A slate of the world’s top midfielder have failed to make it to the final round of a global fan-voted campaign to determine the best outside centre on the planet.
Punters worldwide have hit the polls on RugbyPass’ Facebook and Instagram accounts as part of the Straight 8 Fan Vote campaign to decide the planet’s best players in each position, as voted by the fans.
Six instalments of the campaign have already passed, with South Africa dominating proceedings through victories to the likes of hooker Malcolm Marx, flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit, No. 8 Duane Vermeulen and wing Cheslin Kolbe.
That quartet of Springboks are set to be joined in the winner’s circle by one of two British stars in the form of Jonathan Davies and Manu Tuilagi.
The two British and Irish Lions representatives have qualified for the final round of voting for the outside centre knockout bracket after dispatching a host of world-class players in the first and second rounds.
Wales veteran Davies opened his campaign with a dominant 81 percent winning margin over Wallabies utility back James O’Connor, before going on to down All Blacks star Jack Goodhue with 61 percent of the public’s backing in the semi-final.
Goodhue had previously fought off the challenge of World Cup-winning Springboks midfielder Lukanyo Am, but proved to be no match for the 87-test Davies.
The 32-year-old will meet his 2013 Lions teammate Tuilagi in the final round of voting after the Samoan-born English powerhouse romped his way through the two preliminary rounds.
A first-up 73 percent victory over fleet-footed All Blacks star Anton Lienert-Brown preceded a similarly comprehensive 72 percent win over France barnstormer Virimi Vakatawa, who had earlier defeated Irishman Garry Ringrose with ease.
The third and final round of voting is yet to open, but the winner will be inducted into the RugbyPass Straight 8 Fan Vote World XV alongside the winners and some runners-up in every other position that has already been voted for.
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