Rugby Union 3 years ago

15 Teams, 15 X-Factor Players for 2015

  • 15 Teams, 15 X-Factor Players for 2015

In some cases these guys might not be the best player overall in their respective Super Rugby sides and they might not be the most consistent but on any given day, at any given time, they can turn a game on it's head. This is one player in each side that undoubtedly possesses what's most commonly known as "x-factor".

South Africa

Bulls

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Handre Pollard (first five-eighth)

He is a freakish talent at first five-eighth and showed it when he made his debut for South Africa against the All Blacks last year. A pivot with a lethal running game.

Cheetahs

Willie le Roux (fullback/wing)

The Cheetahs and Springboks fullback has pace. And like they say, there's no substitute for it.

Lions

Armand van der Merwe (hooker)

He's being touted as the next Bismarck du Plessis and the strapping 20-year-old Lions hooker will want to live up to that this year with some big shots and some big carries.

Sharks

Francois Steyn (second five-eighth/fullback)

He is big, strong, fast, smart and can kick goals from 60 plus metres. Enough said.

Stormers

Eben Etzebeth (lock)

The Stormers lineout man is the best in the game at this point. His work in the air is impressive and his work rate even more so.

Australia

Brumbies

Tevita Kuridrani (centre)

The Fijian flyer is a beast at centre and his opposites will have their hands full on defence.

Force

Nick Cummins (wing)

"The Honey Badger" is back for another go with the Force this year. He might not best most fearsome wing three-quarter on show but he pops up at crucial moments and makes crucial plays.

Rebels

Radike Samo (lock/loose forward)

The 38-year-old has done it all in his career and will be the ultimate impact player off the bench for the Rebels this season whether he plays at lock, in the loose or on the wing.

Reds

James O'Connor (first five-eighth/fullback)

Has had an up-and-down past couple of seasons but still has it. Given time and space, he'll win you the game either running the cutter or from fullback.

Waratahs

Israel Folau (fullback/wing)

Almost always breaks the first tackle. Lethal on the kick return and a beast with ball in hand.

New Zealand

Blues

Tevita Li (wing)

Had a sensational ITM Cup last season and despite his young age, will be a machine on the wing alongside another up-and-comer in Ben Lam.

Chiefs

Sonny Bill Williams (second five-eighth)

The man is a freak. And that offload...

Crusaders

Nemani Nadolo (wing)

The big Fijian looks like he could play in the front row but runs like the wind. He pairs power with pace and was the Crusaders leading try scorer last season.

Highlanders

Malakai Fekitoa (centre/second five-eighth)

Superb from broken field play and is explosive off the mark. He will be better for his experience with the All Blacks last year.

Hurricanes

Julian Savea (wing)

The modern day Jonah Lomu, as he's been called, will be awesome again this season. The difference between he and Lomu? He can kick and pass along with running over the top of defenders.

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