RUGBY. Did you know ? With 18 tries this season, the best scorer in the world is a HOOKER!

Rugby is sometimes a thankless sport. Like others, by the way. There, the shadow boys will always have less visibility and recognition than the magicians of the oval ball, when for some, their importance in a device is – at least – as great. In La Rochelle, for example, not many people cast an eye on the presence of Wiian Liebenberg, yet an essential element for the proper balance of the maritime machine. In Toulouse and despite the progress of things, Pita Ahki is never the one we talk about the most. And yet…

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It’s like everywhere, constantly, and has been since the dawn of time. But a boy, this season, seems more than could pay the pots of his position, his club, his image. Indeed, George Mcguigan, chubby 29-year-old hooker for 1m83 and 110kg, is nothing like a Camille Chat or a Codie Taylor in the same position. Even less of a Romain Ntamack or Owen Farrell, higher in the chain, and of which we all contribute, we journalists, to relay the slightest action, the slightest support, the slightest declaration. However, the Newcastle number 2 has been more effective than all the boys we have mentioned this season. Better still, for the 2021/2022 financial year, he is quite simply the best scorer on the planet among professionals, with… 18 trials registered!

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No, you’re not dreaming, neither Antoine Dupont, nor Will Jordan, Baptiste Couilloud or whatever Sevu Reece did better in the major championships. And if Max Malins or Cadan Murley defended well, the pole is therefore occupied by the Premiership’s penultimate launcher, and perhaps the least popular team across the Channel, with the Worcester Warriors. As a result, almost no one knows this boy, far from the English selection even though he is far ahead of all his competitors statistically. Worse, his club replacement Jamie Blamire was able to count on his young age (24) to experience his first capes this season when McGuigan was resting quietly on the banks of the Tyne.

And while the vast majority of his tries have been on the fly, there’s no window dressing and this McGuigan is simply an excellent hooker who’s been slow to break out nationally. The proof, after a career start without any real brand facts, the former Leicester player only became a full-fledged club holder for 3 years. A period over which he was also registered no less than 35 tries (in 58 games). And which confirms both the trend that wants hookers to score more and more tries today (especially in England, look instead at the stats of Agustin Creevy or Tom Woolstencrooft), but also the opinion that the most Premiership observer fins have him. We leave with that of David Flatman, former international pillar and now consultant for BT Sports:

It’s the kind of stuff that a lot of people hate to admit, but I honestly think that if he played for another club, and if he had in the last five years, he would have a bunch of caps in England team. He’s a brilliant rugby player and it took England years to realize how good someone like Mark Wilson was, for example. Will they ever realize how good George McGuigan is? I don’t think so and that’s such a shame. I really think he’s a wonderful player.

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