Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by TRF Mr Fish, Apr 13, 2014.
Not many more to go now!
I'm goin for the big O.
Straight toss up between McCaw and Hooper for me, depending on what kind of game you're expecting them to play. Hooper is obviously better over the ball and has a great turn of pace, whereas McCaw plays more of a blindside role now than he used to but still grabs a few steals, and of course he's a brilliant leader.
Richie McCaw hands down isn't Dusautoir a blindside ?
6 and 7 are swapped in France and South Africa (it's bit more intricate than that I believe, but the core duties of an openside are performed by the six etc.).
Close, French clubs sometimes do left and right flankers.
Well Dusau's been out too long anyways. He couldn't possibly win this right now. Let's see what the old veteran's got when he returns to form, perhaps in a couple of months Down Undah.
King Richie. He may not be as sharp as he once was but he still has a lot of presence. You know he will compete at the break down and tackle tirelessly.. Hooper is flashy and is good over the ball but not hardy enough for me. If it was for an all round back row player I'd have O'Brien but it's a pity he's not a thoroughbred 7.
From this shower of sh*te I've gone for Louw.
McCaw I no longer see as the go-to option here. Presence and leadership only counts for so much when you are not the actual best player in the position IMO. Pocock and Brussow are also no-shows for not having played any rugby since what seems like forever.
So my shortlist includes Hooper, SOB, Louw and Cane (who isn't here).
Agree entirely with this. I'm surprised McCaw is getting so much love. He is still a good player, but he has hardly been outstanding in my opinion. I'm sure he will still be picked for the AB's this season because of his vast experience and leadership skills, but based purely on performance there are 2-3 other NZ 7's who have been playing better rugby than him over the last season or 2 (Braid, Todd & Cane). Indeed McCaw's injury has been a bit of a blessing of the Crusaders, as it has allowed Todd to start at 7 every week...
Pocock when fit is the premier 7 in world rugby for me, but he hasn't been fit for years. My vote was for Hooper, but I have a lot of time for O'Brien, and I like Tipuric too (though he struggles to get starts for Wales).
McCaw will probably be picked for the ABs because I think the casual fan will probably go berserk if he weren't included and I do believe he still has a lot to give even if he isn't the player he was 2 seasons ago but I don't think the ABs need him AT ALL; you have ready made replacements in Cane and Todd like you mentioned and the leadership mantel can seamlessly be transfered to Read all while there are players all about the team who can act as the 'extended leadership core'.
Time will tell though. As a Springbok supporter the references I use are Smit holding up Du Plessis being a massive failure while we needed the edge Bismarck could bring but then again guys like Habana and JdV were seen as being off the pace but came good again under HM at test level.
British Irish Lions
Worthy of mention but not worthy of any votes as far as I can see. He's not bad but he doesn't offer anything extra for England, just hard graft start to finish.
Went with SOB because just before his injury he was unstoppable, but equally valid cases can be made a number of other players, just not McCaw
Is Fernandez-Lobbe a 7 or 8 ? Because I would vote for him here.
He can play both, but I usually see him at #8 for the Pumas at least, though he's gone to #6 for a bit due to Leguizamon at 8.
...Sorry, but how is O'brien so high up here? He's a 6/7/8 not a true openside. Might as well shove Ryan Jones into the mix. Pocock is the best over the ball, but if you're looking for all out skill it's between McCaww and Tipuric. McCaww would obviously win currently, as Tipuric doesn't get to play for Wales, and is still too frail imo.
There were stats floating around here https://www.google.co.nz/#q=tracey+neilson+stats+on+richie+mccaw which show that most games McCaw played a significant chunk of last year he led the stats for the AB's.
While this doesn't show him up against opposition players it does show that his work rate and execution is still at a world class level.
At the moment, the best openside flanker is Michael Hooper
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