Rugby World Cup Barometer: Australia must pick Skelton
In the lead up to the 2023 Rugby World Cup, City A.M. has put together a barometer in partnership with City Index to assess whose form is hot – and whose is not – in the race to be part of the tournament in France later this year.
Player of the week: Will Skelton
In what was the biggest ever Champions Cup final comeback, one man stood out for winners La Rochelle.
Will Skelton yet again was one of the best players on the pitch, but that is nothing new for the 31-year-old New Zealand-born Australian international. Saturday’s final was his fifth – two with Saracens and three with current club La Rochelle – and the lock has won four of them.
He is a workhorse for the big occasion, and someone Australia head coach Eddie Jones will be keeping an eye on.
Australia are rebuilding before the autumn’s Rugby World Cup, but 19-cap Skelton must be part of that side.
- Cheslin Kolbe is usually the one scoring the deciding try, but his defence on Friday for Toulon was exceptional. Almost undroppable for South Africa.
- UJ Seuteni caused Leinster chaos and the classy centre was such a threat for the eventual champions. He scored La Rochelle’s second.
- Michel Ala’alatoa was sent off in the Champions Cup final for a dangerous clear out. If the ban is long enough, his hopes of playing for Samoa could be dented.
- Jaco Peyper was the man in the middle last Saturday and received stern criticism for the way he refereed the breakdown. Eyes will be on him in France.
Previous Rugby World Cup Barometers
1: Pearson, Pollard, Hastoy, Sexton, Willis
2: Smith, Thorley, Amashukeli, McDermott, Smith
3: Botia, Dupont, Costelow, van Poortvliet, Malherbe
4: Carreras, Stuart, Freeman, Capuozzo, Swinton
5: Furbank, Koroibete, Spencer, Kolisi, Hassell-Collins
6: Kerr-Barlow, Thomas, Lawrence, Nowell, Ollivon
7: Coombes, Townsend, Libbok, Thomas, Cowan-Dickie
8: Ford, Crowley, George, Curry, van Poortvliet