The best Players Of The Rugby World Cup So Far
Best Players Of The Rugby World Cup So Far
As every four years, fans across the world have been treated to a hearty amount of magnificent tries, massive shocks, and ground-breaking performances over the course of three match weeks in France. How are you enjoying this year's Rugby World Cup?
Many of the players atop the stat category charts for the 2023 Rugby World Cup are. But who has been the best of the bunch now? For those who play any fantasy rugby game, they probably know who are the top scorers so far.
As the World Cup continues to fascinate us with Wales already through to the quarter-finals and others on the verge of elimination, the tournament promises to be a barnburner. And it has certainly delivered, with early games delivering some big upsets, plenty of tries, and some outstanding individual performances from some of the world's best players.
Let’s check out who are the best players of the Rugby World Cup so far. So, don't forget the names on these lists; many of them will undoubtedly make even more noise as the pressure mounts.
An Overview of The Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup is an annual men's rugby union event involving the best international teams.
World Rugby is the sport's worldwide governing organization and it’s responsible for overseeing the competition. The final award the winners get is called the Webb Ellis Cup. It is named after William Webb Ellis, who, according to folklore, developed rugby by picking up the ball during a football game.
The competition began in 1987, co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. From 1987 to 1995, sixteen teams competed in the event; since 1999, twenty teams have competed in each edition.
This year’s edition 2023 Rugby World Cup is being held in France.
Who are the best so far?
Bundee Aki, Ireland
No doubt, Bundee Aki is by far the tournament's best player. Aki has been fantastic for the world champions, scoring four tries and terrorizing opposing defenses with some incredible attacking exploits.
He got off to a fast start, scoring two tries in Ireland's rout of Romania before adding two more against Tonga. But, for those critics who pointed to the caliber of the opponent, Aki silenced them with a world-class all-around effort versus South Africa. The 33-year-old has put himself in contention for Player of the Tournament, but he is aware that he will face greater obstacles in what is building up to be a must-see knockout phase.
Damian Penaud, France
Penaud, a World Cup favorite, has been at the heart of France's excellent exploits, scoring four tries in two games. Many Namibians will have nightmares about the speedster after he scored a hat-trick in Les Bleus' demolition job, as well as the key touchdown in the All Blacks' opening night win. You'd think there'd be plenty more from him.
Pool A has exuded class and quality, with Penaud on the right wing. The Bordeaux Begles standout scored a crucial second-half try against New Zealand in France's epic World Cup opener, helping turn the tide of the match (and handing the All Blacks their first-ever pool play loss), then he and his teammates seemed to run all over Namibia for fun in a 96-0 demolition, with Penaud earning man of the match honors with a hat-trick.
Thomas Ramos, France
Thomas Ramos, the French rugby international defender, was once again Les Bleus' invincible fullback in the team's victory.
It is true that it takes some skill with the boot to dislodge the multiple talented talismans in the French team who can also manage kicking duties, but Ramos has earned his place as Les Bleus' man from the start.
Sione Talitui, Tonga
With the most tackles is Sione Talitui in the first place. Tonga's physicality hasn't made things easy (or at least without a little bit of bruising and soreness in the morning) for either side, and Talitui has been tasked with being one of their main men to stop a pair of powerful attacks — Ireland and Scotland, both Sea Eagles losses — in Pool B thus far. He's held up OK.
Ben Donaldson, Australia
The Wallabies have had a dismal World Cup and appear destined to be eliminated from the pool stages for the first time in history, but Ben Donaldson has had a stellar year and is a fantastic alternative for Australia to use at fly-half.
He kicked three conversions and three penalties in addition to his brace, earning him the title of player of the match in the Wallabies' victory over Georgia. There weren't many positives in the country's biggest loss to Wales and its first defeat to Fiji since 1954, although Donaldson did increase his point total in both games by kicking.
Damian McKenzie, New Zealand
In a 71-3 victory over Namibia, Damian McKenzie made his World Cup debut wearing an All Blacks jersey. He scored twice and added 26 points in the game, which represented the second round of the tournament.
McKenzie returned to the Gallagher Chiefs after spending the 2022 season in Japan with the Tokyo Sungoliath to help the team to the Super Rugby Pacific Final. For this year’s edition, he was selected for the All Blacks team, and things are getting interesting.
Cover Credits: PlanetRugby