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Who Are The Best Number Eights In The World?

After Billy Vunipola’s mammoth performance against Scotland, where Eddie Jones claimed he had the potential to become one of the worlds great number eights. If he’s to live up to this he’ll have to overtake to many of the greatest number eights rugby has ever seen.

Kieran Reid

New Zealand All Blacks Training Session

Reid won player of the year back in 2012 and has carried on for performing for the mighty All Blacks, helping them in the defence of the Rugby World Cup. His performances have been very tired with the New Zealand captaincy given by Steve Hansen. Reid boasts 20 tries at international level while also often topping the tackle stats.

His intelligence and handling have put him up there as one of the best eights in the world.

Sergio Parisse

France v Italy - RBS Six Nations

Though his drop-kicking skills may not be world-class, his performance in the back row is not matched by many and he is the pillar of Italian rugby. The greatest ever Italian rugby player is the go to guy in that team as well as at Stade Francais. Parisse constantly carries more than any other player in his team and is also a master of the set piece.

The Italian captain is the heartbeat of any side he’s in and is therefore one of the best in the world.

Duane Vermuelen

2015-08-26 15_26_07-Duane Vermeulen on RWC 2015 - YouTube

The South African number eight showcased his talent in the 2015 World Cup with his hard hits as well as that audacious off load to Du Preez, to set up a semi final versus New Zealand. The Toulon back-rower was South Africa’s star in the World Cup thanks to his physique as well as possessing the softest of hands.

Though his European career hasn’t taken off yet, be sure he will guide his team to many champions cups.

Toby Faletau

Wales v Scotland - RBS Six Nations

Arguably Wales greatest number eight barring Scott Quinnell, Faletau has breakdown skills as well as a great running game. Wales’ irreplaceable man has racked up over 50 caps while still only 25, showing how much he’s worth to his Welsh teammates. The Bath bound number eight is great in the line out and is devastating in the attack post scrum.

Eddie Jones may think Vunipola might be the best in the world, but while Faletau’s around Vunipola might not even be the best in the family due to his cousin’s performance.

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Author: The PA Team

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