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The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #9 Scrum Half

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Who is the best scrum half?

The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #9 Scrum Half Vote_lcap5%The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #9 Scrum Half Vote_rcap 5% 
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The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #9 Scrum Half Vote_lcap90%The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #9 Scrum Half Vote_rcap 90% 
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The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #9 Scrum Half Vote_lcap5%The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #9 Scrum Half Vote_rcap 5% 
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The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #9 Scrum Half Empty The best 3 players in the world by position: The World Class 45 - #9 Scrum Half

Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 20 Dec 2021, 5:01 am

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
7. Openside https://www.606v2.com/t70484-the-best-3-players-in-the-world-by-position-the-world-class-45-7-openside-flanker
8. Number 8 https://www.606v2.com/t70485-the-best-3-players-in-the-world-by-position-the-world-class-45-8-number-8

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 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.

#9 Scrum Half

The scrumhalf, the halfback, Le Demi-melee, Le Petit General....in basic terms, the link between your forwards and your backs. Traditionally small (think Mike Phillips)....quick around the park (Bergamasco-esq).....and can pass the pill through the eye of a needle (Ben Youngs every time). Yes, we see scrum halfs in all shapes and sizes these days but usually, they're quite annoying. When I'm looking for a top scrum half, I like to see speed to the breakdown, a torpedo like pass, strong kicking and the ability to manage the game/when to make a break.


Aaron Smith

Arguably the best scrum half in the world for the majority of 2010's. When he's not checking out airport toilets, Smith is a maestro on the park. NZ had been crying out for a top scrum half for years, despite ruling the game. Young/old pretenders would come and go (Kelleher, Cowen, Marshall), but they never really hit the peaks, then along comes Smith. Aaron Smith has it all.....his pass is sublime, it's like watching a Rapier missile....he can snipe, kick, tackle and scores for fun, quite possibly the best scrum half of the professional era.

Antoine Dupont

Just as we think Smith has this all sewn up, here comes the challenger....

I used to watch a lot of French rugby, with scrum half being a bit of an issue for them over the years....and then 2 come along. Serin and Dupont burst on the scene at similar times, both looked full of potential. Jump ahead a few years....there is only one. Dupont is playing a different game to everyone on the planet right now. Forget that his head is the size of a small village in the Provence, this guy is sublime. He has everything a world class scrum half should have and then some. The way he takes games by the scruff of the neck....he's just awesome. Not to bias the vote, but if you don't vote Dupont, you're wrong.

Faf de Klerk

I know Faf has been a bit off it of late, but he sneaks on the list due to lack of challengers rather than his outstanding form. The ultimate pain in the butt, Faf is the scourge of opposition 9's...and 10's....pretty much the whole XV actually. When he's good, he's a nightmare to play against. He's a talisman for SA, he can drive them from the front and he's been outstanding in some huge games.

Notable mentions.....Gareth Davies, Ali Price, Conor Murray.


Last edited by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 22 Dec 2021, 7:50 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 20 Dec 2021, 6:51 am

If there are any votes other than for Dupont please seek help.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 20 Dec 2021, 9:23 am

Completely agree with above. The top 3 are head and shoulders better than anyone else at the minute with Dupont in the best form of all of them.

After that, Gareth Davies and Conor Murray have both fallen back a bit in the last year or two. Davies might come back into the chasing pack, Murray (at soon to be 33) may have a swansong or this could be it due to the injuries. Price I would not have had in there until this past year where he has suddenly matured.

I would have on current form in the chasing pack in no particular order: Price, TJ Perenara, Reinarch, Youngs, White

I expect the Quirke's and Dobie's of the world to come into it over the next couple of years because the chasing pack is getting on.

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Post by Guest Mon 20 Dec 2021, 10:15 am

Gareth Davies is way, way off the pace. Dropped hugely over the last few years. Tomos Williams is ahead of him now for Wales on form. And I like Gareth Davies. Was my favourite player a few years back. Just gone completely off be boil of late. Used to be a try scoring machine!

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Post by Geordie Mon 20 Dec 2021, 1:31 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:Completely agree with above. The top 3 are head and shoulders better than anyone else at the minute with Dupont in the best form of all of them.

After that, Gareth Davies and Conor Murray have both fallen back a bit in the last year or two. Davies might come back into the chasing pack, Murray (at soon to be 33) may have a swansong or this could be it due to the injuries. Price I would not have had in there until this past year where he has suddenly matured.

