We’ve all heard it before, and it’s a question that’s been asked on and off since the end of the French Rugby World Cup last year.
“You’ve got to go for the guy with the best jersey,” says Dan O’Halloran, an English rugby writer.
“If he has the best kit, you’re going to take him.”
But the truth is there are many players on the continent who have a better chance of breaking through than one player in the jersey of their team-mate.
It’s a sentiment echoed by many of the best French rugby players, including Bernard Beaulieu, whose former club Marseille was relegated last year to the second division.
Beaulieu says he knows that his own team-mates are better equipped to win titles than he is.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say that I’m the best rugby player in France, when really, I’ve got better players around me,” he said.
“It’s the best team I’ve played for in France.”
The same could be said of a player from the likes of France, Scotland and Ireland, who have all made the leap from the top flight to the top division, and the world.
The truth is that there are players who have become world-class while others who are playing for clubs in lower leagues have had their fortunes take a hit.
“Some of the players who are very well-known, the stars of the game, they’re still very good, but there are a lot of players who don’t play at all,” says O’Boyle.
“There are a few players who’ve lost their titles, and those players are probably not going to make it.”
But what if they’re lucky enough to be a part of that elite group?
“That would be a fantastic feeling, because if you’re playing at the very top of the world and you’re in a good team, then it’s just so hard to get that second-division jersey back,” he says.
“But if you are in a lower league, you can just take the jersey off, but if you can get it back, then you’re a real superstar.”
The World Cup in France is a tournament that’s always going to have an asterisk next to it, says O ‘Halloran.
But he thinks the real winners from this year’s tournament will be the players and fans who put in their hard work and support their clubs. “
That was a huge factor for us, and then we’re still trying to figure out what that means.”
But he thinks the real winners from this year’s tournament will be the players and fans who put in their hard work and support their clubs.
“This is an opportunity to build a legacy for yourself, and a chance to play in front of your home crowd,” he adds.
“To see that, it’s fantastic.”