Jamison Gibson-Park: Former England international labels Leinster star as ‘best No 9 in this hemisphere’

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Jamison Gibson-Park’s exceptional outing versus Leicester on Saturday prompted high praise for the number nine from former England international Stuart Barnes.

Andy Farrell’s first-choice scrum-half for Ireland put in a typically brilliant performance against the Premiership leaders, helping his side to a 23-14 victory.

Continued rise

Gibson-Park’s rise to glory at Leinster helped him nudge long-time starter Conor Murray out of his starting job for the Ireland international team, putting the nine on the world stage.

Now, age 30, Barnes is labelling him as the premier scrum-half this side of the equator, despite this half of the globe also playing host to World Rugby Player of the Year Antoine Dupont, France and Toulouse’s nine.

For the Sunday Times, Barnes wrote: “Stuart Lancaster, the Leinster senior coach, is being fed a diet of exceptional talent and he is doing a superb job, finishing them with a little bit of black magic; well, quite a lot actually. In Jamison Gibson-Park and James Lowe, he has two of Europe’s best players.

“Scrumhalf Gibson-Park is, at present, the best No 9 in this hemisphere, with Antoine Dupont, of Toulouse, who Leinster will face in the semi-finals on Saturday, enduring the first dip of his career.”

Recency bias could be argued as the driving factor behind this statement given Dupont’s poor form as of late, as the former Newport RFC, Bristol and Bath player is essentially putting Dupont at least third in the world.

This week, as Barnes mentioned, Leinster will face Toulouse in a game that will surely be billed as Gibson-Park versus Dupont by many.

This will give us another opportunity to see the two scrumhalves on the same pitch as each other after the two met earlier in the year when Ireland played France.

Regarding this week’s opposition, Gibson-Park said: “Toulouse are an unbelievable team. They went to Ireland and won, against Munster, so that shows how good they can be.”

READ MORE: Champions Cup Team of the Week: Leinster and La Rochelle dominate as four clubs go home

The article Jamison Gibson-Park: Former England international labels Leinster star as ‘best No 9 in this hemisphere’ appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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