As the countdown clock to Rugby World Cup 2023 officially begins, it’s time to start looking at potential players to watch out for. With the competition heating up and teams all over the world striving for gold, this is sure to be an exciting tournament. So who are the top five players that will have a major impact on the field? We’ve put together a list of some of the best players who will be vying for success in Japan. Read on as we break down their backgrounds, skills and what makes them stand out from the rest.
Jonny Wilkinson (England)
Jonny Wilkinson is one of England’s all-time greats. He was a key member of the 2003 World Cup-winning team, and his last-minute drop goal in the final is one of the most iconic moments in rugby history.
Wilkinson has since retired from international rugby, but he remains a key player for English club side Toulon. He is a master of goalkicking and his tactical kicking is often decisive in tight games.
Wilkinson will be 39 years old by the time the Rugby World Cup comes around, but he remains a key player for Toulon and will be a key figure if England are to make a serious challenge for the title.
Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
Richie McCaw is one of the most experienced and successful rugby players of all time. He has captained the New Zealand national team, the All Blacks, for over a decade and has led them to victory in two Rugby World Cups. McCaw is a master of the breakdown and is widely considered to be one of the greatest ever openside flankers. He will be looking to lead the All Blacks to a third consecutive Rugby World Cup title in 2019.
Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
A natural leader, Brian O’Driscoll has been an inspirational figure for both Ireland and the British & Irish Lions. He made his international debut against Australia in 1999, and went on to become Ireland’s youngest ever captain at the age of 22. He led his country to a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2009, and was also part of the team that won the Triple Crown in 2006 and 2007. A world-class centre, O’Driscoll is a dangerous attacker with a superb sidestep, and is also a solid defender. He was named World Rugby Player of the Year in 2006, and was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2013.
Dan Carter (New Zealand)
Dan Carter is one of the most experienced and successful rugby union players of all time. He has played in 3 Rugby World Cups, winning 2 of them. He is also a 2-time Rugby World Cup Golden Boot winner, and was named the World Rugby Player of the Year in 2005 and 2012.
Carter is widely considered to be one of the greatest first-five eighth ever to play the game. He is known for his superb tactical kicking, game management and running ability. His attacking prowess has seen him score over 1,600 points in Test matches, making him New Zealand’s all-time leading scorer.
Carter will be looking to add to his legacy in this year’s Rugby World Cup. At 36 years old, he is one of the older members of the New Zealand squad, but he remains an integral part of their team. All eyes will be on Carter as he looks to lead the All Blacks to another Rugby World Cup victory.
Jason Robinson (England)
Jason Robinson is one of the most experienced and successful players in world rugby. He has played in three Rugby World Cups, and was part of the England team that won the tournament in 2003.
Robinson is a versatile player who can play either as a fullback or on the wing. He is known for his speed and agility, and is considered one of the best attacking players in the game.
Robinson will be key to England’s chances of success in this year’s World Cup. He is a experienced leader who has the ability to change a game with his individual brilliance. If England are to have any chance of winning the tournament, they will need Robinson to be at his best.