.

    Henshaw is currently in that bracket for me. As is Am, fwiw.

    A bit like VdF. Currently operating at a world class level, but not an all-time great.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,911 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    There's few who are peak players for the duration of a career.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 9,483 Mod ✭✭✭✭aloooof

    Exactly that. Those who operate at or near a world class level for the duration of their career are then in the all-time great category.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,625 ✭✭✭✭Neil3030

    Not sure I'd have many looseheads in a team ahead of Steven Kitshoff right now...

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 34,453 Mod ✭✭✭✭pickarooney

    I'd pick Baille every time myself

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,985 ✭✭✭Shehal

    If Henshaw isnt World Class there's no chance Danty is. Ask anyone with any rugby knowledge from any country and they would class Henshaw as elite...the only thing he seems to be lacking based on you're criteria is a blue jersey at the moment.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,985 ✭✭✭Shehal

    Based on how they've played this World Cup cycle only Curry of that bunch would have an argument for being World Class, possibly Farrell also.

  • Posts: 0 Rudy Weak Stud

    Robbie Henshaw is absolutely world class, in the sense that he would start for almost any team in the world, apart from a handful of exceptions.

    What on earth has Jonathan Danty (not even a nailed on starter domestically or for France) done to earn a "world class" label?

    Lukhanyo Am is world class too, but Henry Slade decidedly isn't.

    Your comment is confusing because you're suggesting Am isn't world class, but you've included him in the list in your initial post.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,325 ✭✭✭cuttingtimber22

    Beirne and POM are world class. Doris made the BBC team, POM was close and would be on a world rugby bench.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,911 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    Am is world class! Danty is thereabouts also. I think Fickou is the best inside center around today. That's what is holding Danty out. I think if Danty was English, Welch or Irish...

    Opinions differ! 4 years back, I would have said Farrell is world class! He's been average for yonks now. Not many on here would think Farrell was world class?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,042 ✭✭✭Dave_The_Sheep

    Don't let simple things like facts get in the way of your opinions. Let your opinions roam free!

    Henshaw is world class. There are few teams he wouldn't get into.

    Before someone says it, he's no BOD, but jesus, that's not the criteria. BOD was exceptional, even amongst generational talents, he is the best 13 to play the game (notwithstanding what well intentioned but incorrect Smith fans say) so obviously pretty much everyone's not going to match up.

  • Posts: 0 Rudy Weak Stud

    Prompted by a post on another thread, and using the definition of best three in the world in their position, I've the following list of world class players in my opinion at this point in time:

    Players unfortunate to lose out: Bongi Mbonambi, Andrew Porter, Will Skelton, Courtney Lawes, Michael Hooper and a few others. Guys like Handre Pollard and Owen Farrell have had a poor season imo.

    Struggled with the half backs a little, with Faf kind of limping in because I couldn't explicitly think of someone more deserving (JGP?)

    Break down by nation:

    Couldn't think of any Welsh or Scottish players deserving; LRZ and Faletau probably closest, and I guess Stuart Hogg for Scotland?

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,934 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    Id have itoje in at 6 instead of psdt who has dropped off something fierce since 2019.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,222 ✭✭✭ersatz

    Good list. On the strength of this and last season Ringrose could be in the mix, Hamish Watson too. Faf hasn't been outstanding for a while, JGP maybe but someone pointed out that he's a lot better in the Ireland system than he might be in another team. And Itoje as above, England are less than half the team without him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,911 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    What about the Italian lad? Can't remember his name. I think he's a full back.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,222 ✭✭✭ersatz