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
Amid the fallout from Worcester Warriors and Wasps going under this season, a number of players from the two clubs got to experience high level rugby in France – one of those is Tom Willis.
The Bordeaux Begles No8 was a key part of his side’s Top14 quarter-final win away to Lyon, earning them a semi-final tie against La Rochelle this weekend.
Willis was a solid carrier, as he has been all season, and has confirmed his return to the Premiership with a summer transfer to Saracens, meaning he will be in contention for the England squad.
Going toe-to-toe with some of the best back-rows in the world should stand the 24-year-old in good stead for a World Cup spot.
- Madosh Tambwe is enjoying a purple patch this season, scoring nine tries. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tambwe is South African-qualified and could be a bolter.
- Gaël Fickou is close to being the first name on the France team sheet. The centre was brilliant in Racing 92’s win over Stade Francais last week.
- Marcos Kremer received his third red card of the season in Stade Francais’s loss at the weekend. His indiscipline could be a liability for Argentina at the World Cup.
- French TV production will be key at this year’s tournament, and technical issues during big quarter-final matches last weekend will have caused some unease.
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
- 9: Skelton, Kolbe, Seuteni, Ala’alatoa, Peyper
- 10: Farrell, Dan, Nash, Baloucoune, Jantjies