Top 5 New Zealand Rugby Players in Europe
The top five New Zealand rugby players, who are currently playing in Europe, have been ranked by Bleacher Report, based on the impact they are having or will have this season for their clubs.
- Dan Carter
“Carter is already making a big impact for usual underachievers Racing 92, providing the suburban Parisians with game-management and the creativity to unleash flyers Joe Rokocoko, Juan Imhoff and Brice Dulin,” writes Daniel Rey.
- Charles Piutau
Being left out of New Zealand’s 2015 Rugby World Cup squad after signing a mid-2016 deal with Irish province Ulster, Piutau decided to fill the time with a stint at Wasps. There he “has been one of the major reasons for their upturn in form—most notably in the European Champions Cup, where they topped the fiendish Pool 5 that included Toulon, Leinster and Bath.”
- Ma’a Nonu
“Over the past five years—at least—there has been nobody better at No. 12 than 103-cap All Black Ma’a Nonu,” according to Rey. Even though he didn’t have the perfect start in France with Toulon, he now has “settled in the south of France and has been seeking better form despite playing behind a far less mobile pack than at the Hurricanes or with New Zealand.”
- Conrad Smith
94-cap All Black centre Conrad Smith has been one of the most intelligent rugby footballers of the past decade. In a nutshell Smith is “understated class.”
- Chris Masoe
Chris Masoe, currently with Racing (before that with Toulon), makes it into the list after consistently strong performances in Europe. Despite approaching his 37th birthday, he hasn’t lost any of the physicality of his youth.
Article Source: Bleacher Report, Daniel Rey, April 21, 2016
Image Source: Twitter – Dan Carter