With the majority of 2014 over and done with we look at the top 10 Number 8s this year and rank them in descending order…
The powerful Frenchman may not have had as many opportunities for France as he may have liked this year, however he still looks like one of the most powerful ball carriers in world rugby.
Whilst Picamoles star may be somewhat on the wane, Chouly’s stock continues to rise after a standout season for the powerful Frenchman saw him become an instant hit in the national side.
Faletau has to have been one of the most consistent back rowers in the world. He may not be the biggest Number 8 but that somehow never seems to stop him making ground with ball in hand.
For the first time in the last couple of years Morgan has firmly established himself as England’s first choice Number 8 after became a key man for Stuart Lancaster’s side during the November Internationals.
Heaslip continues to develop as both a rugby player and a leader. He is one of the most well rounded back row players in the Northern Hemisphere and will be a key man for Ireland during next year’s World Cup.
5.Juan Manuel Leguizamon
Argentine Number 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon seems to get better and better. He forms part of a formidable pack that look more than capable of causing some serious damage at next years World Cup.
In many respects it’s a huge shame that Manoa doesn’t player for one of the world’s current tier 1 sides as there’s no doubting he deserves to be winning honours on the international stage.
Of all the players on this list, Parisse has been the one who has always been amongst the top few in the world. He is usually at the heart of anything positive Italy do and has carried his side singlehanded at times.
It’s a shame that concussion issues have somewhat hampered Read’s game time this season, as there’s no doubt that when match fit he is not just one of the best 8’s but one of the best players in the world.
Vermeulen’s form for the Springboks this year has been nothing short of sensational. He may have tailed off slightly during November but still remained amongst one of the best players in the world during 2014.
Who do you think has been the best Number 8 in the world during 2014?