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The Top 5 Players to Look Out for in the World Cup 2023

As the Rugby World Cup gets ever closer, there’s a lot of talk about which teams to look out for – but what about the players? The form of a player can make or break even the best team. Here, we look at the top 5 players that we think will have the biggest influence on the outcome of the tournament…

Antonio Dupont – France

Dubbed the ‘Haaland of Rugby,’ the Toulouse scrum half, Antoine Dupont, has been a standout wonder kid in the Six Nations. Renowned for his tactical prowess and unmatched skill on the international stage, this player brings his own unique flair to the game, setting him apart from other Northern Hemisphere players. 

As the 2021 Rugby World Cup player of the tournament, he has consistently proven to be one of the most valuable players on the French side. Despite some setbacks in the Six Nations, Dupont still displayed his brilliance, especially in the match against Ireland. Now, he sets his sights on leading France to their first Rugby World Cup victory, a feat they have come close to achieving on several occasions and he will make sure that they are the team to focus on when Rugby World Cup betting is underway.

Finlay Bealham – Ireland

Ireland fans were left stunned when their top-tier tight head prop, Tadhg Furlong, was sidelined just before the game against Wales. His absence was a blow as he had been instrumental in Ireland’s success. However, Bealham stepped up and ensured the setback was minimised. His exceptional performances in the three games he started during the Six Nations showcased his talent. Known for his short runs and excellent groundwork at the breakdown, Bealham has added to Ireland’s formidable front-row combo and, with his form on the rise, it bodes well for Ireland’s prospects.

Bealham pursued his passion for rugby after trying his luck in local leagues in Canberra, Australia. He eventually moved to Ireland for trials and earned his cap for the Ireland Under 20s, becoming a consistent part of the system. With the Ireland team seeking depth, Bealham’s agility makes him a valuable asset and one to watch out for.

Johnny Sexton – Ireland

This rugby veteran is gearing up for another shot at the Rugby World Cup. At 37 years old, Sexton has aged like fine wine and his influence was evident in Ireland’s triumph in the Six Nations Championship. Despite battling through an injury during the England game, his determination prevailed. He may have had to leave the field in the 73rd minute but he had already had a big impact.

With 113 caps for Ireland, he remains the most experienced player in the squad and he aims to lead Ireland to their first-ever Rugby World Cup final, breaking their previous quarter-final barrier. 

This will be Sexton’s last shot at the Webb Ellis trophy and fans have secured their Rugby World Cup 2023 tickets to witness this rugby legend in action one last time – could he go out with a bang?!

Aaron Smith – New Zealand

For the All Blacks to secure victory in the Rugby World Cup 2023, they will certainly be reliant upon the prowess of Aaron Smith, their standout half-back. His exceptional skills with the ball and strategic thinking make him a constant threat on the field. Currently leading the Highlanders in the Super Rugby season, the 34-year-old is preparing diligently for the upcoming Rugby Championship and, ultimately, the Rugby World Cup.

With 117 caps, he holds the record as the most capped back-player in the All Blacks squad and, having experienced the heartbreak of the England semifinal loss, he is determined to do better this time around. 

As the world’s most popular (and successful) rugby team, he has a pretty good chance of helping his team to victory.

Lukhanyo Am – South Africa

Back to full fitness, Jesse Kriel is ready to make a massive impact in 2023 for the Springboks. However, Lukhanyo Am’s defensive prowess will be crucial if they want to hold onto their title. 

In 2019, Am’s exceptional performance set up a crucial try while halting England’s momentum. Alongside Damian de Allende, Am forms a formidable midfield – one rarely found among top-tier nations. To achieve back-to-back titles like the All Blacks in 2011 and 2015, the Springboks will be relying on Am’s top form. Can they hold on to the title? If Lukhanyo Am is in form and has his way, then yes, they can.

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