"Such a waste" - Zach Mercer linked with sensational transfer after England rejection - Ruck

“Such a waste” – Zach Mercer linked with sensational transfer after England rejection

Gloucester’s statement signing from Montpellier, No. 8 Zach Mercer, is already considering his future at Kingsholm. After just joining the Cherry & Whites at the start of the season, he’s now on the radar of several Top 14 clubs for a possible return next season.

According to Midi Olympique, Racing 92, Toulon, and his former club Montpellier are eyeing the 26-year-old talent.

This buzz comes after Mercer missed out on the England A squad for their clash against Portugal. It’s a bit of a surprise considering his caliber, especially since he returned to Gloucester with hopes of making it to England’s World Cup squad.

However, he wasn’t included in Steve Borthwick’s initial 41-player training squad, and his absence continued through the Guinness Six Nations. His exclusion from the England A squad adds salt to the wound.

Mercer hasn’t shied away from expressing his disappointment. He’s been vocal about feeling his playing style sets him apart from other No. 8s in England and worldwide.

Borthwick, explaining Mercer’s omission, mentioned they’ve had conversations about areas of improvement since Mercer’s return from injury. He said, “Zach and I had a conversation last week. We’ve had a number of conversations over the last couple of weeks with Zach since he’s come back from injury. We’ve highlighted areas where players have done well and the areas where they bring a point of difference and areas where we want them to develop them and add to their game. That’s the same conversation I had with Zach. It’s a competitive arena.”

He added, “When I’m talking to a player, I’m basing it in objectivity. I’m basing it on targets for them to go after, and then we can shape a shared understanding of what we’re seeing. Granted, sometimes as a coach you want something specific in a team, I’m always looking at all the coaches and all the players that are able to provide that.”

Gavin Henson has been voted the biggest waste of talent in rugby history

Talent alone will not guarantee a fulfilled rugby playing career. Combining that talent with mental fortitude is imperative.

Many have lacked that trait and for all the talent they had, their careers never reached the astronomical heights of super stardom or even rugby immortality as some had envisioned.

Others had their promising careers cut short by unforeseeable circumstances.

Here are the 5 most wasted talents in world rugby history.

#5. Rupeni Caucaunibuca – Fiji

The Fijian wing possessed magical skills that allowed him to score incredible tries effortlessly, but he struggled to adapt to life outside his Pacific island paradise. Despite his imposing size, comparable to a prop, he was lightning-fast with a 100m time of 10.4 seconds and possessed the agility of a tightrope walker.

He could bulldoze his way through defenders, outrun them with incredible speed, or delicately tiptoe along the touchline.

Caucau’s exceptional talent earned him a spot in any all-time Super Rugby top ten tries compilation. During his heyday with the Auckland Blues, even renowned players such as Doug Howlett, Mils Muliaina, and Carlos Spencer played second fiddle to him.

However, Caucau was not without his flaws, sometimes displaying ill-discipline and disorganization. He did not prioritize training, lost his passport more than once, and frequently let down both his club and his country.