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.
Rugby player of the week
Fiji have never struggled for power and pace in the pack and out wide, but sometimes they’ve had issues with 80-minute game management.
Ben Volavola has long been the main man at No10 for the island nation but in their 36-20 win over Tonga last weekend it was debutant fly-half Caleb Nuntz who stole the show.
The 23-year-old Fijian Drua out-half split the posts on four occasions and contributed nine points to his team’s tally.
With a reliable back-up to the capable Volavola, Fiji are undoubtedly stronger ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
- Juan Martin Gonzalez could have gone into the Rugby World Cup without a club but Saracens have snapped up the Argentinian powerhouse.
- Christian Leali’ifano has 26 caps for Australia but, having qualified through new eligibility rules, he started for Samoa in their 24-22 win over Japan.
- Japan talisman Michael Leitch was sent off last week due to a high tackle. He is pivotal for the Brave Blossoms so they’ll be hoping any ban is short.
- Val Rapava-Ruskin is seen as one of the best looseheads in England, but that did not stop him from being dropped by Steve Borthwick this week.
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
- 11: Willis, Tambwe, Fickou, Kremer, French TV
- 12: Ntamack, Vunivalu, Coleman, Russell, Simmonds
- 13: Willis, Faumuina, Odogwu, Hassell-Collins, Bouthier
- 14: Whitelock, Slipper, Mo’Unga, Owens, Lieinert-Brown
- 15: Farrell, Plumtree, Kleyn, Mercer, Nche
- 16: Arende, Van Staden, Barrett, Cheika, Hooper
- 17: Grondona, Marx, Nawaqanitawase, Rodd, Jones