RugbyPass June Player of the Month - Fraser McReight
As part of a new series, RugbyPass will be scouring the world for the most in-form players that the northern and southern hemispheres have to offer and picking a global player of the month. Each winner will receive a donation of $100 to the charity of their choosing, with their form on the field not only helping their club or country, but also a cause close to their heart.
The RugbyPass Player of the Month list is growing, with Rory Hutchinson, Ardie Savea and Alex Goode all distinguishing themselves so far, albeit the award takes a slight detour away from top tier senior rugby for its most recent edition.
June played host to the World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina, with the best and brightest prospects in the game going head-to-head to be crowned age-grade champions.
France and Australia played out a compelling final in Rosario, where France successfully defended their 2018 title, although the recipient of the award for the month of June was actually on the losing side that day.
The flanker was a thorn in the sides of every opponent Australia had at the Championship, testing even the most well-drilled ball security of rival nations. It wasn’t just forcing turnovers where McReight excelled at the breakdown, either, as he also helped to deliver the quick ball that his side thrived upon in attack.
He carried well, too, with the power to break the gain-line close to the ruck, as well as the speed and vision to exploit space and take gaps in the wider expanses. As a one-on-one tackler, he also prospered.
Beyond his technical and physical ability on the pitch, McReight also flourished as a captain in Argentina. He was regularly in the ear of referees, respectfully pointing out issues at the breakdown and scrum, with the officials clearly swayed by his arguments, as they would frequently call those penalties shortly thereafter.
McReight now returns to the Reds, where he will be eager to impress coach Brad Thorn and attempt to force his way into the New Zealander’s rebuild of the Queensland-based franchise.
Recent Australia call-up Liam Wright stands in his way as a pure openside, although Australian rugby has shown a proficiency in the past for utilising dual fetchers in the same back row and with McReight demonstrating his all-round game so effectively in Argentina, that could be an option Thorn chooses to take next season.
Watch: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika explains his squad selection
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