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TOKYO (AP) — The Rugby World Cup has been a showcase for some of the best players in the game to shine since the first edition in 1987. Standout performances by players such as ex-All Blacks winger Jonah Lomu ensured that their image would long remain part of rugby’s folklore.
Some of the biggest stars of the game never won the Webb Ellis Cup, and others produced cameo performances that transcended their team’s results. Here are some players to watch at the 2019 edition in Japan:
MANU TUILAGI (England)
“He will be a handful,” England coach Eddie Jones said of Manu Tuilagi’s likely impact at the Rugby World Cup. That could be a rare understatement from Jones, who is coaching with a fourth different country at a World Cup. Plagued by injury for the last five years, during which the center acknowledged he “wasn’t honest with the physios,” Tuilagi is back to almost full fitness and is back as a regular in the England team — something Jones has longed to see. His legs resembling tree trunks, the Samoa-born Tuilagi can barge over the gain line and punch holes in the meanest of defenses. He is a genuine game-changer, playing at inside or outside center. Jones, finally, might be able to field the midfield axis of Owen Farrell and Tuilagi beside flyhalf George Ford, giving England a bit of everything outside the scrum. England just has to pray Tuilagi stays fit.
— By Steve Douglas
VERENIKI GONEVA (Fiji)
The powerful Fiji wing and center who will be playing at his third World Cup, Goneva became his na
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