WORLD XV: Read, Parisse, Vunipola? Who is the world’s best Number 8?

Next, in our World XV poll series is the number 8 with us once again giving you a six-man shortlist.
Number 8 is one of the most important positions on the field tactically, as the players who feature there are often the link between the forwards and the backs, and are used as a team’s ball carrier when go-forward is needed.
It is arguably the strongest position in world rugby at this moment in time, so who is the best?
You can skip to the poll HERE or scroll through the contenders before making an informed decision.
Here are our nominees:
1. Sergio Parisse – Italy

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Widely recognised as the finest No.8 to play the game in the two decades, you just couldn’t have a debate about a best number 8 in the world list without a nod towards the Italian talisman. Parisse turns 34 in September, but remains an irrepressible force with his one-handed off-loads a thing of beauty.

Standing 6ft 5ins and weighing 17st 5lbs, the Italian powerhouse is a majestic figure, big and strong, with the brute force to make holes in any defence.

But he also has hands to die for and outstanding footballing skills. A few years back would easily be top of the pile but now has a number of credible competitors…