A leading Welsh website has picked Springbok centre Damian de Allende as one of the six contenders to be Rugby World Cup Player of the Tournament.
While those closer to home may have opted to include Cheslin Kolbe, Makazole Mapimpi or Pieter-Steph du Toit as a candidate, those up north have thrown a curved ball in calling for votes for De Allende on their website.
The site even goes as far as to compare the Stormers centre, who made 17 tackles in the win over Japan, to two-time World Cup-winner Conrad Smith and single him out as a one to play a vital role in the Springboks’ bid for a third title.
In putting forward De Allende, WalesOnline ventured: ‘The choice of the centre may be strange for some with his Springbok team-mate Pieter-Steph du Toit, and New Zealand flanker Ardie Savea and outside-half Richie Mo’unga all having shined.
‘But the powerful De Allende has been the Conrad Smith of this World Cup, being the glue that has held together the South Africa midfield.
‘The 27-year-old does the basics so well, is a handful on the ball, can pass accurately and is a solid tackler who marshalls the Springbok defence. If they are to go on and lift the World Cup for a third time, his quietly efficient role could be a key factor.’
Kazuki Himeno (Japan), Semi Radradra (Fiji), Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), Justin Tipuric (Wales) and Tom Curry (England) are the other candidates.
*Editor’s note: Wales’ Tipuric has received more than 50% of the votes while De Allende has received the least at just 2%.
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