Best Number 8 in World Rugby

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  1. #1
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    Best Number 8 in World Rugby

    After the AIs it's become very apparent that there is a real abundance of world class 8s in the world right now, and as an 8 I'm curious about which one people think is the best.

    Personally, on form my top 5 would be:
    1. Isa
    2. Read
    3. Faletau (I'm thinking form before his injury as he hasn't really come back yet)
    4. Vunipola
    5. Picamoles/Heaslip (Both so different but both so good at what they do. I can't choose between them)
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    There's such a huge pool of quality no.8s in. World rugby at the moment and the top 5/6 you've listed above doesn't even include Parisse. Can't say I've followed him too closely this year and don't know what form he is in if any. Then there's Whitely who was pretty good in Super Rugby for the Lions but struggled in a poor Springbok team and doesn't quite have the power of a Vermeulen, who doesn't look like he will play for SA for the foreseeable future.

    For me Read is the best all round no.8 in World rugby. He's not hit the heights of 2013 when he was the best player in the world, but i don't think he got over his concussion in 2014, and now his role is different in that he has had to cede a lot of his roaming wide role to accommodate Dane Coles, who plays looser, so probably has to make up for this in the tight for the ABs. But he had proved it year in year out for a good number of years, like Heaslip. Isa has only really burst onto the scene and looks a real talent; him and Billy really do make the hard yards for their respective team. But I don't think either are a line out option, which I like to have in a no.8.
    Last edited by The_Blindside; 04-12-16 at 07:04 AM.

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    Parrise isn't even the best 8 at Stade IMO, Jono Ross been playing very well for them. (He is EQP aswell).
    Last edited by Tigs Man; 04-12-16 at 12:06 AM.
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    I'm just going to go with Parisse. He's pretty much the only #8 who would get into any team in the world (and incumbent 8's would have to move around). Imagine him behind a NZ pack, and it's just scary.

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    The position name "Number Eight" must be changed; because it is strange--in the case of substitution, the player number of "Number Eight" is not 8.

    Suggestion of new names:

    Fly Forward
    Back Forward
    Central Forward
    Third Flanker
    Back Flanker
    Central Flanker
    Central Third-Row

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    1, Picamoles
    2, Read
    3, Vunipola


    Picamoles is one of those players who would be higher rated if he played for any other top national side. He is very powerful, intelligent and has great handling.

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    I'd still have Read as number one. Heaslip would actually be up there for me in terms of his performances since June, he has been outstanding to be fair. I like number 8's who can work in the wider channels and in the midfield as ball handlers, as well doing their core tight grunt roles. Picamoles and Vunipola for me are a little bit sluggish but obviously effective with great offloading. Faletau is kind of in the middle of the styles but with the added workload of covering for his tight five forwards for Wales! Parisse is a bit of an enigma in that everything revolves around him for Italy because of his rounded skillset, definitely up there but hard for me to rate.

    I wouldn't put Isa right at the top but he is certainly getting there and in the top 5 for me. It's pretty ridiculous how he didn't make the nominees for players of the year, he has been devastating in every game he's played this season.

    Mafi from Japan might be one to watch out for in the next few years.
    Last edited by welshglory; 04-12-16 at 06:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profitius View Post
    1, Picamoles
    2, Read
    3, Vunipola


    Picamoles is one of those players who would be higher rated if he played for any other top national side. He is very powerful, intelligent and has great handling.
    But Picamoles does have brain fart moments when he loses his discipline.

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    Number 8 is a position that really depends on other players to be good. Give me ball carrying flankers and locks and I want Read or Heaslip, a less abrasive pack will have me wanting Vunipola. They're the three best imo, two of the most intelligent players in the game and a pure freak.
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    Faletau is right up there for me. He has a way to go to hit his ceiling and is still really young. I hope Wales start to click properly and I think some of that will come with him hitting form again. Did I read that he was concussed against Sarries or was I drunk?
    Last edited by Ddanno; 04-12-16 at 01:58 PM.
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    I think he went off for a HIA, but that was just to check a different injury (eye, apparently).

