Who is the All Time Greatest from Rugby Union?

We are compiling a list of the greatest athletes from the sport of rugby union, which will then be voted on and the winner placed on the shortlist of the all time greatest athlete ever (all sports).

The first stage is to get nominations for rugby union before the vote is started. See the current list below of top athletes, compiled using other published lists and visitor feedback. If you believe that there is someone missing from this list, please place a comment below, including any relevant details about the person.

Rugby Union Greatest Players

The athletes below are listed in no particular order - once the shortlist is complete then you will be able to vote for who you think is the greatest of all. This list is not complete - if you know of someone who should be listed here, let us know using the comment form below.

name notes
Richie McCaw New Zealand
Dan Carter New Zealand
Brian O'Driscoll Ireland
Chris Jack New Zealand
Colin Meads New Zealand
Danie Gerber South Africa
David Campese Australia
Gareth Edwards Wales
Hugo Porta Argentina
Jason Leonard England
Jean-Pierre Rives France
Jonah Lomu New Zealand
Jonny Wilkinson England
Mark Ella Australia
Martin Johnson England
Martin Johnson England
Michael Jones New Zealand
Phillipe Sella France
Serge Blanco France
Zinzan Brooke New Zealand

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Old Comments

Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.

WORLD CUP
-TWO time World Cup champions.
-Best record of ALL nations for World Cup finishes
-Most World Cup wins, Highest points tally, Highest try tally, Highest tournament history try tally, Best winning points differential.
-In fact they lead ALL World Cup stats except oldest player and 'points tally by one player over all world cups'.

There's more but I'm getting tired of it now. Suffice to say that's impressive, but the scary thing is that they have a current player who's own personal additional stats take this almost stratospheric...in all sports. It's so far beyond any other Rugby player that he's our only choice, and that man is Richie McCaw.

Consider this:
-3x World player of the year (only him and Carter have ever won it more than once)
-Played 129 Tests for 114 wins (89.11%)
-Played 92 Tests as Captain for 81 wins (89%) - The Highest Capped Test Captain in Rugby Union History.
-Most Tries in Tests by any forward.
-Most Tries in Tests against ANY Tier 1 Country (Australia - this is ahead of Cullen, Campese, Habana & Williams to name just a few)
-Won all 3 Grand Slam Tours v Northern Hemisphere sides he's attempted - 2005, 2008 & 2010.
-World Cup Winner
-12 Consecutive Bledisloe Cups (never been lost since he's been a player)
-9 Rugby Championships
-4 Super Rugby Titles with the Crusaders, 3 as Captain.

Staggering!! - I got scared just looking this up...and that's not even all of it!!
Nobody else can claim anything like this in the history of Rugby. Therefore he is the only man capable (as per the 'Category 2' definition) of representing Rugby in the 'Greatest Athlete'.

Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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