The Players to Watch Out For During the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific League - The Rugby Observer

The Players to Watch Out For During the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific League

Rugby Editorial 22nd Feb, 2024   0

The Super Rugby Pacific kicks off on Friday, 23rd February and rugby union fans will be treated to some top-class action. The competition is made up of 12 Super Rugby franchises with five coming from Australia, five from New Zealand, one from Fiji, and the final team representing the Pacific Islands.

Following years of dominance that has seen them secure the last 5 tournaments, the Crusaders go into this competition as 9/4 favourites. Interestingly, they meet up with the 11/4 second favourites, the Chiefs, in the opening match.

The Chiefs are the home favourites for this tie at around 5/8, with the Crusaders priced at around 13/8 to pull off an early away victory.

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As with any tournament, players will be looking to showcase their talents and help their teams progress as far as possible. With this in mind, there are a few talents to keep your eyes on this year.

Moana Pasifika are seen by bookmakers as being the big outsiders, and they are priced as high as 250/1 to win the tournament. The team is built from players from Pacific Island nations and those of Pasifika heritage.

One player to look out for on this team is the experienced former All-Black, Julian Savea. The 33-year-old winger brings his destructive attacking power to a team that will need it if they are to surprise the experts this year. Mark Telea’s influence could have a greater say on the tournament as he is currently with third favourites, the Blues. The Auckland team will be pinning a lot of hopes on the All Black’s winger to perform well.

Telea showed what it is capable of during last year’s competition finishing second for the highest amount of tries scored, and first for clean breaks and beating the most defenders.

Despite Moana Pasifika finishing bottom during the last two campaigns, Levi Aumua did enough to earn a move to the Crusaders, who are looking to win their sixth tournament in a row.

At 29, Levi Aumua should be at the peak of his abilities and has also earned a call-up to the All Blacks. This will be a huge test of character for a player that has been able to enjoy relatively pressure-free campaigns, as he copes with the weight of expectation.

Finally, there is the ‘Tongan Thor’, Taniela Tupou. The 27-year-old Australian international first found internet fame as a schoolboy as videos of his powerful runs went viral.

Tupou built on his potential at the Reds where he spent 7 years before moving to the Rebels this season. The Rebels’ much-publicised off-field issues have been a distraction for players and fans, but Taniela Tupou will be hoping to give them something to cheer about.

Widely regarded as one of the best props in the world, Tupou will be crucial to the Rebels campaign.


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