1 Jonny Wilkinson (England)
The Newcastle Falcons and Toulouse fly-half has certainly earned his spot as one of the greatest players of the nation, with his exploits in the game cementing his place in English sporting history.
Best known for his superb kicking abilities, Wilkinson also proved a truly dedicated team player with an impressive work rate, often excelling in his defensive work despite his shirt number and stature.
His iconic last-gasp drop in extra time saw him clinch the win for England against Australia in the historic 2003 Rugby World Cup glory, inspiring a whole generation in that thrilling moment. He’s also won an incredible number of awards and holds numerous world records, including the most drop goals in an international career (36).
2 Romain Ntamack
Test caps: 23
One half of an all-star French halves combination, Romain Ntamack continues to emerge as one of rugby’s most promising young players. Still only 22-years-old, Ntamack has acted as a pillar of France’s recent rejuvenation in test rugby, having starred in a variety of matches from the No 10 jersey. Although he only played five tests this year, the class and quality of the Les Bleus star catapults him high up the rankings in an indication of his influence in the French set-up.
3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland and Leinster)
The well-respected Irish and Leinster prop is universally considered as one of the world’s best front row forwards, with his all-round skill proving a prime example of a modern-day tighthead prop.
Along with his scrummaging prowess and explosive ball-carrying power – often acting as a battering ram against multiple opposition players – he also possesses a surprising number of complementary skills which push the boundaries of your ‘typical’ prop.
With a combination of threatening line breaks often acting as first receiver, impressive side stepping and offloading abilities and expansive passes, some have questioned whether he is actually a fly-half moonlighting as a prop. His spectacular pass during Leinster’s pivotal Champions Cup semi-final against Toulouse back in 2022 is a prime example of his talents.
4 George North
George Philip North was born 13 April 1992. And he is a professional rugby union player who plays for the Ospreys in the United Rugby Championship and the Wales national team. He has also represented the British & Irish Lions and currently has the most tries in international rugby for an active player.
5 Michael Hooper – Australia
The Wallabies boast the reputable Hooper, who exudes the top qualities of a formidable player—passion, leadership and dedication. Though the Wallabies haven’t enjoyed success recently, Michael has always inspired the team whenever they step into the pitch.
No surprise the young test centurion was nominated for the 2021 World Rugby Player of the Year Award though it was debatable how Hooper didn’t get the award.
6 Dan Carter
Dan Carter. Author Geoff Trotter. Wikimedia Commons
Daniel William Carter ONZM is a retired New Zealand rugby union player. He played for the Crusaders in New Zealand and New Zealand’s national team, the All Blacks. Not only does he hold the record for points, which he took from Jonny Wilkinson, but he is the highest Tri-Nations scorer as well. It is said that New Zealand has won every match that Carter has scored a try during, a remarkable achievement. Carter almost became a multi-sport athlete, as the National Football League’s New England Patriots tried to recruit him. However, the plan never came to fruition because Carter tore his Achilles tendon.
A true rugby superstar by definition, Dan Carter is arguably the world’s best fly-half and his reputation and subsequent fame transcend both hemispheres. He comes in as a complete package, including great speed, defensive strength, and a dangerous side step. A reliable goal-kicker and astute tactician, the accomplished Carter is celebrated as the All Blacks’ leading all-time Test points-scorer having eclipsed the mark of Andrew Mehrtens.
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7 Charles Ollivon (France, flanker)
If you don’t believe us when we comment about this incredible rugby player then simply look his stats up. Averaging a try every 2.5 Tests, a lineout or turnover steal every 15 minutes of his international rugby career, and a tackle count average of 21 per Test, few players have the match impact of Ollivon. This year could see him become an all-time great of the game if his dodgy knee holds out to take him into a World Cup campaign. One of the most influential players in world rugby and someone capable of topping this list if fitness and form allows.
8 Pieter-Steph Du Toit
The reigning World Player of the Year, the only thing that counts against him in terms of this list is that he hasn’t played of late.
When he does take the field though he is an absolute force of nature.
A tireless workhorse, he has the size and physicality of a second row, where he used to play, plus the dynamism and speed over the ground which makes him such an effective loose forward, while he made more tackles than any other Springbok on their way to World Cup glory and was a one-man counter-rucking destroyer at times.
Quite simply, he is Mr Consistency.
9 Jonah Lomu (New Zealand)
Former New Zealand rugby union player Jonah Lomu is widely regarded by most as the first true global superstar of rugby union. He was also considered as ‘rugby union’s biggest draw card’ during his career.
He earned 63 caps and scored 185 points for New Zealand All Black from 1994 to 2002. He played for three domestic teams in the Super Rugby which included Auckland Blues, Chiefs, and Hurricanes.
He holds the record of the Rugby World Cup all-time top try scorer with his 15 tries and was considered as one the best players of rugby in international championships starting from 1995 World Cup, unfortunately, he never won a World Cup during his career.
He was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007 and the IRB Hall of Fame in 2011. Sadly Lomu’s career was cut short by a kidney disease and he died on the 18th November 2015 in Auckland from a heart attack linked to his kidney disease
The most followed rugby clubs globally
10 David Campese
David Campese is one of the greatest rugby union players of all time. He was born and raised in Italy, but later moved to Australia and played rugby for the Melbourne Rebels club.
In 1983, he equaled the then-Australian record for most tries in a Test, scoring four for Australia against the USA.
He participated in the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup, during which he broke the then-world record for most tries scored by an international rugby player in the semi-final against France.
Campese was a member of the Wallabies that won the 1991 Rugby World Cup. He is known for his powerful running and kicking skills.