VOX POP: Who will emerge as the star of the Rugby World Cup?

Click to follow
The Independent Online
BOB DWYER

FORMER AUSTRALIAN COACH

I'm looking for somebody who is in a good side, a dominant side, so they will do well in the tournament. I think New Zealand will be up there at the end and I'm going to go for Christian Cullen. He is so powerful and so fast and generates such tremendous speed from a standing start that he is probably the most difficult person to tackle. It is difficult to be a star in the New Zealand team but if Cullen plays well, at full- back or centre, he has that dangerous something that can win games.

PHILIPPE SAINT-ANDRE

FORMER FRENCH CAPTAIN

It is very difficult to pick just one player but I think it could be Jonah Lomu again. New Zealand are a very good side and if they get quick ball to the backs then Lomu will be so very difficult to stop. I believe he will start rather than be a substitute as in the Tri-Nations - the New Zealand coaches are clever and I think they will use him well. Tana Umaga could also be a star and I have also been very impressed with Lawrence Dallaglio in the warm-up games. He has looked fit and quick and that is good for England.

DAVID SOLE

FORMER SCOTLAND CAPTAIN

Only one player out of the whole tournament? Well, I guess you've got to go for Christian Cullen. He has such enormous versatility, and wherever he has played he has made an enormous contribution. He has fantastic pace, beautiful hands and the most wonderful side-step in international rugby. He is a beautifully balanced runner with the ability to turn defences quickly. Any team with him is such an attacking force. I think he has the style and quality to win games and is a lovely player to watch.

DEAN RICHARDS

FORMER ENGLAND PLAYER

Everyone talks about the backs, but the people that make the tournament are the forwards. Jonah Lomu took it last time but lots of people who know rugby thought Josh Kronfeld was exceptional. I honestly believe it will be the link players, so any one of the England back row, who are the most cohesive unit in any of the teams - Lawrence Dallaglio, then Neil Back and Richard Hill all work well together. If New Zealand get the superiority up front then Christian Cullen could show his worth but I don't think that they will.

GARETH EDWARDS

FORMER WALES PLAYER

I would say someone like Christian Cullen because of his obvious qualities. He scored some superb tries in the Tri-Nations, is a fantastic footballer, plays in any position and is the potent force of New Zealand rugby. We see so much of the players on television these days, but he is an exceptional talent. A competition like this can throw up an unexpected star but they've really got to have the credentials first, and Cullen has. Over the past year, he has been the outstanding player in world rugby.

NIGEL MELVILLE

FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN

Lawrence Dallaglio will be because he is playing better rugby than he has done for a long time. Physically he is in great shape and very fit, and he is also very, very focused. He is playing behind a very powerful front five and this is a strong base for him. He can also just concentrate on playing good rugby now without the burden of captaincy. He is determined to do well and he is capable of dominating matches. His mind will be clear and this will allow him to perform at his best, which is what England need.

IAIN FLETCHER

Comments