Rugbys 10 Most Overrated Current Internationals

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In no particular order, here are the 10 most overrated rugby players currently ‘gracing’ the international stage for reasons that are beyond me. This is not to say they are not great players, or at least haven’t been great players in the past, but for some reason fans and coaches seem to value them more than they should.

*Note the likes of Chris Ashton and Adam Jones have been excluded as they are no longer being selected for international duty despite being fit. Other players like Owen Farrell, Mike Phillips and Quade Cooper have also been omitted as although they still play regularly, fans no longer believe the hype.

1.Alex Cuthbert

Cuthbert may be averaging almost a try every two games for Wales, however they seem to have dried up somewhat recently, whilst it’s hard to argue he offers much else to the Welsh backline. Cuthbert seems to be a player living off past reputation for Wales and is currently holding back the progress of some exciting talent, seemingly because he has the size that fits Warren Gatland’s game plan.

2.Gordon D’Arcy

For years he formed a formidable centre partnership with Brian O’Driscoll for club and country, however I can’t help but feel that D’Arcy was somewhat carried by his more esteemed colleague. This season D’Arcy has had to play without the ever impressive BOD outside him and has so far failed to sparkle for either Leinster or Ireland despite being given numerous opportunities.

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3.Tom Croft

Croft may be out with a long-term injury but all the talk is that he will be back in the England fold once fully fit. The issue however is that other than a blinding turn of pace it’s hard to see exactly what Croft brings to the side that so many others already offer and more. Unfortunately it seems like Croft is another one of those luxury players that England can no longer afford to carry.

4.Bryan Habana

There’s no doubting that in his prime Habana was quite simply one of the worlds best wingers. Whilst he may still be a quality player for the Springboks he isn’t quite the player he used to be, and it seems many fans are still yet to realise this. It seems increasingly his influence on games is waning as he fails to provide the game changing moments that used to make him such a key asset.

5.Aaron Cruden

For years Cruden was rightly touted as the likely successor to the irreplaceable Dan Carter, and for good reason. The problem is that over the last year or two Cruden has failed to consistently perform at the level required of an All Blacks 10 despite continually being lauded by the press and public. There’s no doubt Cruden has the talent, but until he shows it consistently he will remain on this list.

6.Sean Lamont

Somehow Lamont has amassed over 90 caps for Scotland, despite regularly failing to actually make any kind of impact on an international match, despite his sizeable frame. Whilst he may be regularly confined to the replacements bench these days, he is still supposed to be an impact player for Scotland despite regularly failing to make any kind of impression on a game.

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7.Ben Youngs

A year or two ago Ben Youngs was one of the finest scrum halves in the Northern Hemisphere, unfortunately his fall from grace has been quite apparent. Somehow despite desperately searching for his best form he is back starting for England despite failing to offer up the kind of displays that some him break into the international side.

8.Mathieu Bastareaud

How Bastareaud continues to be selected at centre for either club or country is somewhat baffling. Barring the odd moment when he uses his sizeable frame to barge over players he offers absolutely nothing else. If French coaches are going to continue to select him then they should be looking at moving him to the pack where his limitations are less likely to be exposed.

9.Simon Zebo

Zebo is another winger who continues to flatter to deceive on the international stage. A moment of genius in the Six Nations aside it’s hard to recall a time when he made any kind of notable impact on an international game. For a while it seemed the Irish coaching staff caught on to this, but now he is back playing regularly for Ireland despite failing to offer much.

10.Will Skelton

Skelton may not be a regular starter for the Wallabies but it seems he is already being touted as the next great prospect for Australia. The problem is that a few sublime moments aside it’s hard to see how he makes much impact on a game. His monstrous size may initially make an impression on games, however his poor conditioning means he quickly tires and therefore fades from games.

Who do you think is the most overrated international in rugby right now?

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17 comments

  1. You are kidding on Alex Cuthbert right? I wouldn’t call scoring in 4 of Wales’ last 6 games as ‘dried up somewhat’. In fact he is Wales’ top try scorer in that time

    In the same time period fellow Lions George North, Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies have scored one each.

  2. Jonny may, billy twelvtrees, James haskell. That’s on ability at international level, they have had a few good moments. it seems most of the England squad lacks the commitment wilko showed throughout his career.

    • While I agree with you about Jonny May and James Haskell, I have to disagree about Billy Twelvetrees. He has showed during both his appearances off the bench this six nations that he is a creative and allround well-balanced player… and he’s consistent. And there will not be a player as committed as Jonny Wilkinson for another hundred years, if not more.

  3. Cruden? Are you for real?

  4. Dylan Hartley

  5. Zebo? One of Irelands greatest wingers at the moment, unreal pace, and people seem to forget the Autumn Internationals? Without him, Ireland would have struggled in the Internationals. I’m an Irish man myself, and I think he is one of the top wingers in the country

  6. Intheloose is the most overrated rugby site, currently poisoning my news feed with disrespectful and false articles like this.

  7. For me the most overrated international is either Owen Farrell or Leigh Halfpenny. Farrell offers not much more than his kicking and relatively few missed tackles. However, he plays dirty and shows little inspiration in attack. George Ford is a much better fit for England and now that Lancaster has given him that opportunity to shine, Ford is unlikely to give up that number 10 jersey. Halfpenny, while being probably the most consistent kicker in the northern hemisphere, offers little inspiration in attack. He is decent under the high ball but at the moment, Liam Williams is in the form of his life and is a better attacking player than Leigh Halfpenny.

    • That’s bullshit , Leigh halfpenny is brilliant player . you must be watching a different game to me .

    • LEIGH HALFPENNY??? get lost, hes one of the best fullbacks in the world. Israel Folau should be on this list, because he gets shut down so easily

  8. leigh halfpenny

    • Are you serious? I couldnt choose a better full back in the NH at the moment if I tried. The guy is worth 10-15 points a game!

    • I am a kiwi, and i am going to say u are out of ur mind. Leigh Halfpenny is a FANTASTIC player, he almost won wales the 2011 world cup.

  9. This seems to be a case of throwing out the experience for youth and exuberance.
    It’s something South African rugby fans are often guilty of supporting, and it shows a lack of understanding of how the game actually works and what the effect of players are on the game and their team mates, rather than their own moments of brilliance.

    An example, is that Skelton is physically massive and strong. This draws in defenders and creates space around them for team mates to make breaks and score tries. The advantage of 3 defenders focusing on Skelton at any one time is unquantifiable.

    A few of these players are wingers who don’t score as many tries as they used to. Could this not be a shift in the way rugby is played? In the modern game, where a lot more emphasis is put on defence and cover defence, wingers aren’t being put away as often, but rather making a break outside, before playing back inside to a support runner who gets the try. The game, and players are continuously developing, and writing off experienced individuals as has-beens just because you don’t understand their true worth to the team as a whole is ignorant to say the least

  10. Is this a serious article or a wind up?

  11. take aaron cruden off please, one of the worlds leading fly halfs, definetly not overrated. There should be no all blacks on this list

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