Home Rugby 2015-2016 Premiership: The Top Ten Of Everything – Part 1

2015-2016 Premiership: The Top Ten Of Everything – Part 1

Want to know who the best tacklers were in the Premiership last season? Interested in finding out the players who won the most lineouts or made the most offloads? Need a little hand for your fantasy rugby teams this season? Then look no further than Pundit Arena’s Top Ten Of Everything for last season!

Top Ten Tacklers

Mark Wilson (Newcastle)        230
Julian Salvi (Exeter)        229
Will Welch (Newcastle)        226
Donncha O’Callaghan (Worcester)    221
George Smith (Wasps)         218
Tommy Taylor (Sale)        214
Matt Kvesic (Gloucester)    214
Phil Dowson (Worcester)        213
Matt Symons (London Irish)    209
James Horwill (Harlequins)    196

It might be illuminating to you to see Newcastle and Worcester leading the way in the tackle count, suggesting those teams did more than their fair share of defending to keep themselves in the Premiership this year. Indeed, second row Matt Symons has recently signed for Wasps and shows he will be a valuable addition to their defensive line. Much-heralded by the fans, openside Matt Kvesic is down on the list at seventh, behind Wasps’ new hooker Tommy Taylor. Perhaps Dai Young is looking to compensate for the huge loss of talismanic number seven George Smith?

Finally, guess who is down in 16th position on the top tacklers list? Former Sale fly-half Danny Cipriani, the only five-eighth on the list.

Top Ten Carriers

Thomas Waldrom (Exeter)        327
Chris Pennell (Worcester)     260
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)        257
Mike Haley (Sale)        251
Jackson Wray (Saracens)        215
Alex Goode (Saracens)        200
Telusa Veainu (Leicester)     193
Phil Dollman (Exeter)         193
Phil Dowson (Worcester)     188
Mark Wilson (Newcastle)        184

It’s no real surprise to see Thomas The Tank at the top of the list given his importance to Exeter Chiefs’ attack and general gameplan, but it is interesting to see England outcast Chris Pennell making the list in second place. Could he be challenging Alex Goode for the extra England fullback berth later in the season? England Saxons cap Mike Haley might have something to say about that, who is down in fourth place.

The statistics seem to support Fijian-born Nathan Hughes’ inclusion in the latest EPS squad announcement. Similarly, Phil Dowson and Mark Wilson showcase their central roles for their clubs having appeared in both lists so far.

Top Ten Metres Made

Chris Pennell (Worcester)     1796
Alex Goode (Saracens)         1560
Telusa Veainu (Leicester)    1549
Mike Haley (Sale)        1544
Bryce Heem (Worcester)         1337
Will Addison (Sale)        1173
James Short (Exeter)        1169
Marland Yarde (Harlequins)     1104
Peter Betham (Exeter)        1077
Phil Dollman (Exeter)        1056

Pennell leads the chart for most metres made in the Premiership, can he do it again this season? There are two other English fullbacks in the top five in Goode and Haley once more. Marland Yarde, who started England’s first test against Australia in the summer, makes the top ten.

Top Ten Lineout Winners

Jamie Gibson (Northampton)     112
Sean Robinson (Newcastle)     93
Bryn Evans (Sale)        87
Geoff Parling (Exeter)        84
Tom Croft (Leicester)        83
James Horwill (Harlequins)    77
Don Armand (Exeter)        76
Kearnan Myall (Wasps)         70
Jeremy Thrush (Gloucester)    70
Graham Kitchener (Leicester)    67

Northampton’s Jamie Gibson shows his value to the club here as he was the clear leader of the pack in terms of lineout wins. Similarly, World Cup squad member Geoff Parling has proven himself to be a useful signing for his new club Exeter Chiefs in terms of his ability at the lineout, and the likes of James Horwill and Jeremy Thrush have provided an extra dimension to their clubs at the set-piece.

Keep an eye on young Sean Robinson – the 25 year old English second row signed a new three year contract with Newcastle last season and has been quietly going about his business for the Falcons.

Top Ten Defenders Beaten

Telusa Veainu (Leicester)     75
Jack Nowell (Exeter)        68
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath)    68
Will Addison (Sale)        64
Marland Yarde (Harlequins)     57
Alex Goode (Saracens)        56
Bryce Heem (Worcester)        54
James Short (Exeter)        54
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)        53
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter)        49

Tonga international Telusa Veainu leads the way in terms of beating defenders, but those who disparage England winger Jack Nowell on a regular basis but be interested to see him in second place. In fact this list is packed full of English talent, highlighting the good work of the clubs’ academies in recent years.

Top Ten Offloaders

Nathan Hughes (Wasps)        27
Bryce Heem (Worcester)        24
Nick Easter (Harlequins)    23
Ben Foden (Northampton)     23
George Smith (Wasps)        21
Mathew Luamanu (Harlequins)    21
Sam James (Sale)        21
Gareth Steenson (Exeter)    20
Will Addison (Sale)        19
Schalk Brits (Saracens)        19
Will Chudley (Exeter)        19

Bryce Heem has certainly proved himself to be a worthwhile signing for the Warriors, making three of the lists so far. In terms of attacking ability he has been an asset and he finishes just behind Nathan Hughes in the list. Harlequins will miss Nick ‘Minty’ Easter who announced his recent a few weeks back, but keep an eye out on a number of players here to make the list for the end of the coming season.

Stay tuned for part 2 where we’ll look at the top ten turnover kings, top ten kickers and more.

Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena

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