Wednesday 29 March 2017

Rated - The best performing No 8s from this year’s Six Nations

Daniel James

The battle of the Numbers 8’s has been another intriguing battle in this season’s Six Nations and here is the players have rated.

Damien Chouly: 6/10

The Clermont man had big shoes to fill in Louis Picamoles’ absence. He’s a big ball carrier who is quite consistent in defence, but perhaps not as destructive as Picamoles with ball in hand. Came off injured in his team’s defeat to Wales last week.

Ryan Wilson: 7/10

The Scottish backrower stepped in ahead of David Denton due to injury for the Italy match and didn’t disappoint. The Glaswegian played his part in the Scottish victory in Rome, with solid defence and good attack.

Taulupe Faletau: 8/10

He has been immense for Wales as always. His work rate is phenomenal and  always gives his team go-forward ball.

Jamie Heaslip: 7/10

The Leinster captain hasn’t been under the spotlight this year in Ireland’s back row mainly due to the arrival of new boys CJ Stander and Josh van der Flier. As ever, gets on with business in an understated manner and a key defensive lynchpin.

Sergio Parisse: 8/10

Does this man ever have a bad game? It feels like the inspirational Italian back rower has been around forever, but the 32-year-old still plays with a fierce energy. In a team so often on the back foot, still manages to shine.

Billy Vunipola: 9/10

The best number 8 in the tournament so far. His performance against Ireland was faultless, as he made more meters in the first half than the entire Irish team combined. The 125 kilo powerhouse is a nightmare for any defence.

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