Asahi picks its top players for Rugby World Cup 2023

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Asahi Super Dry has identified Australia’s fly half Carter Gordon, back row Langi Gleeson and second row Tom Hooper as players with the potential to shine at Rugby World Cup 2023, following the recent international fixtures.

As Worldwide Partner and Official Beer of Rugby World Cup 2023, Asahi Super Dry has partnered with sports data experts Opta to celebrate the breakthrough stars of the season and use the underlying numbers to give key insights into the players predicted to light up the stage in France.

With Rugby World Cup 2023 set to kick-off in September, comprehensive analysis of player performances has drawn special attention to the three Australians expected to embody Asahi Super Dry’s ethos to go ‘Beyond Expected.’

Carter Gordon is among those predicted to have an impact on his team’s campaign and may well be the man to get the Australian back line ticking, number 10 jersey and made his time on the pitch count with 12-line breaks – more than any other player in his position this season.

The 22-year-old had an eye for the try line too, after an impressive Super Rugby campaign. He was one of just two fly halves to enjoy over 1000 minutes in the scoring seven tries in total, with no other player scoring more than three while playing in the position. When Carter wasn’t scoring himself, he was helping his teammates get over the try line, assisting a further seven tries – the second most of any fly half – meaning he either scored or assisted 14 tries during the season.

New Zealand legend and former captain of the All Blacks Kieran Read similarly expects big things from Gordon, commenting: “Carter had a fantastic Super Rugby season. With his impressive season stats I can see him being a formidable force for Australia in the World Cup.”

Backrow Langi Gleeson is another player Asahi Super Dry predicts will give Australia some firepower on the front. After featuring mainly off the bench for the NSW Waratahs in Super Rugby in 2022, the 2023 edition saw the number 8 become a mainstay of the team. Of the 76 forwards to feature for 640+ minutes – the equivalent of eight games – Gleeson ranked 7th for carries made per 80 minutes (11.4), getting through a mountain of work with a ball in hand.

However, it wasn’t the volume but the quality of the carries that he made that will have caught the eye of Eddie Jones this year. Gleeson was a difficult man to stop, averaging 5.5 dominant carries and 8.3 carries over the gainline per 80 minutes helping him gain 60 metres per 80 minutes on average – the best rate of any forward in Super Rugby.

Read commented: “After having a strong season in Super Rugby and securing himself as a mainstay on the team, Langi could really burst on to the international scene with a bang.”

Completing Asahi Super Dry’s list of Beyond Expected Australian picks is second row Tom Hooper. Having played an important role in the Brumbies team successes this year, Hooper is showing an elevated level of work rate in both attack and defence this campaign.

Of the 132 forwards to play at least 400 minutes in the competition in 2023, Hooper ranked in the top four for both carries (12.1) and tackles (19.7) made per 80 minutes. In fact, his combined average of 31.8 carries and tackles per game was more than any other forward in Super Rugby 2023.

Hooper’s work at the breakdown was impressive too, averaging 11.7 defensive ruck hits per game, the third most of any forward, while having effective impact at 92% of the attacking rucks that he hit, ranking in the top 10 forwards for that metric.

Read added: “Having made his Wallabies debut this year, Hoopers versatility is certainly not being unnoticed, and he could be a big asset for Australia”.

Also on Asahi Super Dry’s list of Beyond Expected picks are New Zealand wing Mark Telea, scrum half Cam Roigard and prop Tamaiti Williams. Expect to see all six names make impactful contributions to their respective countries’ efforts in France when the World Cup action begins.

Asahi Chief Marketing Officer, Grant McKenzie said: “Asahi Super Dry is a proud Worldwide Partner and Official Beer of Rugby World Cup 2023. We are looking forward to sharing the premium taste of Asahi Super Dry with the 2.6 million fans attending games in France, along with elevating the experience for the 876 million rugby fans following from home.”

Asahi Super Dry will launch a global integrated campaign to support their partnership of Rugby World Cup 2023 and help celebrate the welcoming and inclusive nature of rugby. The first Asian brand to ever be a global partner of Rugby World Cup, Japan’s Number One Beer will be exclusively served at all tournament venues and fanzones across France, spanning 48 matches in 10 cities.

For the opportunity to win tickets, official merchandise, and behind-the-scenes match day experiences, follow @asahisuperdry and @asahisuperdry_au


Rugby World Cup 2023 will take place in France from 8 September-28 October. The tournament will be the 10th men’s Rugby World Cup and the second to be hosted by France after a memorable event in 2007.

RWC 2023 will take place in a year when the sport celebrates 200 years since Rugby School pupil William Webb Ellis was credited with inventing the game of rugby football by showing “a fine disregard for the rules” in catching the ball and running with it in 1823. RWC

2023 will set new standards in social responsibility, inclusion and sustainability for a major rugby event, targeting five key pillars for the tournament’s legacy: acting for sustainability and circular economy, supporting education, training and employment, respecting and protecting the environment, promoting inclusivity and being a champion for gender equality.

The showpiece event in men’s 15s, Rugby World Cup 2023 will feature 20 teams with 48 matches played across 51 days.

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