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Top 5 Ranked Mens Rugby Players Of All Time

Table of Contents


Who are the top 5 men's rugby players of all time?

  1. Jonah Lomu
  2. Dan Carter
  3. Richie McCaw
  4. Brian O'Driscoll
  5. David Campese

1. Jonah Lomu

  • Jonah Lomu played for the New Zealand international rugby team called the All-Blacks. Lomu first became popular with his absolutely spectacular performance in the 1995 Rugby World Cup in which he scored 7 tries during the tournament. As well as almost single handedly defeating England by scoring 4 tries on his own.
  • Jonah Lomu was 6 feet 4 inches tall and 262 pounds and was able to single handedly overpower multiple players on the other team at once. This was shown during the 1995 World Cup in which he literally ran over Mike Catt on his way to scoring one of his 4 tries.
  • Jonah Lomu also was able to one up his 1995 World Cup performance by going on to score a record breaking 15 tries during the 1999 World Cup tournament. Further cementing his case as one of the greatest rugby players of all time.
  • Jonah Lomu though also played at this level while hiding his battle with Nephrotic Syndrome. This is a kidney disorder he had that would leave him bed ridden for days in an immense amount of pain. However, he was somehow still able to play with the disease for years, and if it wasn't for the disease he most likely would have gone on to accomplish much more. Lomu recently died in 2015 at just 40 years old.
  • Lomu's impact on the game of rugby was huge, and many people credit him as being the first rugby superstar in terms of popularity. While also really helping make rugby more popular worldwide due to his playing style and dominance in the World Cups he played in. Lomu was also inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007 and the IRB Hall of Fame in 2011.

2. Dan Carter

  • Dan Carter is another all time great New Zealand player that made a name for himself with the team. Carter won 2 Rugby World Cups with the All Blacks and also featured in 9 Tri-Nations Championship winning teams. Dan Carter also won 3 Super rugby titles with the Canterbury Crusaders in his 12 year long career with them.
  • Dan Carter is also the all time leading point scorer in international rugby with 1598 points from 112 international matches. To put that number in perspective only a few players have ever scored more than 1000 points in international play, and no one else has ever reached 1400 points.
  • Carter is widely regarded as the greatest Fly-Half in the history of the game. This is because he is the greatest kicker of all time in rugby, along with his skill at playing swift passes and his solid tackling and running ability.
  • Carter also has two of the greatest performances of all time in rugby. Firstly he had an all time performance in which he almost single handedly beat the Wallabies in an all time 15 minute burst in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Then he had another absolutely amazing performance in the 2005 test against the Lions, which may be the best individual performance in a game ever as he scored 33 points.
  • Dan Carter was the recipient of the Player of the year by the International Rugby Board in 2005 and 2012, and was also named Super Rugby player of the year by Rebel Sport in 2004 and 2006.

3. Richie McCaw

  • Richie McCaw is another member of the dominant New Zealand international team in rugby. McCaw played in the 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015 Rugby World Cups for New Zealand. However, he is the only player ever to win two Rugby World Cups as a captain in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups.
  • Besides being a great leader Richie McCaw is also arguably the best openside flanker when it comes to breakdowns. As he had many turnovers in his career by standing up after tackling a player and grabbing the ball instantly. Furthermore his ball handling and running skills were also elite, and all of this combined with his extensive rugby knowledge helped make the All-Blacks as dominant as they have been.
  • McCaw also had the longevity playing having participated in 148 tests over a 14 year long career for the international team, with 110 out of those 148 test matches with him as captain. He also was able to score 27 tries in his international career over the 14 year period. Additionally, McCaw is the most capped rugby player of all time.
  • McCaw also won 6 Super Rugby titles with his club team the Canterbury Crusaders, and 10 Tri-National titles with the All-Blacks too. Showing he had success not just in the World Cup, but on all the teams he played for.
  • McCaw was named the IRB Rugby Player of the Year in 2006, 2007, and 2010 showing that he wasn't just the leader of the team, but also one of the best players of all time.

4. Brian O'Driscoll

  • Brian O'Driscoll is generally regarded as the greatest outside center in the history of the game. He was a great athlete, a good passer, and is famous for his diving tackles that anchored the Irish defense. He also could be a great attacker when needed to be, and is widely regarded as one of the best all around rugby players ever.
  • Brian O'Driscoll also played 141 test matches for Ireland with 83 matches as a captain, and 8 matches for the British and Irish Lions. Making him among the most capped players in history over his decorated 15 year long career in rugby.
  • Brian O'Driscoll is the highest try scorer of all time in Irish Rugby and the 8th highest try scorer of all time in international rugby with 46 tries in his international career. He also holds the record for most tries by any center in rugby ever.
  • While he never actually won a World Cup with Ireland Brian O'Driscoll appeared in three World Cups with Ireland. Moreover, O'Driscoll won the Six Nations Championship twice, and also helped Ireland win their first Grand Slam in 61 years during the Six Nations Tournament in 2009. Of these Six Nations Tournaments O'Driscoll was named the Player of the Tournament in 2006, 2007, and 2009.
  • Brian O'Driscoll also had a great club career playing for the Irish team Leinster leading them to be one of the best teams in Europe and winning the European Cup 3 times with the team.

5. David Campese

  • David Campeses is arguably the greatest winger of all time and one of the greatest players to ever play. Campese was an amazing athlete who could make amazing passes, took running lines that no one else would think of, and is most iconically known for his hitch kick motion "goose-step" to avoid tackles.
  • Campese played for Australia in the 1987, 1991, and 1995 Rugby World Cup and won the World Cup with his teammates in 1991. During that 1991 tournament Campese scored 6 tries and was named the player of the tournament.
  • During his Career with the Wallabies Campese achieved 101 caps and scored a total of 315 points on the international stage. Furthermore, he also played for New South Wales in his club career earning 56 caps and 114 points total. Showing that he was able to succeed on both the international and club stage.
  • Campese because of all of his achievements has been inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1997, the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame in 2007, and was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2013.
  • Campese called himself "Rugby's first millionaire" when he played even though players back then weren't able to earn a profit. This is because Campese took the ameatur game extremely professionally and was more advanced than most players of his time. While also trying to be the most entertaining player that he could be.



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