Cool Cats #2
Each week, Living Rugby picks out the guys that held their nerve under pressure. These are the players that win you games, the ones you want in your side, the undoubted, calm and collected 'Cool Cats' of the Aviva Premiership.
Dudes - we salute you.
Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
The Wales full back kept his head in the white-hot atmosphere of the Millennium Stadium and under a vast weight of expectation to nail some seriously important and difficult kicks in the Six Nations decider. The rest of his game was spot on too and a place in the British & Irish Lions starting XV was duly secured, barring injury.
Tom Guest (Harlequins)
The Harlequins No.8 has been somewhat the forgotten man in the Harlequins’ back row but his performance in the LV= Cup reminded everyone of just how good a player he is. Strong in the tackle with a good engine and a big ball-carrying option off the back of the scrum, Guest led his pack to complete domination of Sale to help the Londoners lift the Anglo-Welsh trophy in style.
Jacques Brunel (Italy)
Italy’s head coach becomes the first non-player to make our Cool Cats gallery and not without reason. The former Perpignan boss has guided the Azzurri to their best ever position in the Six Nations by sticking to his principles and coaching a side that won two out of five and came genuinely close to at least drawing with England at Twickenham. They only lost to Australia by three points in the autumn too so this was no fluke. They have settled half-backs and in Sergio Parisse, the best player in the whole tournament.