While some players have exceeded expectations, some have failed to live up to the billing. Here are five Rugby World Cup heroes who have underperformed during the 2019 showpiece in Japan so far…
1. Owen Farrell (England)
Eddie Jones’ star man hasn’t really had a chance to showcase his best yet, starting at centre in the opening match against Tonga before playing that position once again as a replacement against the USA. In those two games, he’s missed a combined six tackles. Much more comfortable at fly-half, England fans will be hoping to see the best of him against Argentina this Saturday.
2. Greig Laidlaw (Scotland)
Gregor Townsend clearly favours the experience of Laidlaw for big games, but his lack of a break and the unhurried nature of his service didn’t offer Scotland much scope in their attack against Ireland. His box kicking was okay, but they will need much from him if they are even to escape the pool.
3. CJ Stander (Ireland)
Did very little with the ball in hand against Scotland and Japan when he should have been a bulldozing influence for the Irish. He’s lacked any real influence on proceedings and will need to be better if Ireland has any hopes of reaching a first-ever Rugby World Cup semi-final.
Biggest concern is CJ Stander remains brainless and with Conan injured he’s the only option at #8 moving forward.— Cian (@Cianaf) September 28, 2019