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The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #7 Openside Flanker

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Who is the best openside flanker?

The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #7 Openside Flanker Vote_lcap40%The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #7 Openside Flanker Vote_rcap 40% 
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The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #7 Openside Flanker Vote_lcap40%The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #7 Openside Flanker Vote_rcap 40% 
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The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #7 Openside Flanker Vote_lcap20%The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #7 Openside Flanker Vote_rcap 20% 
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The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #7 Openside Flanker Empty The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #7 Openside Flanker

Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 6:59

1. Loose-Head Prop https://www.606v2.com/t70475-the-best-3-players-in-the-world-by-position-the-world-class-45-1-loose-head-prop
2. Hooker https://www.606v2.com/t70476-the-best-3-players-in-the-world-by-position-the-world-class-45-2-hooker
3. Tight-Head https://www.606v2.com/t70477-the-best-3-players-in-the-world-by-position-the-world-class-45-3-tight-head-prop
4/5. Locks https://www.606v2.com/t70478-the-best-3-players-in-the-world-by-position-the-world-class-45-4-5-locks
6. Blindside https://www.606v2.com/t70481-the-best-3-players-in-the-world-by-position-the-world-class-45-6-blindside-flanker

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.

#7 - Openside flanker

The glamour position of the pack.....the position we all wanted to play growing up (if you wanted to be in the thick of it). Traditionally....the link man between the forwards and the backs, the fetcher.....basically the guy who takes all the glory and gets to do the flashy stuff in the pack. When I think of the best backrowers ever, I generally lean towards opensides....players like McCaw, Jones, Smith etc. As we're finding out in the blindside discussion, the lines are blurred and some see 6's as 7's and 7's as 6's. This is my take on traditional 7's that have played there at some point in the last few years.

Tom Curry

Very much a traditional 7 in the way I see one. He links play, he fetches, he's quick around the park.....he gets noticed for doing 7 type things. He's being primed for England captaincy and unbelievably, Curry is still only 23. For me, he has the complete game and plays on the edge, just how a 7 should. If you can be slightly critical, he gives away too many penalties, this needs to stop....and he didn't have as good a Lions tour as many of us thought he would.

Michael Hooper

I always get the impression that rugby fans don't rate Hooper that highly as a world class 7. Yes, he's not that big....but he punches above his weight and you can't question his physicality. He brings the traditional 7 skill set and then some. He's quite unbelievable in the loose, his acceleration and ability to eye a gap is as good as most backs and his rugby brain is quite something. At 30 years of age and 117 caps, he's done ok for himself.

Ardie Savea

I know, I know...he's been playing at 8 for NZ for a while now but this goes back to an earlier point of shoehorning in your best players (see Pocock at 8 etc). As well as defying physics with his physicality (95kg??? Really??) and being an utter pest at the breakdown......Savea's link and open play is on another planet. His ability to break the first tackle and make yards is just incredible, he's rather fast too.

Notable mentions...…....Siya Kolisi, Hamish Watson, Sam Underhill, Josh Van Der Flier, Charles Ollivon.


Last edited by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 15 Dec 2021 - 5:04; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Old Man Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 7:50

This is a difficult one, but ultimately I would go for the engine that is Michael Hooper. Tom Curry is class, Savea not sure what his best position is though.

Hooper just about plays every minute of every match and has for long periods been the only warrior in the Aussie back row. As dependable as the Sun rising over the horison every day.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 8:18

Another easy one. Curry by a mile.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 10:49

I like Curry, think he is a good player. Don't rate him as highly as others on here. Part of it is the messing around with him at 8 and taking him away from his strengths by having him carry into traffic much more. The penalty count is the other part.

Hooper has always been class, his workrate is excellent, however he likes to hang out on the wing sometimes when going forward. He has the pace to, but it almost looks like he is looking for a glory carry rather than helping narrow the opposition line. Might be the best fetcher in the world having cut down on penalties conceded the last few times I have watched him.

Savea is a threat of turning a break into a try like the previous two but is better at the hard yards. He is a bit off piste with his mouthguard issues and hope he can look after his eyes. Kolisi I always had as more important off than on it until the last couple of years. He has come into his own. VDV, Connors, Watson and Ollivon are for me in a similar class on the pitch.

Any of the above 8 can be picked and I would not complain hugely.

Tipuric has not quite played enough this year and would be a potential addition if he gets to top form...something that is not guaranteed at 32 with his miles. Underhill is a good player whose name is not on the team sheet before any of the above 8.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 11:37

Taine Basham. Next.

