Fly-halves have provided match-winning moments in several World Cup finals.
Joel Stransky's late drop-goal won the 1995 World Cup for South Africa, Jonny Wilkinson repeated the trick in 2003 for England, and New Zealand's Dan Carter kicked 19 points in the 2015 final.
The playmakers at number 10 call the shots and deliver the big plays for their teams.
Who are the players in charge of leading their sides' hopes at this year's World Cup?
Richie Mo'unga - New Zealand
Age: 29 Caps: 49
Mo'unga heads to his second World Cup as the All Blacks' first-choice fly-half. In 2019 there was a debate as to who should wear the number 10 jersey, with regular fly-half Beauden Barrett playing as a full-back to accommodate the form of the Crusaders playmaker.
The debate if the pair can play together is long behind Ian Foster's side, with the dual playmaker set-up in full flow. The 29-year-old heads to France on the back of a winning kick against Australia, showing he is capable of those vital clutch moments from the kicking tee.
Matthieu Jalibert - France
Age: 24 Caps: 26
Following the knee injury of starting fly-half Romain Ntamack, which ruled him out of the World Cup, his understudy Jalibert will step up as the hosts' main fly-half for the World Cup. The 24-year-old has already deputised for Ntamack during the 2021 Six Nations - winning three out of the four games he started in his absence.
However, despite pushing Ntamack during this year's Six Nations, he has always played second fiddle. Now is his chance to impress on the biggest stage.
Paolo Garbisi - Italy
Age: 23 Caps: 27
Since his debut for Italy in 2020, Garbisi has been Italy's starting fly-half, with his highlight being kicking the winning conversion against Wales in the 2022 Six Nations, to give Italy their first win since 2015 in the competition.
Since moving to Montpellier in the Top 14, Garbisi has developed his kicking and running game to become one of the most talented fly-halves at the World Cup.
Felipe Etcheverry - Uruguay
Age: 27 Caps: 31
Etcheverry has started ahead of 2019 hero Felipe Berchesi - who kicked the winning penalty against Fiji at the 2019 World Cup - in Uruguay's past two games against Argentina XV and Chile.
The pair will battle for the starting fly-half jersey in France with Etcheverry, who can also play full-back, having the slight edge heading into his second World Cup.
Tiaan Swanepoel - Namibia
Age: 27 Caps: 3
The 27-year-old has started three warm-up games for Namibia in the build-up to the World Cup against Argentina XV, Uruguay and Chile, and looks set to be their starting fly-half in France.
Swanepoel played for United Rugby Championship (URC) side the Lions, and started against the Bulls and Stormers at fly-half, making 14 appearances during the 2021-22 season in one of Europe's top leagues.
Manie Libbok - South Africa
Age: 26 Caps: 9
Libbok, 26, has had to be patient for his chance in green and gold but like Jalibert, a calf injury to 2019 World Cup-winning fly-half Handre Pollard has handed him the starting number 10 jersey.
More of a running fly-half, Libbok has struggled with his goal-kicking, but after a faultless display in what was the All Blacks' heaviest defeat in their history in their final warm-up game, he showed he could have the temperament to match his exciting running game.
Johnny Sexton - Ireland
Age: 38 Caps: 113
The most experienced fly-half at the World Cup, Sexton will captain Ireland at the age of 38 in France. He has not played since Ireland's Grand Slam victory over England in March, because of injury and a three-game suspension for misconduct towards match officials following Leinster's Heineken Champions Cup final defeat by La Rochelle in May.
In what will be his fourth and final World Cup, Sexton remains a key player for the world's number one side, with his match sharpness the only possible concern.
William Havili - Tonga
Age: 24 Caps: 11
Brother of All Blacks centre David Havili, William was born and raised in New Zealand but chose to represent Tonga - starting four games in the lead-up to the World Cup at fly-half against Australia A, Japan, Samoa and Canada.
He plays for Moana Pasifika, a Pacific Islands Super Rugby team, and will be looking to unleash his exciting outside backs including former All Blacks Charles Piutau and Malakai Fekitoa who will represent Tonga at the World Cup.
