10/23/2021 at 07:26

The Names that Made Rugby Famous

Although rugby is considered a sport that is played mostly in English-speaking countries, it becomes more and more popular in other parts of the world which are not related to English-speaking territories. However, it is obvious that rugby investments are larger in countries with higher standards and a long tradition of rugby as a professional sport.  For those who are completely unfamiliar with rugby as a sport, here are the athletes who are considered to be the best rugby players of all time. 

Ricchie McCaw

Although he retired as a professional rugby player, McCaw deserves to be at the very top of the list. He used to be the captain of the New Zealand rugby national team, and, during his captaincy, they won the World Cup two times – in 2011 and 2015. Described as a ‘full package’ rugby player possessing an extraordinary ability to lead the team, to master a game, and to endure the things others cannot, McCaw was named the best rugby player in 2006, 2009, and 2010. In addition, he was an appointed member of the Order of New Zealand, which represents the highest honour in his country.

bob walker from London, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Dan Carter

The second place on the list is also occupied by a New Zealander, also a retired player. His achievements are numerous: he won six Tri-Nations and Rugby Championships while playing for the national team, and four Super Rugby titles while playing for the Crusades. During his career, he was recognized as the best rugby player of the year several times by different parties – by International Rugby Board in 2005 and 2012, and by Rebel Sport in 2004 and 2006.

Michael Jones

Better known for his nickname ‘The Iceman’, Michael Jones can be remembered as the player who needed very little to become the perfect player. In some way, his injuries prevented him from becoming a perfect player, and he was known for keeping ice packs over his injuries during the gameplay.  Rugby World magazine ranked him as the third-best player, while the New Zealand government granted him the medal of honour for his community work. When he ended his professional career, he worked as a coach of the Samoa rugby team for two years.

New Zealand Government, Office of the Governor-General, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Brian O’ Driscoll

Brian O’ Driscoll used to be a captain of the Irish national team for 9 years, and afterward, a captain of British and Irish Lions. This Irishman is famous for his supporters’ title ‘In BOD we trust’.  He may be considered the rugby player with the largest number of fans and admirers who attended his matches. If one regards the statistics and history of Irish rugby, the total number of matches he played is 141, which turned him into the most capped player in the Irish rugby union.

 David Campese

Campese comes from Australia, and he has been famous for receiving the most prestigious Player of the Tournament award during the Rugby World Cup in 1991. He was granted the Australian Sports medal in 2000, as well as the honorary Centenary Medal from his government. His achievements made him enter the IRB Hall of Fame, as one of the best international rugby players of all time.