I would have on current form in the chasing pack in no particular order: Price, TJ Perenara, Reinarch, Youngs, White

I expect the Quirke's and Dobie's of the world to come into it over the next couple of years because the chasing pack is getting on.

i really hope he comes through as we hope. He looks to have the lot skill wise...and plays with pace...

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 20 Dec 2021, 7:29 pm

For me, Dupont by a margin.
Then Smith by a margin,
Then perhaps Faf, But others are close.
Based on his showing in the Lions Tour, I think Ali Price seemed to be getting close.

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Post by yappysnap Mon 20 Dec 2021, 11:06 pm

Dupont by a mile, but watching White's performances and facial hair for Oz has been so enjoyable!

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Post by George Carlin Tue 21 Dec 2021, 10:04 am

The point is that Dupont is so very much more valuable to his team than De Klerk or Smith are to theirs.
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Post by George Carlin Tue 21 Dec 2021, 10:06 am

Can't wait until the next thread Pooly.

How on earth are you going to avoid the handbags by picking players that are not Marcus Smith x3 times? If you dare to choose Finn Russell as one of the three and not Owen Farrell or George Ford, these boards will vaporise in a cloud of green vitriol.
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Post by lostinwales Tue 21 Dec 2021, 10:58 am

Should be simple. Marcus Smith is a huge talent but he's not established by any means yet, Ford has been condemned to the outer darkness and nobody will vote for Farrell although he should be on the list at 12 (where, again, nobody will vote for him).

Finn will be marmite though.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 21 Dec 2021, 11:22 am

It's easy George......Smith, Ford and Farrell....notable mention Furbank.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 21 Dec 2021, 11:40 am

Just a shame Dan Fish spoiled his comeback with that nasty shoulder to the head.

I'm imagining that fly half will split the room, I know who my top 3 is though.

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Post by Old Man Tue 21 Dec 2021, 12:53 pm

None of the 10's this year have shown great form in my opinion, I haven't seen any consistency by anyone.

It could just as well be anybody and the votes can be challenged

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Post by Guest Tue 21 Dec 2021, 3:45 pm

Certainly won’t be Biggar in the top 3. Not even in the honourable mentions! Maybe a few years ago but he’s another Welsh player to have really faded of late. Always a marmite player too so unlikely to be a popular pick.

One thing to consider with these lists is the team they play in. More so in the backs I think, but a player can really be made to look good by those around him. E.g. a 10 given an armchair ride by an awesome pack of forwards vs those 10s playing behind a beaten pack (Wales in the autumn series springs to mind!). Wingers too - some make the lists by being prolific try scorers by how much of that is an awesome team around them. Just thinking about Wales again and Josh Adams - can’t remember him being put in space once this season! 🤣

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Post by lostinwales Tue 21 Dec 2021, 5:21 pm

The Oracle wrote:Certainly won’t be Biggar in the top 3. Not even in the honourable mentions! Maybe a few years ago but he’s another Welsh player to have really faded of late. Always a marmite player too so unlikely to be a popular pick.

One thing to consider with these lists is the team they play in. More so in the backs I think, but a player can really be made to look good by those around him. E.g. a 10 given an armchair ride by an awesome pack of forwards vs those 10s playing behind a beaten pack (Wales in the autumn series springs to mind!). Wingers too - some make the lists by being prolific try scorers by how much of that is an awesome team around them. Just thinking about Wales again and Josh Adams - can’t remember him being put in space once this season! 🤣

So - Ntamack. possibly Pollard and whoever is currently wearing 10 for the AB's?

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 21 Dec 2021, 6:10 pm

Ah poor Pooly. Everyone is ready for his FH column!

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Post by Mr Bounce Tue 21 Dec 2021, 9:04 pm

Dupont. Next!

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Post by Guest Tue 21 Dec 2021, 9:37 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:Ah poor Pooly. Everyone is ready for his FH column!


Laugh Yep, Sorry Pooly!

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Post by Guest Tue 21 Dec 2021, 9:52 pm

lostinwales wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Certainly won’t be Biggar in the top 3. Not even in the honourable mentions! Maybe a few years ago but he’s another Welsh player to have really faded of late. Always a marmite player too so unlikely to be a popular pick.

