Perfect Six Nations Player: The French defender rated 'better than Maro Itoje'
2024/02/07

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Planet Rugby has partnered with Two Cents Rugby, eToro, and several former players and coaches to explore what the ideal Six Nations player would look like. In a six-part series sponsored by eToro, they will analyze various attributes such as kicking, power, speed, defense, and leadership to create the perfect player. The first aspect they delve into is defense, with help from former England assistant and current Stade Francais defense coach, Paul Gustard. Gustard emphasized the importance of emotional desire, mental capacity, fight, grit resilience, and unseen traits in a good defender. He praised former Saracens and Namibia captain Jacques Burger for his ferocious tackling. However, Gustard selected Juan Ignacio Brex, Tommy Reffell, and Paul Gabrillagues as his top choices for the perfect defender, with Gabrillagues being his ultimate pick due to his exceptional defending ability, work ethic, and tackle fight. Gabrillagues has recently returned to play for France in the Six Nations after a hiatus. Gustard ranked him as one of the best locks he has coached, alongside players like Courtney Lawes and Maro Itoje.

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