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'Scary' Stockdale is the best winger in the world and is getting better: Monye


Jacob Stockdale.
Jacob Stockdale.
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Former British and Irish Lion Ugo Monye has hailed Ulster sensation Jacob Stockdale as the best winger in world rugby.

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The Irish international star has been in flying form for his province of late, his eye-catching brace against Racing 92 last weekend seeing him hit 26 tries in just 50 club outings.

His strike-rate is even more impressive at Test level where he has crossed the whitewash 12 times in just 14 caps including memorable moments in last year's Grand Slam win and victory over the All Blacks.

"The bigger the stage the better he plays," said former wing Monye who has proved a popular pundit on TV and radio since the conclusion of his playing days with Harlequins.

"For me he's the best winger in the world.

"He's a guy who looks like he wants to get better, is doing everything in his power to get better and that's frightening.

"When you've only been on the scene for two years and not even reached your peak, that's pretty scary for everyone else."

For Monye, it's the 22-year-old's ability to produce the goods when it matters most that sets him apart.

"(New Zealand's) Rieko Ioane scores loads of tries and beats players for fun but I don't remember him scoring a match-winning try in the last 18 months," he added.

"He often sets the tone in terms of line breaks and doing special things but Stockdale's tries seem to have such a big impact - New Zealand, Six Nations and at the weekend.

"That try could have been the difference between qualifying and getting knocked out of the Champions Cup - that's the kind of impact and energy that he is feeding into the team.

"It's not just about his try-scoring ability but it's about everything else he does as well. He hasn't slowed down at all, he's fairly inexperienced at international level but nothing has phased him and he's got better.

"He's being coached at international level by the coach of the year with Ireland, and in the best team of 2018 so he's working in an environment where there's no complacency and you're having to get better."

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