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Alpha Bro View Post
    Number 8 is a position that really depends on other players to be good. Give me ball carrying flankers and locks and I want Read or Heaslip, a less abrasive pack will have me wanting Vunipola. They're the three best imo, two of the most intelligent players in the game and a pure freak.
    I think you are right. Based on most recent form I'd take heaslip or vunipola. But Read has the pedigree and I've always been a big fan of picamoles.

    And...I think faletau has the potential to play both battering ram and link man. I've not seen him recently but he is one of the few world class players in the welsh pack these days.

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    Best 3 in Order

    1 Faletau
    2 Picamoles
    3 read

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    Work rate, discipline, experience, leadership, vision, ball skills, carrying ability, lineout work and communication. He's almost got it all. (Not pace though , not anymore, he's not slow for sure but after 80+ caps he's getting on a bit)

    There's only one.

    Kieran Read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Jones Boy View Post
    Work rate, discipline, experience, leadership, vision, ball skills, carrying ability, lineout work and communication. He's almost got it all. (Not pace though , not anymore, he's not slow for sure but after 80+ caps he's getting on a bit)

    There's only one.

    Kieran Read.
    I agree that over the last few years Read has been by far and away the best 8 in the world, but as you said, he's getting in a bit. That combined with fatigue after a very long year means that, on current form, there are 8s playing better rugby. Read really didn't stand out this Autumn, and was, IMO, outshined by Heaslip, Picamoles and Vunipola (in the games he played). Isa's immense form in the RC meant that I don't think Read was the 8 playing best in that competition either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Jones Boy View Post
    Work rate, discipline, experience, leadership, vision, ball skills, carrying ability, lineout work and communication. He's almost got it all. (Not pace though , not anymore, he's not slow for sure but after 80+ caps he's getting on a bit)

    There's only one.

    Kieran Read.
    97 caps, in fact.
    Smarter than the average bear.

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    Dare I ask is Faletau a bit overrated. Like don't get me wrong he's a fabulous player but it's easier when your with a club who basically is a rest resort. I know it'll be tougher with Bath and that will be when he can cement his spot as the best 8 but like he hasn't had the strenuous work of the other guys.
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    Quote Originally Posted by munstermuffin View Post
    Dare I ask is Faletau a bit overrated. Like don't get me wrong he's a fabulous player but it's easier when your with a club who basically is a rest resort. I know it'll be tougher with Bath and that will be when he can cement his spot as the best 8 but like he hasn't had the strenuous work of the other guys.
    I disagree. If anything I think that Faletau is quite widely underrated. I think he's maybe the only 8 mentioned so far (maybe bar Read) that can perform the role of battering ram, link man as well as acting like an extra flanker, and all to the highest standard. He doesn't carry like Vunipola, offload like Read or work lie Heaslip, but unlike the others he can do all 3, which is why he's undoubtedly my Lions 8. Will never grab headlines like the others, but is none the less a world class player.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyBeastTeague View Post
    I disagree. If anything I think that Faletau is quite widely underrated. I think he's maybe the only 8 mentioned so far (maybe bar Read) that can perform the role of battering ram, link man as well as acting like an extra flanker, and all to the highest standard. He doesn't carry like Vunipola, offload like Read or work lie Heaslip, but unlike the others he can do all 3, which is why he's undoubtedly my Lions 8. Will never grab headlines like the others, but is none the less a world class player.
    Don't disagree with what your saying just more the lines his schedule is very kind which plays huge part. It's consistency when chips are down which is key
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigesige00 View Post
    The position name "Number Eight" must be changed; because it is strange--in the case of substitution, the player number of "Number Eight" is not 8.

    Suggestion of new names:

    Fly Forward
    Back Forward
    Central Forward
    Third Flanker
    Back Flanker
    Central Flanker
    Central Third-Row
    You do realise flanker means player who scrums down on each side of the scrum? So makes little sense to call a
    No.8 a central Flanker or third flanker when they don't pack down on the side of a scrum. They call him the no.8 because none of your suggested names really do justice to describing his position.

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