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The Rugby World Cup gets underway this weekend in Japan – and it’s a chance for the world’s best players to showcase their talents on the biggest stage.
With plenty of teams in the mix to lift the Webb Ellis Cup, teams will be looking to their playmakers to make the difference, particularly once they get to the knockout stage.
The fiercly competitive tournament is sure to provide plenty of excitement, with the sport arguably never seeing a more attacking brand of rugby played widely across the globe.
With a perfect platform to see the best the sport has to offer, here’s a look at five players to watch in Japan.
Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa)
He is 5’6 and relatively new to the Test arena, but this man has serious wheels and razor-sharp footwork. There are many backs to admire here in Japan, Fiji’s Semi Radradra being an obvious example.
There’s the New Zealand trio of Rieko Ioane, Sevu Reece and George Bridge and Six Nations duo Jacob Stockdale and George North. But few have greater potential to get you off your seat than this 25-year-old star of Toulouse.
Damian Penaud (France)
Who knows what France will bring to the party (answer: no-one), but what we can be pretty certain about is that this man will be involved in the best of their work.
The son of former Saracens fly-half Alain has pace to burn and the physicality to make yards in the heaviest of traffic. He doesn’t just hang around waiting to finish moves either, hunting infield for opportunities.
France may be awful. But with the likes of Penaud they have huge potential not to be.
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