Players to watch out for at World Cup 2023
OPINION: The year 2023 is going to be massive for the game.
The World Rugby Under-20 championship finally returns in 2023 after a four-year absence.
The European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup could be claimed for the first time by a South African team.
And the main event is certainly the World Cup in France.
The showpiece starts on September 8 with the Final being played on October 28.
With all the prestige there will be some players who will be closely monitored for the nearly two-month-long event.
One man that certainly has the world doing a double take is Springbok wing Kurt-Lee Arendse.
The Bulls star has been incredible for his franchise – helping them to the United Rugby Championship Final last season.
And he has also been a standout performer for the Springboks.
The fleet-footed back looked like a natural in the green and gold, very difficult to see that he only made his Springboks debut in July and already scored seven tries in his seven Test appearances.
Arendse has also been nominated for the 2022 South African Rugby Player of the Year.
There is no doubt that the 26-year-old will be a vital component for the Springboks as they aim to retain the World Cup trophy.
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After leading France to a Six Nations Grand Slam title, Antoine Dupont will again have all eyes on him.
The Les Bleus star, regarded as one the best scrumhalves in the world, has been collecting numerous gongs over the past few years and has the opportunity to add the World Cup trophy to his list of accolades.
The 26-year-old’s basic skills are incredible, and he adds a different dynamic to the French attack. He is zippy and has the talent to spot the space, while he also has some pace.
The French hope will certainly be resting on him.
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Josh van der Flier is another player who can make a big impact on Ireland’s ambition of securing a long-awaited World Cup.
Crowned the World Rugby Player of the Year earlier this year, the 29-year-old has been in tremendous for Ireland.
He played a leading role in Ireland’s historic 2-1 series victory over the All Blacks in New Zealand and has also steered the side to pole position on the World Rugby’s official rankings.
The openside flank has started in all of Ireland’s Test this year and has scored four tries. He is an absolute menace at the breakdown and has been sensational for Leinster as well.
If there is one man that can inspire Ireland and overturn their World Cup fortunes it is the openside flank.