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World Cup Players to Watch - Pools B and C

October 20th 2008 02:46
Category: World Cup News
With the 2008 World Cup set to kick off this weekend, here are some of the indivuals who will be hoping to lead their countries to victory.

In World Cup news, Australian coach, Ricky Stuart, names his side for the Kangaroos' opening clash against New Zealand tomorrow. Billy Slater is apparently under an injury cloud, meaning that Broncos fullback Karmichael Hunt could be the number one.

The Kiwis enter the match in top form, having thrashed Tonga 56-8 in a trial game, with centre Jerome Ropati claiming a hattrick. However, Australian skipper Darren Lockyer says his team is ready for the challenge ahead.

There's still some seats available for most matches, so click here to buy your tickets!

Anyway, here are the players I expect to be the most influential in Pools B and C.

Thomas Bosc (France)
Position: Five-eighth, Club: Les Catalans Dragons
Born: Perpignan, France, Height: 181cm, Weight: 88kg

Thomas Bosc is hardly a house hold name but from what I've seen of him, he'll be a player to keep your eye on during the World Cup. Bosc started his career as an outside back but has since moved into the halves with great success - guiding the Catalans Dragons to third in this year's English Super League. Since debuting in 2006, the 25-year old has accumulated 23 tries and 160 goals. Bosc is similar in style to Terry Campese of the Canberra Raiders and has both the passing and running game of a good five-eighth.

Akuila Uate (Fiji)
Position: Wing, Club: Newcastle Knights
Born: Fiji, Height: 185cm, Weight: 97kg

Dubbed the next Lote Tuqiri by Matthew Johns, the young Newcastle Knights winger is my player to watch for Fiji. Uate has played 4 first grade games in the NRL, possesses brilliant speed and blinding acceleration and is excited about his first world cup. "Everyone in the islands is really proud of everyone playing overseas, so I can't wait to play against other teams like Australia and New Zealand," he told LeagueHQ.

Danny Brough (Scotland)
Position: Halfback, Club: Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
Born: Dewsbury, Scotland, Height: 170cm, Weight: 76kg

The crafty halfback plays for the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in the English Super League and has scored 337 points in 59 appearances. Scottish coach, Steve McCormack, says Brough is the top halfback in the World Cup, with his kicking game drawing special praise. Scotland goes into Pool B as underdogs but an upset is on the cards thanks to the presence of Brough.

Feleti Mateo (Tonga)
Position: Five-eighth/Lock, Club: Parramatta Eels
Born: Sydney, Australia, Height: 194cm, Weight: 104kg

Australian audiences will be familiar with the brilliance of Feleti Mateo. In my opinion, he’s got the best offload in the game at the moment and fellow Pool C sides, Ireland and Samoa, must be on their game when the Parramatta Eels five-eighth has the ball in hand. Tonga were beaten fairly convincingly by New Zealand in a pre-World Cup trial but rest assured – they’ll be better for the run and a far more fearsome prospect once the competition kicks off.

Wayne Kerr (Ireland)
Position: Prop, Club: London Skolars
Born: Dublin, Ireland, Height: 180cm, Weight: 105kg

No his parents weren’t cruel or stupid, they gave him his name on purpose. "My Ma always said to me, she gave me my name for a reason, so it would never be forgotten. I've been slagged over it my whole life, but it doesn't worry me.” Kerr told The Daily Telegraph . But apart from the fame due to the name, apparently the big prop is actually a pretty good player. He’s built like a brick wall in defence and, just like the rest of the Irish team, won’t be taking a backward step.

Lagi Setu (Samoa)
Position: Backrow/Lock, Club: Brisbane Broncos
Born: Auckland, NZ, Height: 189cm, Weight: 100kg

Setu is one of the youngest members of the Samoan squad but he’ll also be one of the most lethal. The 20-year old possesses a great offload, good footwork and the ability to hit hard in defence – all the qualities of a good backrower. Setu has played 31 NRL matches since his debut last season and according to his player profile, his favourite TV show is Summer Heights High. Quality.


Stay tuned! I'll be posting some accompanying pictures this evening.


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