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Players of the Pool Phase - REC 24

The semi-finals are already nearly upon us, but before the make-or-break phase of the Rugby Europe Championship starts, we take a look back at some of the players who have shone out throughout the first three rounds.

This weekend will see Georgia host Romania and Spain traveling to Lisbon for a remake of last year’s semi-finals. In the other ranking matches Netherlands take on Poland and Belgium host Germany in the Ranking Semi-Finals.


Mika Tyumenev - One of Germany’s longest servants has been having a good run in the 2024 Men’s Rugby Europe Championship, the hooker has scored two tries following two thunderous maul and finished with a 90% lineout throw-in accuracy in the pool stages.

Justin Renc - The 24-year loose-forward was a recognizable and unstoppable force for his team, ranking as the German player with the most tackles made (24), and the second one with the most successful jackal attempts (2), putting his physicality and size to good work.


Jakub Wojtkowicz - Loosehead prop Jakub Wojtkowicz was a standout for Poland, shining as one of the best scrummagers of the competition, forcing three scrum penalties from his rivals. He was also the third prop with the most tackles attempts completed, with an astonishing 24.

Siokivaha Halaifonua - Elite sharpshooter tackler, and an ongoing jackaling threat, Siokivaha Halaifonua has been collecting names this season and deserves a spot at the table after a very impressive pool phase, if Poland are to survive, expect Halaifonua to play a pivotal part in it.


Martiniano Cian - Ma-gi-cal, that’s the best and easiest way to describe Martiniano Cian Men’s Rugby Europe Championship season to date. The winger has spearheaded Spain’s attacking platform with some of the most outstanding tries of the competition. He leads the meters made and clean breaks standings, with 196 and seven, respectively.


Matthew Foulds – Spain’s loose-forward trio has been dominating the tackle-made ranking, and Matthew Foulds is one of the main stars in the Leones setup. The 32-year-old has completed 33 tackles and has successfully poached the opposition’s ball three times at the breakdown.


Ilia Spanderashvili - A two-time Player of the Match winner in 2024, the Georgian loose-forward has made an impact in the gain-line, turnovers, tackles made, and carries, excelling in what has been a breakthrough season for the flanker.

Mikheil Babunashvili - Georgia might’ve found their next lineout king, as Mikheil Babunashvili has been dominating the aerial set-piece challenge, stealing opposition throws (3) and securing his team on throws ins. Babunashvili's presence has been felt in more than one area of the game, as the lock has also scored two tries.


Siem Noorman - A gifted runner, Siem Noorman has taken the Netherlands' attacking platform to new heights, as the wing currently ranks in second place with most metres made (151), clean breaks (4), and defenders beaten (14) rankings.

Christopher Raymond - Raymond’s powerful carries have emboldened the Netherlands to believe they can pressure their rivals, as the number-eight has crossed the gain line more times than anyone (16) and ran the most meters in contact (40).


Ovidiu Cojocaru - Romania is in the middle of a squad rebuild, and Ovidiu Cojocaru has been integral for the Oaks in progressing to the semi-finals. The hooker has completed more than 93% of his 27 line-out throws and has clinched all his 25 tackle attempts.

Tevita Manumua -That spectacular jump to add another try to Romania’s tally against Poland captured everyone’s attention, but it wasn’t the only moment of brilliance from the winger Tevita Manumua. His 137 meters in six carries, demonstrate how impactful he has been at every run, and why he was named as one of the two best Oaks of the pool stage.


Hugo de Francq – Few will forget de Francq’s try in Belgium’s historic victory over Portugal, and the fly-half deserves a thunderous applause for what he has done in the pool stage. He is a masterful tactician, pushing and pulling his teammates like they are chess pieces, getting the best out of his players time and time again.


Julien Berger – Julien Berger’s impact in the Belgium setup was decisive for one of their best runs in the Men’s Rugby Europe Championship in recent history, with a couple of mouthwatering displays. The scrum-half wrapped up with 100% pass accuracy, assisting two out of Belgium’s eight tries, and was one of the best at his trade in the competition.


Hugo Camacho – The young talent had some big shoes to fill, replacing legend Samuel Marques as Portugal’s scrum-half, but he didn’t fail to impress in his first run. The nº9 scored a hattrick in Round 2 and was also pivotal for Portugal’s victory over Romania which resulted in the Lobos qualifying for the Championship semifinals.

Hugo Aubry – As his partner in the midfield, Aubry has been a star since his debut back in Round 1, finishing as the pool stage’s top point scorer, converting 35 points from the boot. His in-game knowledge, kicking skills, and winning mindset, played a major role in the Lobos topping in Pool B.

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