Sport Rugby

Monday 15 July 2019

Tadhg Furlong makes top 10 in world's best player list

Tadhg Furlong. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Tadhg Furlong. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

PA Sport

Alun Wyn Jones has been named the world's best player by Rugby World magazine.

The 33-year-old Wales captain and second-row forward has topped a list of 100 of the world's current leading players compiled and voted for by Rugby World's expert panel.

New Zealand fly-half Beauden Barrett and England prop Mako Vunipola were placed second and third respectively.

The panel included Fiji's Olympic gold medal-winning sevens coach Ben Ryan, Wasps Ladies director of rugby Giselle Mather, broadcaster Ross Harries and Kiwi writer Liam Napier as well as the magazine's editorial team.

On their choice of Jones as number one, Ryan said: "He's like superglue for any team he plays for - unbreakable in the toughest of moments - and that simultaneously elevates those around him too.

"He leads from the front with the highest level of guile, intellect and bravery that is a rarity even among the greats."

Jones guided Wales to a Six Nations grand slam earlier this year, while there has been speculation over his future with Guinness Pro14 side Ospreys with whom he has yet to sign a new contract.

England fly-half Owen Farrell topped Rugby World's last list, compiled in January 2018, but is ranked sixth this time.

Pauline Bourdon, the France scrum-half, is the highest-ranked women's player in the top 100 at 11th.

New Zealand have the highest representation of players on the list, with 21, followed by England (17), South Africa (12) and Wales (10). There are also nine Irish players and five Scots.

The top 10 is: Alun Wyn Jones, Beauden Barrett, Mako Vunipola, Brodie Retallick, Liam Williams, Owen Farrell, Ben Smith, Finn Russell, Viliame Mata, Tadhg Furlong.

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