5 players we wish were playing in the RWC quarter-finals
Rugby World Cup quarter-finals will be settled this Saturday and Sunday
Matches are: South Africa v Wales, Australia v Scotland, New Zealand v France and Ireland v Argentina
Canada, England, Italy, Japan, Namibia and a lot more already out of competition
These are the five players we would have loved to take to the field this weekend
As the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals are settled this weekend, players from the likes of England, Italy and Japan will watch on from afar after being eliminated at the Pool stage.
Here is a list of five players who won’t be taking part, however, we think they could have perhaps lighted up the first knockout round.
Comment below who else your disappointed won’t be playing in the final eight.
DTH van der Merwe (Canada)
South African-born van der Merwe became the first player from a tier two country to score a try in all four pool games, which included clashes with France, Italy, Ireland as well as Romania.
The winger, who had played at the 2007 and 2011 instalments of the competition, was the shining light of Canada’s winless campaign with his remarkable performances.
The scintillating Scarlets speedster, who is the all-time top try scorer of his former club Glasgow Warriors, has insane pace and an uncanny ability to glide through defenders before diving over the whitewash.
Overall, this potent attacking player could have easily been the star of the show if his country could have reached the final eight.
Mike Brown (England)
Perhaps the best fullback in world rugby at the moment, Brown huffed and puffed but couldn’t quite get England through to the knockout rounds.
His scores in the hosts opening match against Fiji got him off to an ideal start. Even when Lancaster’s men stumbled to disappointing defeats against Australia and Wales, the fullback remained one of the men in whites standout performers.
It’s hard to argue many of the England starting XV deserved to play in the quarter-finals, but many would agree that 30-year-old Brown warranted that opportunity to demonstrate his skills. It’s really frustrating we won’t see him again during the tournament.
Sergio Parisse (Italy)
Albeit the Azzurri’s talismanic Captain didn’t play as much as he would have wanted at the RWC this year, but the majority of people adore watching Italy’s box office number eight go to work.
The Stade Francais tackling machine is one of the true greats of Italian rugby, and it would have been great to see him play in a World Cup quarter-final; nevertheless, it wasn’t to be.
Ayumu Goromaru (Japan)
Japan became the first nation ever to win three Pool games and not advance, however, they still established themselves on the world rugby stage and a lot of that came down to their impeccable goal-kicking fullback Goromaru, who became the nation’s all-time top-scorer during the competition.
The Brave Blossoms silky running back enjoyed a 24 point haul against two-time World Champion’s South Africa during their dramatic upset, which will surely make him a legend in Japanese rugby.
It’s actually depressing he won’t get the opportunity to achieve even more than what he has already in what has been a fantastic tournament for him and his country.
Jacques Burger (Namibia)
Although his tournament ended one game early due to a concussion, the Saracens flanker has been one of the most enjoyable players to watch during the RWC due to his willingness to literally run through brick walls for his country.
His natural leadership qualities coupled with his tough tackling style made him the central pillar of a Namibia side that has improved significantly over the last decade. They even picked up their first ever RWC point as they lost narrowly 17-16 to Georgia.
Despite Namibia never having a chance of reaching the final eight we can only start to imagine the sort of performance Burger could have put in on this stage. We guess a memorable one.