Handre Pollard and Patrick Lambie (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The pivot, the conductor of the orchestra, the playmaker... the flyhalf is the key decision maker on any rugby field.
Here, Sport24 hand picks FIVE No 10s to look out for at RWC 2015 over the next month and a half.
HANDRE POLLARD (South Africa)
Tests - 13
Points - 95
Pollard is relatively inexperienced at international level, but he is extremely highly rated by Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. He has displayed all of the qualities that make the complete flyhalf, but his form in the build-up to the World Cup was concerning and he will not start Saturday’s clash against Japan. But, if he gets it right when he gets his chance, Pollard will be hard to ignore for much longer.
PAT LAMBIE (South Africa)
Tests - 44
Points - 122
Lambie took his chance in Argentina and has been rewarded with a start against Japan. The South African public now seems split on whether he or Pollard should wear the No 10 jersey. Lambie’s defence is a major positive, while his kicking has also improved massively in the last season or two. He will look to take his opportunity against Japan by putting in a commanding display.
DAN CARTER (New Zealand)
Tests - 106
Points - 1516
Carter, in his World Cup swansong, will be looking to bow out of the game on a high. He is the all-time leading point’s scorer in Test rugby. There had been suggestions that Carter would move to 12 at RWC 2015 to accommodate Beauden Barrett at 10, but coach Steve Hansen has kept faith in his tried and tested general for Sunday’s clash against Argentina.
GEORGE FORD (England)
Tests - 13
Points - 124
Ford is just 22 and has been given the responsibility of guiding England to World Cup glory on home soil. He is smaller than most, but he has already been identified as having similarities to 2003 World Cup-winning flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson. North certainly does appear to have all of the attributes to become a leading flyhalf in world rugby, and he will be well worth watching over the next few weeks.
FREDERIC MICHALAK (France)
Tests - 73
Points - 403
Michalak has never quite lived up to expectation in a France jersey, moving in and out of the side since making his Test debut in 2001. Now, at 32, he has one last shot at World Cup glory. Regardless of what you make of Michalak, his creativity and ability to make something out of nothing has never been questioned... and it all makes for some entertaining viewing.