Compiling these lists always presents a challenge. Ranking a flying full-back against a towering lock is akin to comparing apples with oranges.
It’s in such difficulty we find ourselves here as we look for the top 20 names of this Super Rugby season so far.
Our friend, in this case, is the vast reservoir of statistics spat out during a season. And the best place to find the figures that will aid us in this search is The New Zealand Herald’s incomparable stats hub, powered by Opta.
From clean breaks made to lineouts stolen, we can find the lowdown on every player who has set foot on Super Rugby turf this season and see how they compare to their rivals.
So it leaves us with the job of defining the numbers that make these names worthy of a place in the top 20 players.
Let’s begin with tries and the players most likely to score them. For outside backs, tries will be the yardstick. For the entire back division, we must also consider clean breaks, tackles made and yards carrying the ball.
In the forward pack, we will turn our attention to catches and steals for the lineout forwards plus defensive work rate. Tackles and yards gained will also be applied to the front row brethren. In the back row, tries, tackles and carries must also be weighed and measured.
This is no easy task, but it has been carried out with all of the above in mind. Enjoy the list, debate it and, by all means, proffer your own versions in the comments section.