Finn Russell - Scotland
Age: 30 Caps: 72
Russell, 30, heads to his third World Cup as one of Scotland's most experienced players, captaining the side in their warm-up win over France at Murrayfield.
Known for his short kicking game and long miss passes, in recent years Russell has matured his game to become one of the best fly-halves in the world.
Tudor Boldor - Romania
Age: 25 Caps: 17
Romania looked set to play 20-year-old Mihai Mureșan as their fly-half at the World Cup, but an injury in their final warm-up game against Italy ruled the exciting prospect out of the competition.
Boldor, who started in Romania's win over Chile last November, is in line to fill the jersey but faces competition from Gabriel Pop.
Dan Biggar - Wales
Age: 33 Caps: 109
Biggar, 33, announced he will retire from international duty after the World Cup in what will be his farewell to Welsh rugby.
A top performer for Wales at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, which included the winning kick against England in 2015, he will bring all his big-game experience to France for one final show.
Teti Tela - Fiji
Age: 32 Caps: 8
He will likely be replaced by Tela, who started in Fiji's 35-17 defeat by Ireland in November and appeared off the bench against England.
Australia - Carter Gordon
Age: 22 Caps: 5
Australia coach Jones left experienced fly-halves Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley at home, instead picking rookie Gordon as his sole number 10 for the showpiece in France.
Gordon has struggled in his short international career, especially off the tee, and goes into the World Cup having only kicked one penalty at Super Rugby or international level. But seven tries for the Melbourne Rebels last season and a debut try for the Wallabies shows he has an eye for the whitewash.
Jeronimo Portela - Portugal
Age: 22 Caps: 22
At only 22 years old, Portela has established himself as the starting fly-half since 2020 for Portugal, playing a pivotal role in helping the country qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 2007.
Tedo Abzhandadze - Georgia
Age: 24 Caps: 42
Abzhandadze plays his club rugby in France for Union Sportive Montalbanaise in the Pro D2, having previously played for Brive in the Top 14. He started against Wales and Uruguay at the 2019 World Cup, only a few months after playing in the Under-20 World Championship, and has developed into a key member of the Georgia squad.
The 24-year-old started in Georgia's shock win over Wales in Cardiff last November, with the sides meeting again in the final game of their pool.
Lima Sopoaga - Samoa
Age: 33 Caps: 1
The 16-cap former All Black only made his Samoa debut in a narrow 19-17 defeat by Ireland on 26 August, after switching his international colours. An established kicker, Sopoaga is likely to give Samoa some game control from his cultured boot.
Santiago Carreras - Argentina
Age: 25 Caps: 42
Gloucester's Carreras was the Pumas' first-choice fly-half during the Rugby Championship, starting all three games. Veteran fly-half Nicolas Sanchez is also an option for coach Michael Cheika, and after Carreras missed kicks in the Pumas' narrow loss to South Africa, the number one fly-half spot for the opener against England may still be up for grabs.
Owen Farrell - England
Age: 31 Caps: 107
Farrell will miss England's opening two pool games after being banned for a high tackle against Wales. The England captain has been Steve Borthwick's number one fly-half and will be featuring at his third World Cup if offered his chance for redemption.
His kicking game which helped Saracens win the Premiership this year can offer a point of difference for the England attack, with George Ford likely to be England's number 10 for the opener against Argentina and Marcus Smith an option from the bench.
Seungsin Lee - Japan
Age: 22 Caps: 16
Lee has been given the nod over 2019 World Cup squad member Rikiya Matsuda after coach Jamie Joseph turned to the 22-year-old in the Pacific Nations Cup, in which he kicked 22 points.
He is a confident goal-kicker who will punish any ill-discipline from England in their second pool game.
Rodrigo Fernandez - Chile
Age: 27 Caps: 32
One of 30 Chile players to play his club rugby for Chilean side Selknam, Fernandez is a running threat with ball in hand, scoring two tries in his past three internationals in the lead-up to France.
The 27-year-old also scored World Rugby's try of the year in 2022 for his length-of-the-field score in their World Cup qualifier against the United States. Goal-kicking is not something he needs to worry about with wing Santiago Videla on kicking duties.
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