Irishman Josh van der Flier, this is the best conservative player in the world

Irishman Josh van der Flier, this is the best conservative player in the world

John Hayes, Brian O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara, Rory Best… For decades, the stars who have worn the XV of Clover jersey have been lost in number. But if they can add to their country’s record at European level (23 titles during the Six Nations), they have all faced the same World Cup disappointment. Ireland have never in their history been able to advance beyond the quarter-finals, having failed seven times at this stage. She is trying her luck again this year, and got off to a good start by eliminating Romania (82-8) on Saturday, September 9. XV du Trèfle will seek confirmation against Tonga, Saturday, September 16, in Nantes (9pm, on TF1).

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To try to win the cup, XV du Trèfle is relying on its star player Jonathan Sexton (38) – for whom this is the last competition before retirement – but perhaps especially on Josh van der Flier. At 30 years old, the third-row winger is still far from being a popular figure in his specialty, or even in his team. However, he has a proven track record for it. In 2022, Antoine Dupont was denied the double by being elected the best player in the world by the International Rugby Federation.

On the team side, Van der Vlier contributed heavily to his team’s Grand Slam wins during the recent Six Nations. He was also on Ireland’s victorious tour of New Zealand in the summer of 2022, thanks to two wins in three matches against the All Blacks. All without attracting light. “He’s a fairly reserved person and not the type to make a dramatic outing in the media,” he said. Ratings for former Blues third-row Serge Bjetsen (63 caps). He naturally has a self-control that meshes well with the collective rugby image. »

Like Thierry Dusutoire – nicknamed the “Dark Destroyer” for his harsh contacts – Van der Vlier stands out above all in defense (67 tackles during the last Six Nations, his team’s best total, as in 2022). But the man who played half-half until the age of 14 is also not clumsy with the ball in his hand, as evidenced by the six tries he scored during the last European Champions Cup, the “big” European trophy. The Irishman led Leinster to the final, before losing, like the previous year, to La Rochelle.

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He was long relegated to the bench

Van der Flier does not seek the limelight when he arrives on the field, but rather seeks to relax. “It’s something I’ve found that works well for me. Before, I wouldn’t joke around before a match. But now I talk to the substitutes and ask them if they have any jokes to tell me.”The thirty-year-old explained to Irish media independentin September 2022.

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