Rugby has become one of the most popular sports in the world. It is rapidly rising and becoming a sought-after sport in countries like England, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and even here in the United States. Now, like with most other sports, one of the common questions amongst rugby players and fans alike is “who are the best rugby players of all time?” In basketball you have guys like Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, football recognizes players like Joe Montana, Walter Payton, and Tom Brady. However, one of the most impossible debates is determining the best rugby players ever. Below we will look to name some of the best rugby players ever to grace the sport.
Gareth Edwards (Wales)
Gareth Edwards, the former Welsh rugby union player, has been regarded as “arguably the greatest rugby player to ever don a Welsh jersey” according to the BBC. While a member of Wale’s national team, he played 53 matches between the years of 1967 and 1978 and scored 88 points. He also played ten matches for the British Lions where he scored 3 points. Edwards also spent twelve seasons of his career with Cardiff RFC where he scored 69 tries in 195 games. In 2003, Gareth Edwards was voted as the greatest rugby player of all time in a poll of Rugby World magazine. He also topped the list of the “50 Greatest Rugby players” which was compiled by former England captain Will Carling in The Telegraph back in 2007.
Dan Carter (New Zealand)
Dan Carter of the New Zealand Rugby union is the highest points scorer in Test match rugby and is universally recognized as the greatest first-five eighth ever. While on New Zealand’s national team, the All Blacks, Carter earned 100 caps and scored 1,442 points. He also played for the Crusaders in Super Rugby and earned 128 caps while scoring 1,581 points. Dan Carter has won six Tri-Nations and Rugby Championships with New Zealand’s national team along with four Super Rugby championships with the Crusaders. In 2011, Caret led the New Zealand national team to victory in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He has been named rugby player of the year in both 2005 and 2012 by the International Rugby Board, and Super Rugby player of the year in 2004 and 2006 by Rebel Sport.
Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
Brian O’Driscoll, a former Irish professional rugby union player, is regarded as the best outside center of all time. He was widely popular, and his fan support was so vast that people would attend his matches wearing T-shirts that had the motto, “In BOD We Trust.” O’Driscoll was the captain of Ireland’s national rugby team from 2003 to 2012 and even captained British and Irish Lion during the New Zealand tour in 2005. Along with his international appearances, he also played the Irish provincial team Leinster. Brian O’Driscoll played a total of 141 test matches for Ireland, including the 83 where he served as captain. He also played 8 for the British and Irish Lions which made him the most-capped player in rugby union history. He is also the highest try scorer in Irish Rugby history as well as the 8th highest try scorer of all time in international rugby history.