5 forwards capable of dominating the Rugby World Cup

WHEN WE TALK about dominating games of rugby, we’re not talking about the pretty patterns that are unfurling in the wide open spaces behind the scrum. We’re talking about the pack.

These lads decide who win the crucial coalface battles and therefore matches. These five pack Alphas have a habit of bullying their way to much more than their fair share of both.

Kieran Read

It’s hard to overshadow Richie McCaw in the All Black front eight, but if anyone comes close, it’s Read. The number eight is armed with excellent tackling technique, a tireless work ethic at the breakdown and athleticism to match any back row. However, it’s with the ball in hand that he really that he really turns from ‘day-cent’ to dominant.

Read’s excellent footwork consistently sees him move his arms free of the tackle and once they’re through, he punished defences with offloads that dreams are made of. Indeed, as you’ll see below, even when defenders think they have constricted his arms, he proves them wrong in style.

Click Here: dublin gaa jerseysDavid Pocock

How the Wallabies missed their star back row last season.

The Brumbies man has been in superb form this year and is powering the Green and Gold with his powerful jackling presence on defensive rucks and clinical technique when Australia are in possession.

Source: David Jones

Though his chief rival for the openside jersey, Michael Hooper, got off lightly enough despite being cited for striking Argentinian out-half Nicolas Sanchez; the Manly flanker will have to pull up trees to truly edge Pocock out of the number seven jersey.

Pocock’s form is very good news for a team who continue to carry the perception of a struggling set-piece with them, and so focus all their attention on how to get an upper hand in open play. In that regard, Pocock’s importance to the Wallabies can not be overstated.

Joe Marler

Aside from the haircuts, there’s not much flashy about England’s excellent pack. Yet it’s that consistent brute force that sees them consistently do untold damage to opposition platforms.

Source: Steve Paston

Pool A of the World Cup is rightly stamped as ‘The Group of Death’ for this tournament and progression to the knock-out stages will be decided in a large part by who can hold their own in the scrum. England will be in the quarter-final and they will be looking to Marler to tear into Welsh and Australian tight-heads, but also barrel over gainlines in open play.

Paul O’Connell

Toulon didn’t come calling — time and again – because of the Munster legend’s pretty face (though, Paulie if you’re reading, you’ve got that too). The richest club in world rugby knew they would be guaranteed value for whatever money they shelled out.

In the ultimate team sport, O’Connell is one of the few players who appears to have an ability to bend the will of everything around him and dominate game after game.

While many complained that Ireland’s run to a second Six Nations championship was dull and without star turns, they were overlooking O’Connell delivering watershed performances on a weekly basis, steadily – if not quietly – laying the platform for a first Championship defence in 66 years.

Brodie Retallick

While Paulie’s days on the international stage are numbered, Retallick’s era of dominance still has plenty of time left to run.

The reigning World Rugby Player of the Year is the iron casing for New Zealand’s forward unit and the natural heir to World Cup-winning lock Brad Thorne.

The 24-year-old is fierce in breakdown contact, more than just useful with his hands and, when he decides to hold on to the ball and put his head down, he’s guaranteed to make metres.

Analysis: Retallick epitomises why All Blacks are best in the worldAnalysis: How the Hurricanes limited Pocock’s turnover threat

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