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The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #1 Loose head Prop

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geoff999rugby
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Who gets your vote as the best loose head?

The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #1 Loose head Prop Vote_lcap39%The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #1 Loose head Prop Vote_rcap 39% 
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The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #1 Loose head Prop Vote_lcap44%The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #1 Loose head Prop Vote_rcap 44% 
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The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #1 Loose head Prop Vote_lcap17%The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #1 Loose head Prop Vote_rcap 17% 
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Total Votes : 18
 
 
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The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #1 Loose head Prop Empty The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #1 Loose head Prop

Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 08 Dec 2021, 11:06 am

I seem to recall a good poster called Pete defining his best players in the world in each position at the end of every year and I thought I'd try and bring it back somewhat.

So, a little caveat....I've not watched as much rugby as I would have liked this year so I may be a bit off in some of my suggestions....I'm sure we can have a nice sensible discussion though, as we always do! I also may a have a slight English bias, go easy on me Welshies.

The criteria:

I'm selecting world class players......when I say world class, you have to be in the top 3 in your position. I'll possibly look to do 5 for locks/wingers due to different styles and sides.

#1 - Loose Head Prop

Prop has been a bit short of quality operators for a few years but we seem to be getting some genuine quality operators coming through again. Firstly, I like my front row to do the basics well. The props have got to be able to scrum and everything after that is a bonus. Here are my top 3:

Steven Kitshoff

Yes, I know he's ginger and he has no soul.....but this guy is the real deal. I first spotted him as a 19/20yo playing Currie Cup rugby I think and then shortly after Super Rugby for the Stormers. It's quite odd to see a young prop being so solid in the set piece but he gave a lot of older tight heads some real issues even at that age. These last few years, he's arguably become the premier scrummaging loosie in the game. Mix that in with some strong carrying and dominant physicality, you've got the perfect prop for me.....just such a shame he's ginger.

Joe Marler

I can see this one annoying a few, but he's such a class act. It's a shame he wasn't considered for the Lions as I think him and Furlong up front may have been able to hold off the SA's somewhat. Anyway....yes, he's very much an odd ball and his constant dipping in and out of international rugby is quite annoying...but, he's quality. A real force in the scrum, he's also added a outstanding defensive side to his game which is up there with the very best.

Ox Nché

The first time this guy registered with me was when he did a 70m break in a Super rugby game, out gassing backs in the process. Fast forward a few years and he's a key part of a formidable SA scrummaging unit. Able to mix it in the loose as well as the tight, he's only going to better in the coming years at the tender age of 26.

Notable mentions.......Wyn Jones, Andrew Porter, Cyril Baille, Joe Moody.


Last edited by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 08 Dec 2021, 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 08 Dec 2021, 11:21 am

Not one Welsh player. Stone him Wink

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Post by Old Man Wed 08 Dec 2021, 11:30 am

Ox Nche has really impressed me this year, finding a replacement for Beast was something that was going to be a real challenge for Nienaber.

Ox has developed a hell of a lot this year and his scrummaging has surprised me. Always knew in general play he was class.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 08 Dec 2021, 11:32 am

Happy enough with those choices. No LH seems to be dominant at the minute and Marler/Kitshoff have been very good for a good while.

Nche is probably more in the chasing pack and to me is more of a preference. Would maybe push Baille ahead of him as SA locks are so much better than anyone else at the minute (and are giants in the scrum) and SA has two excellent TH's to work with that takes away some of the pressure. Wyn Jones may have a similar argument. Bell and Sutherland are also there or thereabouts in the layer of good not great LH's.

Porter is arguably the best overall prop considering I view him as a TH!

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Post by The Oracle Wed 08 Dec 2021, 11:54 am

Wyn Jones has really taken a nosedive since the last 6N. Injury during the Lions tour hasn’t helped.
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Post by Oakdene Wed 08 Dec 2021, 1:09 pm

You say he has nose dived but he has had next to little rugby, he couldn't play for the Scarlets before the AI's then when he did play he was told he wasn't match fit!!

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Post by The Oracle Wed 08 Dec 2021, 1:12 pm

Are you saying he's one of the top 3 looseheads in the world?! (i.e. the topic of the thread). He's not, for me. But when he was on form he was very good.
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Post by chris_501 Wed 08 Dec 2021, 1:35 pm

The Oracle wrote:Are you saying he's one of the top 3 looseheads in the world?!  (i.e. the topic of the thread).  He's not, for me.  But when he was on form he was very good.

