This week’s World Cup star player is Dane Coles. Coles get this accolade in my opinion for his astronomical rise onto the international test scene, and stunning performance against Australia last weekend.
Coles first burst on to the professional stage in 2007 where he received the accolade of Wellingtons most promising player. Coles first test cap was a long time coming, when he came off the bench against Scotland in 2012, at the age of 25. For Coles the cap may have felt a long time coming, waiting his turn behind legend Kevin Mealamu and hard man Andrew Hore.
During his time though Coles worked on several aspects of his game, focussing on his strength, scrummaging and cooling a fierce temper.
Since becoming an All Black regular Coles has shown an impressive turn of speed for a front row, running in several beautiful tries thanks to his deceptive speed. A prime example of his acceleration is the try he scored last week against Australia that would have made Shane Williams proud. He is also gifted with subtle hands and a strong defensive tackle.
His skill sets put him in the up echelons of his position, alongside the likes of Bismarck Du Plessis and Stephen Moore.
Outside of international rugby Coles plays for the Hurricanes, and was a big part of the team that came second in the Super 15. I believe Coles has got a big World Cup ahead of him, and is essential to New Zealand’s effort to hold onto the World Cup.