RUCK gives you the lowdown on the best Tier Two players who would flourish for almost any side in the world.
1. Nemani Nadolo (Fiji)
Nemani Nadolo is a giant winger blessed with blistering pace who has, unsurprisingly, drawn favourable comparisons with the legendary Jonah Lomu. Standing 6ft 5ins and weighing in at 19st 5lbs, the Fijian is an incredible physical specimen who always stood out from his peers.
2. Mamuka Gorgodze (Georgia)
The imposing loose forward is nicknamed “Godzilla”, and that sums him up. The combative Gorgodze proved to be a brute during the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups. He was also named in Sir Clive Woodward’s world XV following the 2016 summer Tests.
3. DTH van der Merwe (Canada)
The influential winger became only the second player in Rugby World Cup history to score a try in every pool match in 2015, the first being Wales’s Shane Williams in 2007. His effort against Italy, that included not only a scintillating break but also expert support play from the Scarlets man, showed he is world-class.
4. Niki Goneva (Fiji)
The powerhouse speedster has proved to be a dynamic force in the Premiership for Leicester and Newcastle in the centre or on the wing. He combines skill with power and looks like he could fo something special everytime he gets the ball.
5.Ayumu Goromaru (Japan)
The fullback with the distinctive kicking style is the highest paid rugby player in the world. Little known outside of his homeland before 2015, his metronomic boot helped guide Japan to three Pool B wins and won him a major payday at Toulon.
6. Telusa Veainu (Tonga)
Since he committed to Tonga, his talent has shone through as a hugely exciting attacking threat from the back three with a superb ability to beat defenders. Has been one of the signings in recent years for Leicester, quickly becoming a popular fan favourite.
7. Jack Lam (Samoa)
One of Samoa’s best players since making his debut in 2013, an all round player who is a menace at the breakdown, but also is a highly explosive and quick player with the ball in hand.
8. Amanaki Mafi (Japan)
9. Leone Nakarawa (Fiji)
The giant second row was a constant presence around the park for Fiji during the 2015 Rugby World Cup, playing all 320 minutes of a campaign that saw his country pitched against three Tier One nations. His excellent displays earned him a move to Racing 92, playing alongside the likes of Dan Carter.
10. Michael Leitch (Japan)
Led Japan to their greatest World Cup campaign and established himself as one his country’s best ever players. A hard working player with a strong engine, Leitch made more carries over the gainline than any other during the pool stage of the World Cup, as well as hitting his fair share of rucks and tackles.