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England’s Billy Vunipola has overtaken All Blacks captain Kieran Read as the best No 8 in world rugby “by a huge margin”, says a former Ireland international.
Neil Francis – who locked the Irish scrum 36 times between 1987 and 1996 – made the claim in his IrishIndependentcolumn after Vunipola’s England team celebrated a record win over Ireland with a 57-18 victory at Twickenham on Saturday (Sunday NZ time).
“It has been obvious for a number of seasons now that Billy Vunipola is the best number 8 in the world by a huge margin,” Francis wrote.
“On his day he is practically unplayable and if your tactical gambit is to try and rush him and chop tackle him before he gets up a head of steam your biggest problem will be just exactly where he pops up on the pitch.”
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