Top 10 Rugby Players Of All Time
Rugby is one of the world’s most popular sports, despite only becoming professional in the 90’s. It has produced many great players throughout the years, and here are the ten I feel are the best. Several outstanding players had to be left out, because I just couldn’t find a place for them.
Bryan Habana, Joost van der Westhuizen, George Gregan, Francois Pienaar, Matt Giteau, Gareth Edwards, Gavin Hastings
#10. Shane Williams
Arguably Wales’ greatest ever player, Shane Williams has scored more tries, and had more appearances than any other Welsh player in history. His breakthrough was in the 2005 Six Nations, where Wales won every single match (a Grand Slam), largely thanks to his tries. He also led Wales to another Grand Slam in 2008. That year, he was awarded the IRB rugby player of the year award, the first Welshmen to win the honor. In his final match, a friendly against Australia in 2011, Shane Williams scored his 58th try with final touch of the ball. Williams was famous for his acceleration, and his small size, being nicknamed “Little Shane Williams.”
#9. Naas Botha
Despite playing during the time when South Africa was almost completely banned from international rugby for Apartheid, Naas Botha was still able to leave his mark on the game. He was an excellent kicker, who was famous for his ability to score drop-goals under pressure. In only 28 caps for South Africa, Botha was able to score 312 points, a South African record for decades. Towards the end of his career, Botha was able to see South Africa rejoin the international fold. If only his team hadn’t been banned, Botha may have been very near the top of this list.
#8. Percy Montgomery
The all-time record holder in both caps and points for South Africa, Percy Montgomery was one of the sport’s greatest kickers. He was the top points scorer in both the 2004 and 2005 Tri Nation tournaments. However, his finest moment came in the 2007 World Cup, when his accurate kicking led South Africa to the title of the most prestigious rugby tournament. Montgomery started off being extremely erratic, as he could play brilliantly one match and then be very poor the next. However, he was able to sort that out to become one of the sport’s greats.