One thing to consider with these lists is the team they play in. More so in the backs I think, but a player can really be made to look good by those around him. E.g. a 10 given an armchair ride by an awesome pack of forwards vs those 10s playing behind a beaten pack (Wales in the autumn series springs to mind!). Wingers too - some make the lists by being prolific try scorers by how much of that is an awesome team around them. Just thinking about Wales again and Josh Adams - can’t remember him being put in space once this season! 🤣

So - Ntamack. possibly Pollard and whoever is currently wearing 10 for the AB's?

Maybe, however....I wasn’t literally saying that only those who have good packs have 10s who could/will be considered in this list. I was talking generally. The No.10 jersey is one example. Equally you could have an awesome TH prop, but because he plays with a poor hooker and LH, and garbage locks, he looks terrible at international level. Sometimes hard to pick that out. At club level in a big spending team surrounded by top internationals he might be sensational but it’s usually his international showing (and that of his team) that gets him in/out of these lists. I only mentioned Welsh players as that’s who I support so felt qualified to talk about. But you could ask about someone like Ali Price. Put him in at 9 for the All Blacks or Boks and perhaps he’d be up in the top 3 due to the extra ‘platform’ he gets (although the Scottish one isn’t too bad).

Anyway, I digress..... Smile

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Post by lostinwales Wed 22 Dec 2021, 9:48 am

The Oracle wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Certainly won’t be Biggar in the top 3. Not even in the honourable mentions! Maybe a few years ago but he’s another Welsh player to have really faded of late. Always a marmite player too so unlikely to be a popular pick.

One thing to consider with these lists is the team they play in. More so in the backs I think, but a player can really be made to look good by those around him. E.g. a 10 given an armchair ride by an awesome pack of forwards vs those 10s playing behind a beaten pack (Wales in the autumn series springs to mind!). Wingers too - some make the lists by being prolific try scorers by how much of that is an awesome team around them. Just thinking about Wales again and Josh Adams - can’t remember him being put in space once this season! 🤣

So - Ntamack. possibly Pollard and whoever is currently wearing 10 for the AB's?

Maybe, however....I wasn’t literally saying that only those who have good packs have 10s who could/will be considered in this list.  I was talking generally.  The No.10 jersey is one example. Equally you could have an awesome TH prop, but because he plays with a poor hooker and LH, and garbage locks, he looks terrible at international level.  Sometimes hard to pick that out. At club level in a big spending team surrounded by top internationals he might be sensational but it’s usually his international showing (and that of his team) that gets him in/out of these lists. I only mentioned Welsh players as that’s who I support so felt qualified to talk about.  But you could ask about someone like Ali Price.  Put him in at 9 for the All Blacks or Boks and perhaps he’d be up in the top 3 due to the extra ‘platform’ he gets (although the Scottish one isn’t too bad).

Anyway, I digress..... Smile

You are correct. Also there is enough variation in how teams play to make comparing players who occupy the same slots difficult at times. Picking the best individuals for a team game doesn't work in reality.

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Post by Guest Wed 22 Dec 2021, 9:57 am

True, LiW. Fun picking them though! But yes, very difficult picking individuals in a team game. I sometimes like to flip it around and instead of thinking about a good player playing in a better team I wonder about the top players in a poorer team. Would Dupont, for example, be getting all of these accolades if he played for Wales? Would we be able to give him the freedom he gets with France? Is he up there currently as a result of France’s upturn in fortunes? Similarly would Beaden Barrett have won those world player of the year awards if he was playing for Wales?! Somehow I think not!

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 22 Dec 2021, 10:25 am

Oracle.....you talk about Wales like they're Italy! Wales have just won the 6N....beat Australia and pushed SA very close.

I'm pretty sure either player mentioned would be pretty handy in the red of Wales. You could actually provide a counter that quite a lot of players perform better for Wales than they do for their club. Look at a lot of Welsh exports over the years that haven't reached anywhere near the standard they would for country (Faletau, Webb, Bigger, Priestland, North.....etc etc).

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Post by lostinwales Wed 22 Dec 2021, 11:00 am

The Oracle wrote:True, LiW.  Fun picking them though!  But yes, very difficult picking individuals in a team game. I sometimes like to flip it around and instead of thinking about a good player playing in a better team I wonder about the top players in a poorer team.  Would Dupont, for example, be getting all of these accolades if he played for Wales?  Would we be able to give him the freedom he gets with France?  Is he up there currently as a result of France’s upturn in fortunes? Similarly would Beaden Barrett have won those world player of the year awards if he was playing for Wales?!  Somehow I think not!

We also tend to rate our own teams highly, our favourite enemies worse, and anybody playing for the AB's as world class.

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