Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
Sella takes centre stage
Philippe Sella
Sella was arguably the most gifted centre of all time
With 111 caps on his retirement in 1995, Philippe Sella remains the most capped rugby international and arguably the finest centre of all time.

During his playing days he continually outfoxed opposition defences with his thrilling running amidst a flurry of talented French backs.

Here he picks out the five centres to watch out for in the World Cup.


1 Brian O'Driscoll (Ire)

Brian O'Driscoll
O'Driscoll is the most competitive centre there is in world rugby now and one of the best backs in the world full stop.

He is so important for the Irish team. While Keith Wood is the leader of the forwards, O'Driscoll is the leader of the backs and will continue to be so throughout the tournament.

He is a great, great player and someone I never tire of watching.

Attacking with the ball in hand he is exciting and he is the heart of Ireland's defence as well. The real star of the centres.


2 Damien Traille (Fra)

Damien Traille
He is the father of French rugby at the moment, well in the backs anyway and will be the key man if France hope to post a serious challenge.

With Tony Marsh, he has put together a really exciting centre partnership for the French, but Traille just gets the nod in my opinion.

He manages to pick the right move and the right moment for everything. On his day he causes mayhem against even the best defences.

Some players just have a knack of pulling off daring moves to good effect. Just wait until he makes a run for the line. It'll be worth watching.


3 Will Greenwood (Eng)

Will Greenwood
Greenwood often gets overlooked with people like Jonny Wilkinson, Jason Robinson and Ben Cohen around him in the backs.

Often those are the ones winning the headlines with their fireworks, but Greenwood should not be overlooked.

He regularly pops up with a beautifully timed run just when England's attackers need it and breaks the gain line with a click of his fingers.

Like Traille, he has an ability to get into the right place at the right time.


4 Aaron Mauger (NZ)

Aaron Mauger
He's a player I've not really seen enough of yet. But even in the brief glimpses I've got of him - especially during the Tri-Nations - he looks an exciting talent.

During the series he looked sharper than Tana Umaga alongside him, which says a lot for his ability as a player.

Unlike a lot of players in the game he just plays where he's told to and gets on with the job. He's a good fly-half, but is generally employed at centre.

And his decision-making skills, as well as his strong kicking, make him a really potent threat.


5 Mat Rogers (Aus)

Mat Rogers
He's still finding his way in rugby union but he is one of the special players in the Australian backs.

I'm also a big fan of Daniel Herbert but Rogers might finally prove he is talent at the World Cup. It's the sort of stage he flourishes on.

He is both strong and has an excellent ability to find the gaps for the Wallabies.

How he manages to play, should have a big effect on how far Australia get.





Links to more Rugby World Cup stories


 

STARS NAME PLAYERS TO WATCH
 

Stars to watch

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs

MMIX

Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | US Sport | Other Sport | Olympics 2004

Scores & Fixtures | Have Your Say | Photo Galleries | TV/Radio Listings

Fun and Games | Question of Sport | BBC Sport Extra

Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport