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Top six underrated players in the Gallagher Premiership

Top six underrated players in the Gallagher Premiership

The Gallagher Premiership is littered with some of the best talent in world rugby.

World-beaters like Marcus Smith, Henry Slade, Virimi Vakatawa and Tommy Freeman will undoubtedly dominate the headlines; but sometimes it’s the players around them that propel them to new heights.

Whether it’s a workhorse second-rower, a powerhouse number eight, a scrummaging machine at prop or a meter-maker in the centres; every team in the league has it’s own underrated, yet most important player.

But which players deserve some recognition for their hard work? Here are our top six underrated players in the Gallagher Premiership.

Top six underrated players in the Gallagher Premiership

Gabriel Ibitoye

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The Bristol Bears winger might be sat outside of the England window for now, however he has been quietly good all season. The former Harlequin ace currently leads the league for total meters (1152), offloads (25) and defenders beaten (65) this season. He also leads the carrying stats for the Bears with 149 so far this campaign. Ibitoye was also brilliant in their 85-14 drubbing of Newcastle, rubber stamping just how vital he is to this Bristol Bears side too. He might not have to wait long for that phone call from Steve Borthwick….

Will Evans

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Is Will Evans still underrated? In our books he is, but he is starting to get the plaudits he deserves. Evans leads the way in both the Premiership and the Champions Cup for tackles and turnovers. His defensive work is arguably what allows them to play this adventurous style as he provides a genuine platform. Could the case be made that he is Harlequins’ best player?

Sam Dugdale

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Another defensive workhorse is Sam Dugdale. The Sale Sharks flanker is topping the defensive charts for his team this season, and really leading by example in this area. He has made a whopping 163 tackles so far (second only to Ernst van Rhyn at Sale) and has also notched 11 turnovers too (most of any Sale player). At only 24-years-old, his best form is only in front of him too, which is a scary thought for the opposition.

Will Collier

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Props never really grab the headlines (unless they’re Joe Marler or Dan Cole), but Will Collier has been one of the best scrummaging tightheads in the Premiership for a number of years, but we’re only now realising his true quality. Collier has been criminally overlooked by England in an era where the international side has been crying out for a powerful scrummaging tighthead alongside the afore mentioned Cole. His departure to France next season will probably be the time we truly realise just how good he is.

Jacques Vermeulen 

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Exeter flanker Jacques Vermeulen has been consistently good for a number of years, but this season more than ever he has proved how valuable he is to Rob Baxter’s team. The South African powerhouse has become such a valuable asset to the Chiefs’ success in the tight, and he also has an uncanny ability to get them over the gainline. This season, he has made more gainline carries than anyone at the club (80), but he has also added a nice ability to sniff a try out too, notching seven so far this campaign. Reports also suggest he could soon be eligible to play for England, is he the type of flanker Steve Borthwick’s side need to take them to the next level?

Arron Reid 

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Sale are blessed with a young, talented back three; but Arron Reid is sometimes the ugly duckling of the bunch. The 25-year-old offers just as much of an attacking edge as the other players in Sale’s unit. He has racked up an impressive 672 meters so far this season, and made 20 line breaks in the process. Reid also has a great eye for the try-line with a haul of seven tries. The Sale academy graduate might not get in the headlines as much as Tom Roebuck, Joe Carpenter and Tom O’Flaherty, but he is quietly proving to be just as effective in Sale’s attacking reset.