Friday, August 12

Legends of Rugby – GOAT of the game

Ever wondered who the legends of Rugby are ? HamroKhelkud has combined a list of GOAT rugby players. The list is compiled based on number of factors, including but not limited to number of international caps, awards, scores and achievements.

Rugby is said to be originated at Rugby School in Warwickshire, England, in 1823. According to the stories, the father of the game, William Webb Ellis picked the ball and go with it, during a football game.

With little to no evidence to support, but the Rugby World Championship is named after William Webb Ellis, is popularly called the inventor of the game.

Here are the 10 legends of Rugby, who are considered GOAT (greatest of all times) of the game.

10 – Jonny Wilkinson

legends of rugby Jonnny Wilkinson
Source: Independent

Born on 25 May 1979, the former England Rugby Union player Jonny Wilkinson is considered one of the greatest of all time to have embraced the game. He is one of the greatest accumulator of points in Rugby. He has appeared in 91 matches for England, accumulating a total of 1179 points for the country.

On 4 April 1998, making his debut against Ireland, Wilkinson became the youngest player for England, replacing Mike Catt. On 24 February 2008, Wilkinson scored a world record 29th international drop goal.

The Frimley born fly-half played 323 times for Newcastle Falcons and Toulon combined and scored 3933 points. His golden year came in 2003 where he slotted drop goal that won the world cup for England.

Wilkinson is four times Six nations Champion, has won one grand slam in 2003 and three time Triple Crown winner.

He retired from Rugby after 2013-14 season, but he is still considered one of the greatest to ever play this game.

9. John Eales

Source: News API

The Australian lock is one of the best Rugby player in the history. The Aussie legend of the game has appeared 86 times for his national side.

Appeared in amateur side at the age of 19 for Brothers, he has played for Queensland for almost 11 years in the Province game. Eales has played 42 games for Queensland Reds in the Super Rugby making 402 points.

Eales also acted as a Rugby Ambassador at the 2007 Rugby World cup in France where his duties involved different media roles and has also appeared as Athelete Liaison Office.

He was he 2002 Queenslander of the year. Additionally, the annual award for the best Australian rugby player is named after him which makes him one of the best Rugby player Australia has ever had.

The word legend simply defines him because he got the Legend Status in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2020.

8. Shane Williams

Shane Williams, source: RugbyWorld

Williams is one of the greatest Welsh Rugby player of his generation and greatest wingers of all time. Shane is record try scorer for Wales and also holds the forth place on the list of international leading rugby test try scorers.

The winger is mostly known for his famous career as a win for Ospreys, where he contributed for 9 years, earning 141 appearance. He has also played for Neath and Mitsubishi.

The Swansea born wing has appeared in 87 games for Wales scoring 290 points. He is the most capped winger for Wales.

He was the World Rugby player of the year in 2008 and was also included in the World Rugby Hall of fame in November 2016.

7. Tim Horan

Pic : WestPac Wire

Tim Horan impressed from the first go when he made his test Debut. His impressive performance on his Test Debut against New Zealand impressed his opponent Joe Stanley who exchanged jersey with Haron.

Horan was included in both World Rugby Hall of Fame and Australian Rugby hall of fame in 2015. Having played 80 games for Australia, Horan has scored 140 points.

He played as an inside center and also fly-half during his playing career at Saracens F.C. and Queensland Reds. Playing 119 matches for the Queensland based team, he has scored 285 points for the team.

In 1996, he captained his national team first and only time when he played as a fly half.

6. Sergio Parisse

Sergio Parisse – Source RugbyWorld

The Italian Skipper Sergio Parisse is closest to define as one man player. Having captained Italy through the 2019 Rugby World cup, he is most capped player for Italy. He is currently world’s third most capped player.

He is first ever Italian Rugby union player to be nominated in IRB International Player of the Year, twice, once in 2008 and again in 2013.

Parisse is considered one of the greatest Rugby player who has played as number 8. The Italian holds joint record of playing five different Rugby World cup.

Born in Argentina to Italian parents, he preferred to move to Italy to play for the national side.

He made his test Debut in 2003 for Italy in 64-10 defeat to New Zealand, although his debut performance caught lot of attention.

Having played 142 times for Italy, Parisse has scored 83 points and making him most capped Italian player.

5. Joost Van der Westhuizen

Image – The Guardian

Joost Van der Westhuizen played 89 games for South Africa. He was born in Pretoria, South Africa in 20 February 1971.

Westhuizen has scored 38 tries scoring 190 points for South Africa. He is one of the greatest scrumhalf of all time.

The South African scrumhalf is one of the legends of Rugby who has ever played the game and is considered greatest of all time. He was 6ft 2 inches tall, despite spent his entire career as scrum-half, which is unusual height for his position.

He spent his entire provincial career with South African side the Blue Bulls before he retired in 2003.

