6 Best Second-Rows In The World Have Been Named And Ranked - Ruck

6 Best Second-Rows In The World Have Been Named And Ranked

RUCK followed have been voting to rank the best second-rows in the world for 2022 – with two England stars making the top six.

Forwards in the modern game have to be able to perform all the game’s open skills alongside their tight role requirements. The execution of these skills is dependent upon an early decision being made, often under extreme pressure.

The second row is no exception to this; a number of specific key functions need to be performed under pressure, when fatigued and as effectively in the eighty sixth minute (as games last for this period of time these days) as in the first.

  1. Has the ability to win own line-out ball.
  2. Has the ability to win opposition line-out ball.
  3. Adopts the correct body position to generate maximum push in scrums.
  4. Has the ability to win ball at restarts by being able to jump and catch it abovethe head.
  5. Has effective individual tackling techniques.
  6. Has effective team defence techniques.
  7. Understands loose play, i.e. when to go to a ruck, or when to be a runner.
  8. Is a creative strike runner, who has power, creativity and strike potential.
  9. Is comfortable with ball in hand and can catch and pass with either hand.
  10. Is able to deliver quick ball in contact.
  11. Has a physical presence at the contact area.
  12. Is mentally tough and competes and trains at 95-100% of ability at all times.
  13. Has world-class fitness standards.
  14. Has a ruthless edge in the pursuit of winning.

Here then, is RUCK’s followers top six list of the best second-rows in world rugby:

Honourable Mentions:

  • Alun Wyn Jones (Wales): The most-capped player in the history of test rugby, he continues to make his mark on the international scene at the age of 36. 
  • Lood de Jaeger (South Africa)
  • Paul Willemse (France)
  • Tomas Lavinini (Argentina)

Best Second-Rows In The World:

#6. Will Skelton (Australia)

Age: 29
Test caps: 19
Nation: Australia
Club: La Rochelle

Regarded as one of the finest locks in European club rugby, the Wallabies were desperate to have the giant second rower back in their ranks to bolster a positional group in which they have lacked quality in recent times. A proper baller.

Will Skelton of Saracens during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground, Bath, Somerset, England on 29 November – PHOTO: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

#5. Courtney Lawes (England)

Age: 33
Test caps: 96
Nation: England
Club: Northampton Saints

Courtney Lawes, Captain of England celebrates after winning during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Tonga at Twickenham Stoop on 6 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Courtney Lawes Facts:

  1. Lawes was born on 23 February 1989 in Hackney, London, but grew up in the Northampton area
  2. He has featured for England in 11 successive Six Nations campaigns
  3. Lawes didn’t receive an email checking his availability for the British & Irish Lions 2021 tour because it was sent to an old email address
  4. The second-row and wife Jessica have four children – Nell, Teddy, and twin boys Otto and Hugo
  5. Lawes played an integral part in Saints securing both the Premiership and European Rugby Challenge Cup titles in 2014