Whilst rugby purists might revel in scrums, rucks and mauls, for the vast majority of us it is exciting runs and tries that get us standing on our feet. Fortunately there are a number of players currently who seem capable of a moment of magic that creates something out of nothing and often results in a try. Here are 9 rugby players who currently have that extra little spark to get bums on seats;
1. Israel Folau
Wallabies full back Israel Folau has been an absolute sensation in rugby since crossing-codes last season to join the Warratahs. Folau made rugby fans around the World sit up and take note on his international debut when he scored two tries against the British & Irish Lions. The scary thing is that he seems to have started the 2014 Super XV season in even better form.
2. Christian Wade
Despite having a season ravaged by injury, Christian Wade has already made a name for himself. Standing at just 5’8″ and 85kg Wade is a true anomaly in rugby, yet somehow he manages to use this to his advantage. His ability to find space out of nowhere and turn on a sixpence mean he is always a threat ball in hand, especially as his speed keeps him well ahead of most opponents.
3. Carlin Isles
Carlin Isles became an overnight rugby sensation when a video of his debut sevens tournament for the USA emerged showing him outpacing all around him. Isles has now joined Glasgow Warriors in a bid to break into the XV man game where if he can improve on his defence he could have a big future. A background in sprinting ensure he is always a danger in attack.
4. Willie le Roux
Willie le Roux has firmly established himself as the form full back for the Springboks in the last 18 months. The really exciting thing about le Roux is that he has so many weapons in his armoury when it comes to attacking the opposition. Ball in hand he has pace and guile, whilst his distribution and little dinks forward with the boot always seem to open up space.
5. François Trinh-Duc
It’s no coincidence that Trinh-Duc’s fall from grace in the French national side has coincided with Montpellier topping the Top 14. Trinh-Duc is very much in the mould of traditional French Fly Halves who love nothing more than to take the ball to the opposition and looks to exploit gaps in defence at every opportunity. His off-loading ability regularly puts team mates in for tries.
6. Nemani Nadolo
Nadolo has been described as the second-coming of Jonah Lomu on a number of occasions, and with good reason. At 130kg and 1.95m many would believe Nadolo firmly belongs in the pack, he is however a winger who also plays at outside centre. His power combined with an unlikely turn of pace has seen him regularly punch holes in the opposition defence before leaving the defenders in his wake.
7. Danny Care
England scrum-half Danny Care seems to have finally come of age in the last 12 months as he has emerged as the stand-out 9 in the Northern Hemisphere. His electric pace combined with sniping around rucks make him a constant threat to the opposition whilst his size often allows him to evade tackles. His willingness to tap and go has also resulted in a regular haul of tries.
8. Rhys Patchell
Young Cardiff Blues fly-half Rhys Patchell looks set to have a huge future ahead of him, especially given the current dearth of talent in the position for Warren Gatland. Although still just 20 years of age Patchell seems to have all the necessary assets, he’s confident attacking the opposition ball in hand, whilst his off-loading is phenomenal.
9. Julian Savea
Savea has become a mainstay in the All Blacks side over the last couple of seasons and looks set to continue as such. He combines pace, power and guile to perfect effect to allow him to exploit the oppositions defence at every opportunity. 19 tries in 12 caps for the All Blacks tells you all you need to know about Julian Savea!
Who do you think is the most exciting player in rugby right now?