2024 Vodacom Bulls vs Benetton Rugby - Quarterfinal

The Five Most Exciting Players To Watch In The BKT URC Quarterfinals

The Five Most Exciting Players To Watch In The BKT URC Quarterfinals

Get ready for the BKT United Rugby Championship knockouts! Discover top talents, such as Tommaso Menencello, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Jack Crowley.

Jun 6, 2024 by Philip Bendon
The Five Most Exciting Players To Watch In The BKT URC Quarterfinals

Remove the safety nets, and step out onto the platform! The BKT United Rugby Championships knockout stages finally have arrived.

With the arrival of the knockouts, the concept of ‘well there is always next week’ is firmly removed. As such, it is time for each team’s biggest and brightest players to stand up.

As one would expect from such a high-quality league, the URC has some of the very best player in the world. Here are five of the most exciting talents who will take to the pitch this weekend:

5. Tommaso Menencello – Benetton

One of the most exciting prospects in professional rugby, the 2024 Guinness Six Nations player of the tournament, is the latest in a line of young Italian stars to take the international game by storm. 

A powerhouse center with a nose for the try-line, Menencello, in conjunction with international teammate Ignacio Brex, forms arguably the most potent center combination in the URC. 

For the Italian side to upset the applecart and overturn the Vodacom Bulls on the road, Menencello will need to show the form he did during the Six Nations. 

Defensively, the 21-year-old will be tested by the powerhouse Bulls backrow, who will target his inside in the hope of isolating fly-half Tomás Albornoz.

4. Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu – DHL Stormers

Slotting in for the injured Damian Willemse, Feinberg-Mngomezulu is one of the most exciting South African talents and looks set to be a sure-fire Springbok later this season.

Capable of playing across the backline, the 22-year-old playmaker has been a star for the Stormers whenever he has been available this season. 

Given his versatility, Feinberg-Mngomezulu offers head John Dobson flexibility in how he plans to deploy his bench and tactics depending on how the fixture plays out. 

Should he opt to start Feinberg-Mngomezulu on the bench, then it also opens the possibility of loading up on a 6-2 bench split with a view toward overpowering the Glasgow Warriors.  

In addition to his general play, the former Bishops student is a rock-solid goal kicker who will be key, should regular kicker Manie Libbok have an off day.


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3. Caelen Doris – Leinster Rugby

Quite possibly the best No. 8 in the world at the time of writing, the Leinster star was off the charts good in his side’s recent Investec Champions Cup final loss to Toulouse. 

With a level of dynamism unmatched by any other backrow in the competition, Doris is Leinster’s key ball carrier and momentum generator.

Facing an ever-improving Ulster side that has swept Leinster in their two matches so far this season, Doris’s return to the starting lineup could be the difference for Leo Cullen’s side.

At the breakdown, Doris is a key cog in Leinster’s ability to generate lightning-quick balls while disrupting the opposition’s flow when in defense.

Should Leinster down Ulster on Saturday, a likely trip to Pretoria awaits with a date against a high-flying Vodacom Bulls side. Should this transpire, then Doris along with his backrow companions, will be crucial against a Springbok-laden Bulls pack.

2. Kurt-Lee Arendse – Vodacom Bulls

Simply electric, KLA is one of the most exciting finishers in world rugby in 2024. 

A key member of the Springboks Rugby World Cup-winning side in 2023, the Bulls flyer has the ability to blow open a match with a moment of magic. 

Alongside fellow Springboks Willie Le Roux and Canan Moodie, KLA forms one of the best back-three combinations in the URC. 

Utilizing the linking play of Le Roux with the powerful strike running of Moodie and the spark of KLA, the Bulls have the ability to put up points in a hurry. 

Facing a Benetton squad stacked to the gills with internationals in the quarterfinal, expect KLA to produce a moment that swings the match in his team’s favor.


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1. Jack Crowley – Munster Rugby

The king is dead; long live the king! 

Prior to the retirement of iconic Leinster and Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton, Irish Rugby fans feared what lay ahead without their talisman. 

One game into the 2024 Guinness Six Nations, these fears were firmly put to rest. 

Crowley, alongside England’s Fin Smith, is arguably the most exciting ‘new face’ on the international fly-half scene. 

Offering a running threat to go with his box of tricks from the boot and hands, Crowley is the complete package in terms of skillset for a modern fly-half. What sets him apart, however, is his big-game mentality, as was evidenced by his match-winning drop goal in last year’s semifinal win over Leinster. 

Crowley is head and shoulders above any other Irish fly-half at this moment in time, and should he guide his team to back-to-back BKT URC titles, he will be regarded as one of the best in the world.

How To Watch Rugby Matches In the United States On FloRugby

The Investec Champions Cup will stream all its matches on FloRugby and the FloSports app in the United States. FloRugby and FloSports also are the U.S. home to:

FloRugby also is home to match archives and match replays. 

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