Our next section of the 100 best players goes from 40-31. Compiled at the end of 2017, take a look at who makes the cut
40 Telusa Veainu
Country Tonga Date of Birth 26.12.90 Position Full-back
When he was signed from Melbourne Rebels, it was a case of Veain-who? But two years after pitching up at Leicester, the Tongan has proved to be one of their best-ever signings. Elusive – he regularly tops the Opta charts for defenders beaten – with a jack-hammer sidestep, he terrorises Premiership defences.
39 Alivereti Raka
Country Fiji Date of Birth 9.12.94 Position Wing
You can’t miss Raka – he’s the one shimmying, swerving and stepping past half the opposition. Watch his try against Brive on YouTube. Clermont call the wing ‘Rocket’ and Fiji might explode in frustration if, as expected, he plays for France in the Test arena.
38 Iain Henderson
Country Ireland Date of Birth 21.2.92 Position Lock
The softly-spoken Ulsterman is 6ft 6in and nearly 19st – and has been dubbed a “monster” by Devin Toner. A brilliant defensive mauler, he has rampaged across the world in the past year and it was his sizeable paw, stretching over the try-line in Dublin, that inflicted a first defeat on Eddie Jones as England boss.
37 Sonny Bill Williams
Country New Zealand Date of Birth 3.8.85 Position Centre
NZ’s favourite sporting polymath! The two-time world champion is nearing his 50th cap with maturity, slammin’ defence and, of course, miracle offloads, though the red card for a shoulder to the jaw of Anthony Watson is a blot on his copybook.
36 Ryan Crotty
Country New Zealand Date of Birth 23.9.88 Position Centre
What keeps the All Blacks ticking? Well, with increasing regularity, it looks like Crotty. Positioning himself well, tackling anything coming down his channel, communicating accurately, running workmanlike lines and laying on nice passes for superstars… Crotty brings out the very best of the players around him.