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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?