Rugby is one of the widely popular games that involve huge participation that has produced incredible and iconic players of all time. In this blog, we have listed the top 6 Greatest Rugby Players of the Professional Era that has given the world some of the fantastic matches while representing the meaning of leadership and sportsmanship. Have a look and unveil the achievements of supremely talented rugby union players from all across the world.
1. Richie McCaw, New Zealand
Richie McCaw is the legendary figure who was named three times World Rugby player in the year 2006, 2009, and 2010 respectively. He is one of those monumental players of All Black who took the team to the successive Rugby World Cup titles in 2011 and 2015. The world calls him a true genius of Rugby, and why not? This iconic man is celebrated to be a super athlete, breakdown master, motivational leader, magnificent referee influencer, and of course, winning All Blacks captain! He was awarded numerous professional honors, including the Halberg Award for New Zealand Sportsman of the Year (2010 & 2011), Kelvin R. Tre main Memorial Trophy (2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012), and the Newcomer of the Year in 2001.
2. Dan Carter, New Zealand
Winning a prestigious title in his career, Dan Carter is the eminent rugby union player from New Zealand who managed to score 1,442 points to earn 100 caps for New Zealand’s national team, the All Blacks. His scores jumped while playing for Crusaders in Super Rugby, winning 128 caps and 1,581 points. A little bit of contribution goes to Canterbury Provincial team participation, which gave him 289 scores. Dan owns six Tri-Nations and Rugby Championships with the All Blacks and four Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders. After the 2011 Rugby World Cup, he was named the player of the year 2012 (once in 2005) by the International Rugby Board. Also, does well while receiving the greatest Super Rugby player of the year in 2004 & 2006 by the Rebel Sport.
3. Brian O’Driscoll, Ireland
A professional rugby union player from Ireland, Brian O’ Driscoll, is the most celebrated outside center in the sport's history. Players like him are hard to witness in tough and rough handled games. He earned a huge fan following after making an awestruck hat-trick in the match against France in 2000. Besides having a rocking international rugby career, he represented the Irish provincial team Leinster. Brian earned the enthralling achievements while captaining Ireland’s national rugby team from 2003 to 2012 and British and Irish Lion during the New Zealand tour in 2005. From becoming the 8th highest try scorer to the highest try scorer of all time in Irish Rugby, BOD is one of the most-capped players in rugby union history.
4. Shane Williams, Wales
One of the most capped wingers, Shane Williams, is the record try scorer for Wales. He is well-known for his unmatchable raw pace, unreadable side steps, and jinking runs, Shane was truly the welsh magician in the rugby world. In the whole career, he accumulated 57 caps for Wales in 87 games and scored 215 points, which made him the all-time highest Welsh try scorer. He is on the 4th number on the international list of leading rugby union test scorers after Daisuke Ohata, David Campese, and Bryan Habana. The 2008 IRB World Player of the year title, proved his blistering pace and unique talent was worth being awarded for! In 2012, he took retirement from International rugby and remained in the sport by joining S4C's Six Nations rugby program as a presenter.
5. Jonah Lomu, New Zealand
Most respectable former New Zealand’s rugby union player, Jonah Lomu, had gained 63 caps and 185 points from 1994 to 2002 for All Blacks. In his career, he has joined three national teams including Auckland Blues, Chiefs, and Hurricanes. Being listed on one of the best players of rugby in international championships since the 1995 World Cup, the only regret of his career is not to win any single title of the World Cup. Apart from that, in the 1999 Rugby World Cup, this player made a record-breaking score of 15 tries. His passion and determination for rugby revised his entry after dealing with a chronic kidney ailment. A man who stretched rugby to the iconic world stage was inducted in the International Hall of Fame in 2007 and the IRB Hall of Fame in 2011.
6. Sergio Parisse, Italy
Sergio Parisse, one of the finest no.8s in world rugby, is widely renowned for the best Italian forwards in history. His phenomenal technical ability and exemplary work-rate him as a fantastic sportsman to witness and a nightmare to put against the opponent. Making an international debut in 2002 at the professional game at the mere age of 18, he became the first Italian player to be nominated for the award's IRB player. Since then, the number 8 turns out to be his parallel identity. Today, he is adored for the astonishing skills and undying determination to become the back support of Azzurri’s improving performances.