I think in the calendar year of 2021 he's right up there for discussion. I was trying to think who plays at loosehead fro the French, Baille is a good, but not great player. I agree with the two South African props, but I'd have Genge ahead of Marler personally.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 08 Dec 2021, 1:36 pm

He's certainly in the discussion. I only really see him in international rugby so it's difficult to put him ahead of any of the selected 3. I could similar arguments for Marler tbh.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 08 Dec 2021, 1:51 pm

chris_501 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Are you saying he's one of the top 3 looseheads in the world?!  (i.e. the topic of the thread).  He's not, for me.  But when he was on form he was very good.

I think in the calendar year of 2021 he's right up there for discussion. I was trying to think who plays at loosehead fro the French, Baille is a good, but not great player. I agree with the two South African props, but I'd have Genge ahead of Marler personally.

It feels like Genge has finally turned a corner at international level but he hasn't put a run of games together yet (and the things that really seem to be making a difference, in particular the leadership, are difficult to objectively measure). This time next year he could well be on the list.


Last edited by lostinwales on Wed 08 Dec 2021, 2:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Oakdene Wed 08 Dec 2021, 2:15 pm

The Oracle wrote:Are you saying he's one of the top 3 looseheads in the world?!  (i.e. the topic of the thread).  He's not, for me.  But when he was on form he was very good.

I think he is up there yes.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 08 Dec 2021, 2:43 pm

That combination was my immediate thought as I saw the thread title.

Genge looks like he's getting there, but Boks should be on anyone's list and Marler (at least when he's not just had COVID) is the first name I would trust to mix it with them.
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Post by RiscaGame Wed 08 Dec 2021, 4:42 pm

Haven’t read an article, just saw a tweet. Hasn’t Wyn Jones just been named in World Rugby’s 15s Dream Team of the Year?

Shows how he got part Pivac’d and part possibly burnt out in the autumn.

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Post by The Oracle Wed 08 Dec 2021, 5:07 pm

I certainly rate him (Wyn Jones) when on form and was championing him for inclusion in the recent Lions tour.  So when fit and firing he’s up there for me from a B&I nations perspective.  I felt his inclusion on the Lions tour was on merit for his performances in the 6N that preceded the tour.  But on a world level I just think there are enough better Looseheads that he doesn’t get a look in in the top 5 or so.

What Wales would do for a couple of Tadhg Furlongs and Andrew Porters (and of course Kitshoffs and Ox Nches!). We just don’t seem to breed massive gnarly powerful props Sad
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Post by doctor_grey Wed 08 Dec 2021, 5:36 pm

I agree with the list as well. Kitshoff and Marler, for me are easy picks. And then if we need one more, we can never go wrong selecting a Prop named Ox.

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 08 Dec 2021, 8:07 pm

Between Kitshoff and Marler for me

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Post by yappysnap Wed 08 Dec 2021, 9:28 pm

I went for Ox really based on the AI's, I thought he was a brilliantly dominant prop at scrum time and probably one of the most destructive forwards on the park in SA's games.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 08 Dec 2021, 9:57 pm

Not sure how Wyn Jones made the world rugby team of the year, that should have been Kitshoff. There are other French, Kiwi and SA props who are better, Wyn isn’t even the best LH in Wales this season. Joe Marler wouldn’t be in the top 5 either.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 09 Dec 2021, 8:00 am

Marler for me. Thought for a good time now he's head and shoulders the best loosehead England have. Is there a better defensive prop around? Great in the tight too, scrummaging and lifting great. My vote is taking into account his club form which is perhaps unfair as I haven't seen those games for most of the others but without him Harlequins are no where near the title.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 09 Dec 2021, 8:13 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Not sure how Wyn Jones made the world rugby team of the year, that should have been Kitshoff. There are other French, Kiwi and SA props who are better, Wyn isn’t even the best LH in Wales this season. Joe Marler wouldn’t be in the top 5 either.

When Marler is on form he's definitely amongst the five best looseheads in the world. Who would you have instead?

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 09 Dec 2021, 8:57 am

I'd have to say behind Kitshoff, in no particular order there's Cyril Baille, Joe Moody, Ox Nche... that's only four. I guess then you could argue the case for Joe Marler, or Karl Tu'inukuafe, Andrew Porter, Wyn Jones, Rory Sutherland, etc.

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