Top 5: Underrated Premiership Centres

Updated: Mar 30

Widely disputed as the hardest positions to play on the pitch and one of the only areas in Rugby where success can be found with all body types, a great centre goes a long way to securing domestic success. We've whittled down all the 12's and 13's we could remember to give you our list of 'Top 5: Underrated Premiership Centres'... Enjoy!




5. Anthony Allen (Gloucester & Leicester Tigers)


Although plagued by injury, Allen sticks out to us as an unsung hero within two formidable Premiership outfits. The 06/07 runners up Gloucester, used Allen's eye for a gap, slick handling ability and intelligent Rugby mind to compliment the sheer gas and finishing ability of Balshaw & Simpson-Daniel on the wings. At Leicester (where he eventually won the Premiership title) he was used to usher in a new look centre combination, replacing the successful pairing of Ollie Smith and Dan Hipkiss before him. No easy feat, a young Tuilagi and experienced Allen took it in their stride, becoming a scary outfit that resulted in Allen picking up the 'Player's Player of the Season' and 'Try of the Season' awards in 10/11.


International Caps: 2

Premiership Appearances: 217


Copyright: Getty Images





4. Ayoola Erinle (Wasps & Leicester Tigers)


A slightly left-field shout for this pick, but Erinle's impact in the heart of the midfield for one of the all-time great Wasps sides cannot be overlooked. 6ft 4, 16 stone, pacey and a handful for any defence, not only was Erinle one of the biggest centres ever to play in the Premiership, he was also one of the most prolific, scoring 155 points over two premiership stints. What makes him even scarier, is that he started as a sevens player, winning England honours at just 19! A hat trick of Premiership titles and a Heineken Cup triumph whilst at Wasps paired with a further Premiership and Heineken Cup title double whilst at Leicester, showcases Erinle as one of the most decorated domestic players to play the sport.


International Caps: 2

Premiership Appearances: 129


Copyright: 2014 Getty Images





3. Seilala Mapusua (London Irish)


Although the 40 year old is still playing to this day over in Japan, Mapusua will forever be etched into the hearts and memories of London Irish fans thanks to his 5 year spell in Reading. His impact was immediate, being named the team's 'Top Newcomer' in the 06/07 season. However, the main reason for his inclusion on this list is thanks to his performance throughout the 08/09 season... Perhaps the best season-long performance ever by a Centre in the Premiership. Intelligent, tough, ruthless and a real leader, Mapusua became an almost-unstoppable force. He was named PRA 'Player's Player of the Season' and took London Irish all the way to the final in a narrow losing effort to the Tigers.


International Caps: 33

Premiership Appearances: 126


Copyright: Getty Images





2. Elvis Seveali'i (Bath, Sale & London Irish)


Another outside-the-box shout, but Elvis could do the extraordinary when you least expected it. Audacious dummies, crunching hits and gas to burn, Seveali'i was unpredictable and often unmarkable. Whilst pairing with Mark Taylor, his short stay at Sale in particular proved to be a real highlight, winning a title and putting in a great performance in the final. A real threat, Elvis too became a prolific option in any backline, scoring 25 points in 7 games for Bath, 20 in 38 appearances for Sale, and 55 in 79 caps for London Irish. A really strong system player, which is highly irregular for a Samoan-born centre, he adapted seamlessly to three very different Premiership backlines throughout the noughties.


International Caps: 20

Premiership Appearances: 124


Copyright: Getty Images







1. Fraser Waters (Bath, Bristol, Wasps)


The first name that came to mind when researching for this list was Fraser Waters. Not just because I'm a biased, one-eyed Wasps fan, but because the modern, professional centre wouldn't exist without his input in the Premiership. Waters grew up in Cape Town before moving to Jersey with his family in the Channel Islands. He started his professional career however, in Bath where he played in cross-code games against Wigan. A further two years of solid, first team Rugby came at Bristol before he was snapped up by Wasps in 1998. The creator of the 'blitz defence', Waters revolutionised the defensive line which proved critical in Wasps' domestic and European dominance. 4 Premiership titles, 3 Powergen Cups, 2 Heineken Cups, 1 Challenge Cup, Waters over a period of 7 years became the most decorated centre in British rugby. Although not blessed with hulking size or explosive speed, Waters did possess incredible skill, tenacity, handling and match awareness which probably explained why he was un-droppable from that Wasps outfit. If it weren't for Greenwood and Tindall's winning chemistry, Waters surely would have been able to add amples of international honours to his tally too.


International Caps: 3

Premiership Appearances: 248


Copyright: Getty Images