We take a look at the top 10 openside flankers in world rugby right now and rank them based on their current form…
O’Brien hasn’t seen an awful lot of action over the last 12 months through injury, but still remains one of Ireland’s most potent weapons in the number 7 shirt.
The England captain may still come in for criticism from some sections, but he remains one of his sides stand out performers in everything he does.
The Springboks flanker can play on either side of the scrum, but has probably shown his best form when donning the number 7 shirt for club and country.
The French captain is a powerful ball carrier, and menace at the breakdown, as well as being a key leader for his side who often struggle without his presence.
The Toulon man is the only player on this list who won’t be at the World Cup, however he is hard to ignore such has been his form for Toulon over the last couple of years.
The Welsh captain continues to impress and remains the standout openside in the northern hemisphere, forming a formidable back row with Lydiate and Faletau.
The South African flanker has been a key player for both club and country over the last couple of years and continues to get better with age.
Hooper has had an incredible career already given his young age, and has a huge future ahead of him for the Wallabies.
The Wallabies openside has bounced back from a long injury lay off to fight his way straight back into international contention after a great Super Rugby season.
He may be vilified by many outside of New Zealand, but McCaw still remains the benchmark when it comes to playing at openside.