Despite neither Castres Olympique nor Pau currently sitting in the European Rugby Challenge Cup knockout stage qualification places, they both boast players near the top of the competition’s offloads chart after two rounds.
Stephane Onambele Mbarga (Castres Olympique) – 5
Onambele Mbarga has proven a valuable asset for Castres since his move from fellow French side RC Toulon in the summer.
With five offloads in just two matches and having missed just eight minutes of his side’s campaign so far, there is surely more to come from the 27-year-old.
Thibault Debaes (Pau) – 5
Joining Onambele Mbarga on five offloads is Pau fly-half Debaes, with the 19-year-old looking incredibly accomplished during the opening two rounds despite his tender age.
He also crossed the whitewash for the first time in Europe last month, scoring a try against London Irish that augurs well for the future.
George North (Ospreys) – 4
A player with plenty of pedigree in both the Challenge Cup and Heineken Champions Cup, North has chipped in with four offloads for the Welsh region during the opening two rounds.
The Wales back is already a Challenge Cup winner with Northampton Saints and will no doubt be looking to add a second success in the competition, with Ospreys handily placed in second spot in the preliminary stage table.
Relentless and incisive in attack, @ospreys added a delightful fifth try late on in Round 1 🤩
— Challenge Cup (@ERChallengeCup) January 13, 2021
Jayden Hayward (Benetton Rugby) – 3
It didn’t take long for Hayward to make an impact in this season’s Challenge Cup, scoring a try and being named man of the match in his side’s 44-20 Round 1 win over Stade Français Paris.
Having also chipped in with three offloads, the Italy back will no doubt play a major role throughout the rest of the competition.
Agustin Creevy (London Irish) – 3
Rounding off our top five is veteran Argentina hooker Creevy, who joined London Irish from Worcester Warriors in the summer.
So far this season he has only featured in his side’s win over Pau in Round 2 but still rattled off three neat offloads and will be a powerful attacking threat no doubt as the competition progresses.