Ahead of the start of the Rugby Europe Championship 2023, Francisco Isaac has picked his players to watch out for.
It's time for the look into Pool B which features Romania, Portugal, Belgium and Poland. You can read the picks for POOL A HERE
Romania – Tudor Boldor to guide the Oaks backline
Player to Watch for: in 2022, Tudor Boldor presented some of the best bits of rugby magic in the Rugby Championship last season, setting up a couple of tries and spectacular plays that helped Romania reach the Rugby World Cup in France.
A gifted unit has that razzle and dazzle that gets any fans off their seats, the first five-eight is a threat, always looking for new ideas on how to unlock the opposition's defense.
The Extra Ace - Dragoș Ser: Another loose forward makes the list and deservingly so, as Dragoș Ser can be the perfect tool to steal the ball at the breakdown. A huge tackler and certainly one to keep an eye on.
Portugal – Rodrigo Marta, the Lobos Racer
Player to Watch For: Portugal will present a youthful as they also prepare for France 2023. Rodrigo Marta is going to be one of the most thrilling players on show because of that pace, the unyielding attitude and the brilliant skillset that raises the stakes to their maximum level.
The winger, who also plays as a centre, has rocked for Os Lobos since his debut back in 2018, scoring 20 tries in his 25 outings, prompting his ascension as one of the main stars in his national side. Expect to be thrilled once again by the jolts and flicks of Rodrigo Marta.
The Extra Ace – José Madeira: the lock just doesn’t know when to stop working, as he is always available to go for a staggering jackal, a thumping tackle, or to replace a teammate in the defensive line when needed while dominating in the set-piece.
Belgium – A King in the skies, Maximilien Hendrickx
Player to Watch For: Belgium are back in the Rugby Europe Championship, with promises a dawn for them as the younger generations are already turning up, combining well with the more experienced members of the squad. In the middle sits a giant that has earned a place in our players' highlights, and his name is Maximilien Hendrickx.
The lock commands a respectful presence, imposing his tall stature to fetch or steal the oval ball, presenting himself as a problem solver in the set-piece, and is keen to throw his body into a good carry.
Certainly, Maximillien Hendrickx is one of those players that is on the road to becoming a legend for his country, and the comeback to the Rugby Europe Championship will prove it.
The Extra Ace – Florian Remue: a back that can play as a winger, centre, or fullback, Florian Remue is the future for Belgium, and will be a lethal asset in every match, especially if the ball falls into his hands.
Poland – The heart of Piotr Zeszutek
Player to Watch For: it wouldn’t be a serious list without a captain or two, and Poland’s Piotr Zeszutek deserves to be on our preview highlights, as he was one of the main motors for his country's promotion to the Rugby Europe Championship.
An inspiring force on and off the field, the number-eight is a massive unit that loves to bounce off tacklers and grind in the contact line with his mind focused on creating good opportunities for his Polish teammates to explore.
He isn’t the flashiest forward, or the quickest, but he certainly has a durability that keeps going from the first whistle to the last.
The Extra Ace - Mateusz Bartoszek: one of the most experienced Polish internationals, Mateusz Bartoszek is the type of lock that can rule the lineout skies and command with ease a maul.