2022's World Rugby Player of the Year, powerful flanker Josh van der Flier was a key figure for Ireland as they claimed the Six Nations Grand Slam in March.
|Josh van der Flier|
|Place of Birth||Wicklow, Ireland|
Josh van der Flier is currently recognised as the world's best rugby player and is a member of Ireland's international rugby union team. Across his 51 appearances for his nation he has registered 50 points.
Van der Flier was born in Wicklow, Ireland - a small town just south of Dublin on the east coast of the island.
However, with his surname being far from a traditional Irish one, it will be no shock to learn that the hard-hitting flanker is in fact of Dutch descent, with his paternal grandparents having moved to Ireland in the 1950s.
He is commonly referred to by many in rugby as "The Dutch Disciple".
Van der Flier is 30 years old, he was born on 25th April 1993.
Van der Flier has spent his entire professional career at Leinster, making his debut in 2014 whilst still in the academy and earning his first senior contract the following year.
He has since gone on to make 125 appearances for the Dublin-based side, racking up 125 points in that period.
His preferred, and best, position is as a flanker, but van der Flier's talented nature has meant that he has been known to play in other positions when needed.
Van der Flier may not be the flashiest rugby player in the world, but he is certainly one of the most effective.
At 6ft 2in tall, weighing over 100kg, Van der Flier is a flanker with a huge physical presence, and the 30-year-old also possesses considerable running power and an unrelenting engine.
The ultimate team player, Van der Flier's understanding of his role at number seven and his tactical intelligence helps enhance the game of his teammates around him, making him a cornerstone of both Leinster and Ireland's sides.
Van der Flier in action for Ireland in their 32-19 victory over France in the Six Nations in February 2023.
Given that he is the best player in the world, and is so dedicated to training that during the Covid-19 pandemic he moved in with team-mate Peter Dooley to build a makeshift gym in the garden, you'd be forgiven for thinking that rugby is the only thing in van der Flier's life.
However, the flanker is just as intelligent off of the pitch as he is on it, holding a first-class Master of Business Administration degree from the Dublin Business School - something he completed in 2020 whilst playing for Ireland.
When watching Ireland it is never hard to spot Van der Flier due to his bright red scrum cap, and that is exactly why he wears it.
The flanker first started wearing it in his school days, in order to match his red kit, and since then he has decided to keep it as he became known as 'the lad with the red scrum cap'.
Van der Flier has scored 10 tries for Ireland across his 51 appearances.
Josh van der Flier was a member of Ireland's squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The flanker made four appearances during the tournament, with Joe Schmidt's side thrashed 46-14 by New Zealand in the quarter-finals.
Van der Flier and Ireland will be aiming to give a better account of themselves in France this year, with the world's number one ranked side drawn in a difficult pool alongside competition holders South Africa and Scotland.
To Win Outright - 9/2
To Win Without New Zealand - 10/3
Enhanced Win Only - 19/4
To Reach the Final - 7/4
To Reach the Semi-Final - 11/8
To Reach the Quarter-Final - 1/14
To Win Pool B -
Stage of Elimination:
Winner - 9/2
Runner-up - 10/3
Semi-Finals - 9/2
Quarter-Finals - 6/5
Pool Stage - 66/1
View all Rugby Union odds markets here