The Top 10 Full Backs in Rugby Right Now

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With so many world class full backs in rugby right now we have taken a look at the best in the world right now as we count down our top 10 full backs.

10. Leigh Halfpenny

For me Halfpenny is a solid option who makes it on to the list for consistency more than anything. His involvement in the Lions last year was key and his kicking ability from the tee is a huge bonus to any team. If he can bring on his attacking instinct in Toulon then there’s every chance he could move further up this list.

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9. Stuart Hogg

Hogg is the most exciting player to come out of Scotland in years (not that that’s saying all that much). He has a well rounded skillset that makes him an ideal modern full back whilst he more than compensates for his small stature by fully committing in his defensive duties. He also has an incredible turn of pace on him.

8. Charles Piutau

Piutau is often deployed out on the wing, particularly by the All Blacks, but has shown his ability in the 15 shirt for the Blues on numerous occasions. Whilst he may not have as well-rounded a game as some of the other full backs on this list, his powerful running and pace make him a constant threat in attack.

7. Rob Kearney

The Leinster full back has been a key member of the Ireland squad in recent years nailing down the position and helping them to a Six Nations title earlier this year. Kearney is one of the most complete full backs in the Northern Hemisphere with a well rounded skillset and looks very assured under the high ball.

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6. James O’Connor

It’s amazing to think that at just 24 years of age, and after a year out in the international wilderness O’Connor already has 44 caps to his name. It seems a sting with London Irish has done him plenty of good as he his back to playing his best rugby and is set to get even better after a few months playing with Toulon’s galacticos.

5. Israel Dagg

Dagg may not be at his very best at the moment but he’s certainly getting there. After being dropped by the All Blacks during their June series with England he bounced back and played a key role in the Crusaders run to the Super Rugby final this year. On his day though Dagg is one of the very best full backs in the world.

4. Willie le Roux

Willie le Roux currently represents the Springboks most potent attacking threat of the last 10 years. His running with ball in hand, vision and sublime kicking game have helped him seal the number 15 shirt for the upcoming Rugby Championship where he will be key to South African hopes in the competition.

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3. Ben Smith

After his performances at full back  for the All Blacks during the June internationals, Smith has posed Steve Hansen with a real dilemma over where to play him during the Rugby Championship. A natural born finisher who is equally capable of creating space for teammates, Smith also proved his worth in defence against a solid England side.

2. Mike Brown

Brown may be left a little disappointed with his showing during the June international window, this however should not take away from what has been a standout season for the England man. Over the last 12 months he has claimed the Player of the Six Nations award, Premiership Player of the Year award  and England’s Player of the Autumn Internationals award

1. Israel Folau

There was never really any doubting who would be number one on this list as league convert Folau has enjoyed an outstanding year so far. He finished joint top scorer in Super Rugby whilsy helping guide the Waratahs to their first title since the competition began. As a full back he really is the complete package.

Who do you think is the best full back in the world right now?

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12 comments

  1. In terms of all-round fullbacks (Catching high balls/defensive and attacking kicking/Offense and counter attack/Defense/Player positioning), judged on all categories of fullback play and player ability (not just current form). My top 5 selections would be as follows –

    1. Ben Smith
    2. Israel Dagg
    3. Willie le Roux
    4. Israel Folau
    5. Leigh Halfpenny

  2. Hogg above Halfpenny? I stopped reading there!

  3. Wouldn’t have Rob Kearney above Halfpenny anyways, the man is unreal under the highball and has a great movement in attack, but his tackling leaves a lot to be desired. He doesn’t make the first up tackles that he should and if he’s the last man in defense after a line break you can be guaranteed they’ll score a try 9 times out of 10.

  4. No Alex Goode??

    (I’m joking I’M JOKING!)

  5. Folau is awesome, but not complete. His kicking out of hand is pretty atrocious

  6. quite a stupid rating really! Ben smith should be right there at the top! and savea????

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