• Home
  • /
  • Rugby
  • /
  • Ranking Of Top 50 World Cup Stars Shows Just How Big A Task Awaits Ireland

Ranking Of Top 50 World Cup Stars Shows Just How Big A Task Awaits Ireland

Ranking Of Top 50 World Cup Stars Shows Just How Big A Task Awaits Ireland
By Gary Reilly Updated

Just four more days to tick off on your calendar. Four more days until Ireland can put the disappointments of 2007 and 2011 behind us and tackle another World Cup campaign. Fever pitch doesn't begin to cover how excited we all are and we have every reason to be.

Ireland are going in with a chance. Not a great chance but certainly a chance of doing significantly better than we ever have before. We've never even seen what a semi-final looks like but with back to back Six Nations titles behind us, the country is understandably confident.

Similarly understandably, there's been plenty of individuals trying to calm that confidence. Defeats to Wales and England have seen Ireland fall from a dangerously high second place in the world rankings down to sixth and that may not be a bad thing. It's certainly allowed expectations to return to a realistic level and if ever proof was needed why we need to keep it there (for the time being at least), then the Guardian's ranking of the 50 greatest World Cup stars may be it.

They've have put assembled a crack team to rank the 50 greatest ever players to appear in the Rugby World Cup and, to put it mildly, it should be required reading for anyone who is expecting Ireland to go all the way to the final.

Not only do no Ireland players challenge the top half of the rankings but Keith Wood is the only Irish representative coming in at 44th position.

Brian O'Driscoll is the most obvious absentee but it's easy to see why he was left out. Save for some sprinkling of his best form, the World Cup was never his greatest hour. The judges scores have been provided and out of 11 judges, just 3 thought O'Driscoll should make it into the top 50. Coincidently, just three judges also plumped for Wood but those that did had him sufficiently highly ranked to squeeze him into the top 50.

Advertisement

Topping the list, you'll no doubt be surprised to hear, is Jonah Lomu with Martin Johnson (boo-hiss) in second, David Campese in third, John Eales in fourth and Richie McCaw rounding out the top 5. The absence of the likes of O'Driscoll and O'Connell really does go to show how much of a task lies ahead of this Irish vintage.

So we're all agreed, we keep the expectations to a realistic level. Now we can't wait to see O'Connell and O'Brien near the top of a revised list in a couple of months time.

Advertisement
Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com

Advertisement