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Post by Mr Bounce Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 12:09

Hooper is class but I have gone for Curry as I genuinely think he's got the lot. First name on the team sheet. I wouldn't be surprised to see him named as the 6 Nations Captain.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 12:45

I'd go for Curry too, he's got all round ability that very few have; Hooper is better over the ball and offers better support lines but aside from that I feel he can go missing in the physical battle.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 12:59

The only thing against Curry is that he is a true 6.5 and plays right across the back row. If he stuck to 6 or 7 these conversations would be easier.

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Post by Old Man Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 13:00

It is interesting how we have perceptions of players that we don't see play all that often, here is an analysis done by Nicholas Bashop of the Australian backrow options used during the season.

It makes for interesting reading.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 13:00

Curry by a mile...

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Post by theslosty Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 14:01

Peceli Yato?
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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 14:25

Surely Yato is a blindside...hes a monster.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 18:20

GeordieFalcon wrote:Surely Yato is a blindside...hes a monster.
He is over 18½ stone / 260 lbs..  He can play bloody well where he wants to...

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Post by lostinwales Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 18:29

doctor_grey wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Surely Yato is a blindside...hes a monster.
He is over 18½ stone / 260 lbs..  He can play bloody well where he wants to...

Just watched the highlights reel. A fine proponent of the Maori sidestep.

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Post by yappysnap Tue 14 Dec 2021 - 21:36

Hooper by a mile here, he literally carries the Australian team at times and this season has stepped up even more across the pitch. He's a great captain and 7 being a link in attack and making key turnovers in defence.

Curry is really good but doesn't effect the game as much.

Savea is just as good but at 8.

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Post by George Carlin Sat 18 Dec 2021 - 11:00

Great series Pooly - can't believe I just stumbled upon it.

I think that Sam Cane and Pieter-Steph du Toit are major omissions from this list.

I say this with all due love and respect but Tom Curry's performances on the Lions tour simply did not match the deafening hype which accompanied him to that event. He wasn't close to being as influential as a huge number of my English rugby mates kept telling me that he would be and he conceded far too many penalties (obviously, other Lions players did too). As has been pointed out, Curry is still young and I think we can assume his best performances are ahead of him. However, he is not close to justifying the messiah status a lot of people have given him.

Hooper is the stand out for me, not least in terms of how much better his whole team plays when he's on the field.
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Post by Old Man Sat 18 Dec 2021 - 12:18

George, PSDT is under the number 6, as we play 6 as 7 and 7 as 6

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 18 Dec 2021 - 13:01

Thanks George.

Agree on Curry, I was expecting much more from him. France and SA swap their 6/7's as old man said....no idea where that comes from.

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Post by TJ Sun 19 Dec 2021 - 21:12

Curry Rather than Watson? Watson outplayed Currie in the last 6 Nations and on the lions tour

Hoopwers is the best tho

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 19 Dec 2021 - 21:17

Lol. Sure. Sure.

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Post by TJ Sun 19 Dec 2021 - 21:30

I am glad you agree. Curry might be as good as Watson at Watsons age but right now? Not even close.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 19 Dec 2021 - 21:41

Lol. His 25 mins on the pitch impressed so much.

You're always comedy when it comes to English players though tj. Never change.

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Post by yappysnap Mon 20 Dec 2021 - 0:34

I can't believe Curry got the same number of votes as Hooper. Curry is a good international player who may become great. Hooper has been great for years now and is finally getting the recognition. Baffling.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 20 Dec 2021 - 7:50

Never been that sold on Hooper. Huge work ethic but not a stand out in other aspects. Pocock was so far ahead of him though it was chalk and cheese watching them together. Can't say I know too much about the Australian club sides but I'm guessing there has never been a huge amount of competition to him? Personally I have just based it on form in the last year or so though.

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Post by Pot Hale Wed 22 Dec 2021 - 19:31

Josh van der Flier is underrated. He's improved substantially this year for club and country.
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Post by yappysnap Thu 23 Dec 2021 - 0:42

No 7&1/2 wrote:Never been that sold on Hooper. Huge work ethic but not a stand out in other aspects. Pocock was so far ahead of him though it was chalk and cheese watching them together. Can't say I know too much about the Australian club sides but I'm guessing there has never been a huge amount of competition to him? Personally I have just based it on form in the last year or so though.

I guess you're basing that on opinion? In which case I won't assume to change your mind but he is definitely a stand out. His pace in attack is exceptional and also the nuts and bolts tackling and turnovers are good too. He's just quality really.

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