The best on the blindside

The best on the blindside

Bruising defence, fearless ball carrying and never far from the action, the modern blindside flanker role has evolved into one of the most action-filled positions on the rugby field.

Stephen Jones, a familiar correspondent for, penned a list of the best blindside flankers the game has seen. His list prompted former England international, Stuart Barnes, to come up with his own to compare.

Jones' list was headed by 1987 World Cup - winning All Black Alan Whetton while Barnes' list was topped by Springbok hard man Juan Smith.

Jones said Whetton was “a fantastic player, full of power and intent and consistency. In the 1987 World Cup he scored a try in every game bar the final, was part of a tremendous back row.”

British critic rates former All Black Alan Whetton as best ...

Barnes, on the other hand, was full of praise for Juan Smith, saying the flanker was “every bit as good as any Kiwi back rower with the ball in had,’' also noting his “indomitable defence’’ and “exquisite [lineout] timing.’’

Springbok Juan Smith ruled out of World Cup | World rugby ...

JonesTop 10:

1-Alan Whetton (NZ)

2-Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa)

3-Jerome Kaino (NZ)

4-Ian Kirkpatrick (NZ)

5-Jon Hill (England)

6-Mike Teague (England)

7-Schalk Burger (SA)

8-Owen Finegan (Australia)

9-Dan Lydiate (Wales)

10-equal-Derek Quinnell (Wales), Dai Morris (Wales).

Barnes' Top 10:

1-Juan Smith (SA)

2-Jerome Kaino (NZ)

3-Richard Hill (England)

4-Mamuka Gogodze (Georgia)

5-Serge Betsen (France)

6-Ian Kirkpatrick (NZ)

7-Pieter-Steph du Toit (SA)

8-Michael Leitch (Japan)


10-Owen Finegan (AUS)


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