by Will Carling
Just one day to go until the start of the 2009 6 Nations rugby tournament, here are my top ten to watch over the coming weeks..
Will Carling, is the former captain of England from 1988 to 1996, winning 72 caps. He is now blogging anything, *ahem*, writing his thoughts daily on his blog Will ’s World and is a big Twitter fan, add him by clicking @willcarling. Will has recently launched a social network for Rugby fans called Rucku. Rucku is the World’s first virtual rugby clubhouse and boasts many stars from the past and present, Will is known there as willc and does a weekly ramble about Rugby on video with this week a preview on the 6 Nations.
My Top Ten to watch in the six nations rugby tournament
Sergio Parisse (ITALY)
The Italian number eight is rated as the best in the world and I would not argue with that. Italy have a huge pack of forwards and this man will be their driver and leader, so watch out for his powerful running but also his great skills and reading of the game.
Martyn Williams (WALES)
He came out of International retirement to make Wales ‘great’ and he will be a key man in that attempt. A great link player and vital to Wales’s need to play a fast fluid game.
Gavin Henson (WALES)
OK all fake tan jokes aside, if this man shines then Wales will be hard to beat. His form has been intermittent to be polite, but he has the ability to dictate a game and bring the best out in Wales’s very talented back line. (Yes I know he is ruled out of tomorrow’s game, trust me!)
Shane Williams (WALES)
Voted the IRB player of the year this man has the quickest feet in the Northern Hemisphere rugby. He can worry and then destroy defensive line ups in a second, and Wales will need him at his very best to turn the tight matches.
Brian O’Driscoll (IRELAND)
In my mind still the best centre in World Rugby and can create a try out of very very little. His captaincy as well as his attacking genius will be crucial if Ireland are to eventually turn all their promise into success in this year’s Chamionship.
Lionel Beauxis (FRANCE)
Nicknamed “Bernardo” after Zorro’s mute servant, he is also rated as having all the skills and talent to become France’s best Number 10 for many years. Can spark the French into their magic with his vision and distribution.
Sebastian Chabal (FRANCE)
Now an iconic figure with his long hair and cave man appearance. His defence is awesome as New Zealand’s Masoe will testify and his powerful ball carrying will be key to France getting on the front foot against the opposition.
Thierry Dusautoir (FRANCE)
France’s answer to Richie McCaw this man could be one of the surprise stars of the Six Nations. He has all the attributes, pace, power, skill and vision and if the French pack play well he could be wrecking havoc in attack and defence.
James Haskell (ENGLAND)
If England are to do well this year a huge amount will rest with this man. He is very athletic and powerful and will need to make some huge hits in defence for England as well as being explosive and brutal when carrying the ball.
Delon Armitage (ENGLAND)
A success story for England in the November tests, and that can not be underestimated. He has a natural ability to counter attack, he has pace and as his confidence grows he could be one of England’s most potent attacking weapons
What do you think? Where did I get it wrong? Feel free to leave me comments here or join Rucku and add me “willc” on there, I will add you back and we can discuss there - am having a few beers tonight - so be warned! I do read every message on Twitter but is easier for me to manage on Rucku!