We take a look at the top 10 number 8’s currently playing in world rugby, and rank them based on their recent form…

10.Leonardo Senatore

The Los Pumas back rower may not currently be attached to a club side, but have no doubt that he will be snapped up sooner rather than later.

9.Scott Higginbotham

Number 8 is a slight area of concern for the Wallabies, however in Higginbotham they have a decent option to turn to.

8.Jamie Heaslip

The Ireland number 8 still remains a key figure for Joe Schmidt’s side, even if he hasn’t been quite at his best of late.


7.Louis Picamoles

Given the inconsistencies of the French side of late, a player of Picamoles experience if going to be vital as they head into the World Cup.

6.Taulupe Faletau

Despite being relatively small for a number 8, Faletau has an impressive talent for making ground with the ball in hand and is key to the Welsh back row.

5.Billy Vunipola

This could very easily have been Ben Morgan 12 months ago, but the resurgence of Vunipola has been a huge boost for England.

4.Samu Manoa

There haven’t been too many better than the giant American in Europe over the past couple of years which has earned him a big money move to Toulon.


3.Sergio Parisse

Parisse still remains the stand out European number 8 and has been absolutely vital to Italy over the past 10 years.

2.Kieran Read

Not quite in the form he hit a year or two ago, but Read still remains one of the truly stand-out talents in rugby right now.

1.Duane Vermeulen

The Springboks will be desperately hoping Vermeulen can get fit in time for the World Cup as they are a completely different prospect with him in the side.

Who do you think is the best number 8 in the world right now?