We take a look at some of the key players who look like they could find themselves heading home before the knock-out stages of the World Cup.

For the purposes of this side, we’re going to assume that England, Australia, South Africa, Samoa, New Zealand, Argentina, Ireland and France make the quarterfinals (based on world rankings)

15.Stuart Hogg

The Scotland full back is one of the most underrated talents in the northern hemisphere and is Scotland’s stand out player by some way.

14.George North

One of the best wingers in the world when in form, North has the potential to be one of the all time Welsh greats.

13.Michelle Campagnaro

The young Italian centre was magnificent during last years Six Nations and adds a dynamic to the Italian backline they have previously lacked.

12.Jamie Roberts

The Welsh centre has been a key player for Warren Gatland over the last few years, and still remains one of the best around.

11.Nemani Nadolo

After another stand out Super Rugby season, Nadolo will play a key role in Fiji’s World Cup campaign.


10.Finn Russell

The Scotland fly half has brought a spark to his sides backline that has been missing over the last few years.

9.Rhys Webb

Having ousted Mike Phillips from the Welsh nine shirt, Webb is turning into one of the best scrum halves in the northern hemisphere.

8.Sergio Parisse

Quite possible the best number 8 of the last decade, Parisse has come to define the term ‘captain fantastic’ when playing for Italy.

7.Sam Warburton

The Welsh captain is one of the finest opensides in the world and is also a great leader out on the pitch.

6.Mamuka Gorgodze

The giant Georgian back rower brings a wealth of experience and talent to an already impressive Georgian pack.


5.Samu Manoa

The true star of the USA Eagles, Manoa is their one claim to having a genuinely world class player.

4.Alun Wyn Jones

Were it not for Warburton, it would be easy to see Welsh lock Jones captaining his side such has been his impact of late.

3.Martin Castrogiovanni

The test centurion, Castro has become a firm fans favourite as much for his talent as his stand out appearance.

2.Ross Ford

After a disappointing couple of seasons, Ford seems to have bounced back and now looks to be on top form once again

1.Gethin Jenkins

Another test centurion, Jenkins has been a stalwart of the Welsh side in recent years and is now their most experienced player.