Continuing on in our top 10 series, this time we take a look at the 10 best props in rugby right now and rank them based on current form.
10. Kane Hames
The Higlanders man has had a sensational Super Rugby season that culminated in him being invited to train with the All Blacks. Although he is still a year or two away from becoming a started in the side, he looks to have all the assets to one day become a regular in the All Blacks front row, definitely a name to look out for.
9. Adam Jones
Adam Jones has long been regarded as one of the very best tighthead prop’s in recent memory. This season has seen that change slightly as he has struggled somewhat to adapt to the new scrum engagements laws. Despite this he is still one of the most feared front rowers in rugby and continues to be a huge asset to both club and country.
8. Sekope Kepu
Over the years the Wallabies scrum has long been a source of malign by many critics. Whilst this may still be the case to some extent, there’s no doubting that the emergence of Sekop Kepu has helped dull some of the criticism. Kepu has become the cornerstone of the Wallabies pack and will be key for them over the next 14 months.
7. Jannie du Plessis
Alongside his brother Bismarck, Jannie has become an integral member of a powerful Springboks front row that will fear nobody. The older of the two brothers helps provide the platform for the rest of the side to play off and is pretty handy in the loose as well. There’s no doubting that most sides would kill for a front row like this.
6. Logovi’i Mulipola
Mulipola ended up becoming one of the stand-out props in the Premiership last season after a mixed start to life at Welford Road. An injury to Dan Cole saw him slot in at tighthead where he has excelled for the Tigers. Not only is he a fearsome scrummager, but his play around the park, particularly with ball in hand is truly exceptional.
5. Marcos Ayerza
The Argentine prop has long been a major player for both club and country. Not only is he a huge asset in the loose, but he is one of the most wiley operators in the scrum using all the dark arts at his disposal to get one over his opposite number. Expect a big season ahead for Ayerza with both Leicester and Argentina hoping for big things.
4. Alex Corbisiero
Corbisiero has been incredibly unfortunate with injuries over the last couple of years, yet when he is fit he is one of the very best props out there. He played a starring role in the Lions series last summer and could be key to England’s hopes at next years World Cup. An absolute giant of a man, there’s not many who can send Corbisiero backwards.
3. Owen Franks
You would never call any part of the All Blacks squad a weakness but over the last couple of years it’s probably fair to say that their front row hasn’t quite been as impressive as in previous seasons. It seems this has all changed over the last 12 months or so as Owen Franks has developed into one of the most impressive front row players in world rugby.
2. Cian Healy
It wasn’t all that long ago that the Irish scrum was being pushed all over the place (think 2012 Six Nations). This only seems to have spurred Cian Healy on however as he has developed into one of the finest props in modern rugby. A huge ball carrier who plays more like a blindside flanker whilst still being a huge asset in the scrum.
1. Tendai Mtawarira
‘The Beast’ certainly lives up to his name. Quite simply one of the most impressive athletes in world rugby, Mtawarira has become one of the most essential players for the Springboks and Sharks over the last few seasons. A huge scrummager who also does plenty of work in the loose, Mtawarira really does have it all.
Who do you think is the best prop in the world right now?