The South african scrum-back was very popular for finding the gaps in opposition defense and penetrating it, and his willingness to move forward and attack made him one of the aggressive player along with his defensive abilities.

He was part of the South African side that won the Tri Nations cup in 1998 and he also captained Bulls side in 1998 Currie cup.

When Westhuizen retired from Rugby in 2003, he was most capped South African player with 89 caps and record try scorer(38). He has also captained South Africa in ten test matches. South Africa has won 26 out of 31 test matches where he has scored tries and only lost 5.

Westhuizen was included in international Rugby Hall of fame in 2007. He has participated in three world cup, winning one in 1995 tournament where South Africa defeated NewZealands in the final.

He was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 2011 and passed away on Monday, 6 February 2017, at the age of 45.

His legacy still stands as one of the greatest scrum-half of the game.

4. Jonah Lomu

Pic – OnThisDay

Jonah Lomu was youngest ever NewZealand player when he played his first international match in 1994 at the age of 19 years and 45 days.

Lomu played in the wing and he finished his career with the All Black wit 63 appearances and 37 tries. He is considered as first true superstar of the game. He was compared with Muhammad Ali, Don Bradman and Tiger Woods, which makes him first true superstar of Rugby.

The NewZealand wing was included in International Rugby Hall of Fame on 9 October 2007, and the IRB Hall of Fame on 24 October 2011.

Lomu, who made his debut for NewZealand was considered as the best player of the 1995 world cup only after one year of his first international game. At a young age of 20, despite New Zealand lost to South Africa in the world cup final, Lomu was considered the best player of the tournament.

He was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome in 1995 which had a significant impact on his career. His condition worsen and in 2004 he went on a kidney transplant. He tried to make a come back to rugby after his transplant, however did not play any international rugby match and retired from the game in 2007.

His name was used in various video games and in 2018 Jonah Lomu Drive in Pukekohe was named after him.

He died in 2015 due to heart attack, which was later linked to his kidney disease. Despite his death, his willingness to comeback after major kidney injury and his love for the game makes him one of the legends of Rugby.

3. Brian O’Driscoll

Independent

Consider populating list of rugby legends, Brian O’ Driscoll would always make it to the top 10. Driscoll is former Irish professional rugby player who played at outside center for Ireland. He captained Ireland from 2003 to 2012. He now works as a rugby analyst in the United Kingdom.

Driscoll has made 133 appearances for Ireland scoring 245 points for them.

He holds the record for most six nations tries scored with 26 tries. He has scored 30 tries in Heineken Cup, which is most scored by an Irishman. He was chooses as player of the tournaments three times in 2006, 2007 and 2009 Six Nations Championships.

He was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame on 17 November 2016. O’Driscoll was nominated for the IRB World Player of the Year In 2001, 2002 and 2009.

He was voted as World Rugby Player of the Decade (2000-09) by Rugby World Magazine.

2. Dan Carter

Dan Carter

Carter played for New Zealand and earned 115 caps for the national side. He has scored 1598 points for his team, which makes him the highest points scorer in a test match.

He is considered as the greatest ever fly-back ever. He is only one of the 21 players to have won multiple world cup. In the 2015 Rugby World Cup final against Australia, Carter kicked 4 penalties, made two conversions and a drop goal, and was named the player of the match.

He has won 9 Tri-Nations championships with New Zealand. He is three times IRB player of the year in 2005, 2012 and 2015 and was nominated in two other occasions. His 2005 award made his first ever New Zealand player to win the IRB player of the year award.

In 2005, he starred in a match against British and Irish Lions, scoring 33 points in a single game. He became the highest scorer in a single game in a Lions test, passing previous highest point of 18. He second half score of 22 alone was enough to pass the previous record.

1. Richie McCaw

SportsMole

What makes Richie McCaw the legend of rugby ? The stats says it all.

McCaw is considered as one of the GOAT rugby player. He has captained New Zealand in 110 out of his 148 test matches and he is the most capped international player ever.

He was first New Zealand player to earn 100 caps and first ever Rugby Union player to ever win 100 test matches.

The legendary player had it all from the first go where he was selected as the man of the match on his debut game for New Zealand against Ireland.

He has won two world cup in 2011 and 2015 for New Zealand which makes him only one of the few captains to lead the team to world cup triumph in multiple occasions.

McCaw was considered to be honored with Knighthood by then New Zealand prime minister John Key, but he turned it down because it did not feel right for him to consider the honor while he was still on the pitch.

He is considered best openside flanker of all time and has been awarded IRB player of the year for record three times. He was nominated for the same in eight occasions, which supports to the fact that McCaw is the best ever player to play the game. Along with Dan Carter, he is considered to be one of the most influential Kiwi player ever.

McCaw has played 61 test matches for New Zealand in their home soil and has only lost 2. His 135 test points for New Zealand makes him highest scoring forward in New Zealand history with 27 tries.

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