With the World Cup scheduled to take place in Japan in September and October of this year, rugby fans have begun to look towards the future and speculate about which players will be dominating the field in 2022. The next World Cup promises to be just as exciting as the last one, but it will be even more exciting if you can watch your favorite player duke it out on the field against some of his biggest rivals. Here are 10 of the best players to watch out for in 2022’s World Cup.
1. Cheslin Kolbe
Mr. Cheslin Kolbe, a Dupont partner in Toulouse, France, will not be able to showcase his talents due to a coronavirus infection, per coronavirus.
Nonetheless, Kolbe could miss out on Springboks games for a whole year and still be considered one of the best rugby players around. He scored the Springboks’ winning try in the Rugby World Cup final and was important in getting them to the top of the global rankings.
Kolbe is the king of angled dribbling moves. At 27, he is quick and can turn a man any way he likes in any situation.
His athletic moves on the pitch, particularly with his feet, put him at the forefront of the exciting world of rugby right now.
2. Antoine Dupont
With Antonie Dupont leading the scrum and spurring a French comeback during the 2020 Six Nations & Autumn Nations Championship, only a Smith of his equal can equal his legacy. Dupont is only 23 years old, yet his presence on the field for both France and on the club level in the two main competitions that happened this year is undeniable.
In 2019, Antoine was bestowed the honour of Top 14 player with Toulouse and the Award for Player of the Six Nations. Dupont is without a doubt unmatched in his ability to pick locks. With a clear gap in the opposing player’s positioning, he skates towards the hole and tries to use a change in possession to steal the ball.
In 2 years, France will host the Rugby World Cup, and Dupont will be a key member of the French squad. If he continues to play at the same level he’s been at, Toulouse may well have their year.
3. Semi Radradra
Semi Radradra, a player not far from his next attempt, has become a phenomenon since joining Bristol Bears a year ago.
The Australian former rugby league player was previously one of the best players in the world at Parramatta when he played for Toulon and Bordeaux.
Fijian Radradra is often prepared to receive the ball and attack, and he is excellent at timing his movements and catching corner kicks. There are many league players who transition to the union, but few have enjoyed as much success as Radradra in recent history.
As a result of his presence in England, the Premiership has become more exciting at a time when Coronavirus has ravaged teams up and down the pyramid.
4. Aaron Smith
This 32-year-old, who appears youthful despite his age, does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Scrum-half Smith is undoubtedly New Zealand’s most strategic player, knowing when to shoot or attack better than anyone else. The scrum-half is expected to reach 100 caps for them in 2021.
In addition, Smith needs to motivate the club team to compete for the home title this year after finishing a strong second place in 2020. On the other hand, Smith is one of the most reliable scrum-halves in the game with a keen eye and a calm demeanor.
5. Pieter-Steph Du Toit
Pieter-Steph Du Toit, World Player of the Year in 2019, is a mainstay of South African rugby, earning accolades with his performance in the pack and at the breakdown. His fifth position among the top 10 rugby players in 2022, being African.
Du Toit can be sent in to clear a ruck and continue to exert his dominance in his other facets of the game.
Out of the entire Springboks team in their victorious 2019 Rugby Championship campaign, only his interceptions surpassed everyone else’s. And when the Lions come to South Africa in the summer of 2021, he will no doubt be a key player.
6. Jonah Lomu
Jonah Lomu, a former Rugby League Union player, is considered the first celebrity-wide rugby player and during his tenure, he was also regarded as the best advertising card of Rugby Union. From 1994 to 2002, he gained 63 caps and 185 points for the New Zealand All Blacks.
In 2007, he was inducted into the Professional Rugby Hall of Fame, and in 2011, he was nominated into the IRB Hall of Fame. However, Lomu’s playing career was cut short by a kidney disease, and he died on November 18, 2015, in Auckland, New Zealand, following a heart attack caused by the kidney disease.
7. Jonny Wilkinson
Wilkinson’s resume includes being with Newcastle Falcons and Toulon and playing for England and the British and Irish Lions. The Englishman has played 91 times for his country and won 61 of those games while he was on the field.
In addition to being the only player to participate in two Rugby World Cup Finals, Wilkinson holds the record for the most points scored in a Rugby World Cup match and made the last-minute drop goal which clinched the final against Australia in 2003.
In attack, in defense, and on kick-offs, Johnny was undeniably number 10. But one of his weaknesses was his susceptibility to injury.
8. Pablo Matera
A year before, the Argentine player suffered a backlash for racist remarks he made on Facebook. Then he was reactivated late in the year.
Even though debate about such messaging continues, Pablo Matera has nonetheless become one of the most skilled rugby players in the world.
Earlier this year, the 27-year-old flanker led Argentina to a 25-15 victory over the All Blacks. Now, he will lead Stade Francais to victory once the Top 14 begins.
9. George North
George North, a performer who can be hot or cold, is still the best fast winger in an era that is afflicted with injury problems. When he is at full speed, nobody can ever stop the 28-year-old, who won his debut Welsh cap in 2010.
Over the course of two previous tours, North, a British & Irish Lion, will show everyone this year that he deserves all the accolades coming his way. There will be off days, of course, but very few players can keep up with him whenever he’s at his best. He scored 9th on the list of top 10 rugby players in 2022.
10. Owen Farrell
While England supporters initially objected to Owen Farrell playing fly-half, the Saracens star has become a central focus for their respective teams.
Since Jonny Wilkinson became England’s penalty striker, Farrell has become an equally consistent spot kicker, and at 29 he is now at the top of his professional game. With Farrell at the helm, England has had a great Autumn Nations Cup campaign. With a chance to play for Saracens next season, the Wigan boy is certain to be a member of the Lions squad at the end of this season.