Best International Rugby Players Ever

Which one will you choose take your pick. Pick wisely my friends!!:)

The Top Ten

1 Brian O'Driscoll

There are many great players, but there is only a rare few who are great for 10 years. O'Driscoll is the greatest because he constantly grows his skill and his impact on the game. He's a centre who tackles like a Flanker and kicks like a Fly half. Any young player should study O'Driscoll play and see how he's constantly growing. A once in an era player.

The ultimate. Mastered every facet of his position and set the standard for everyone else. As his body changed with age, he adapted and found new skill-sets and kept himself in the top flight for 15 years. Retired on his own terms.

His greatest asset was his ability to read the game, at times making it seem like he could see into the future.

He would lead from the front and shied away from no challenge - the first man into battle and the last man standing who could make that game-saving tackle inches from his own line.

We are privileged to be the ones alive to witness his greatness.

Most tries of any centre ever, second most test caps of all time, 3 time 6 Nations player if the season, voted the best player of the last (professional) decade, 4 times a Lions tourist. Simply incredible. Oh and he has the heart and bravery of a lion!

This is a Joke right?

V 62 Comments
2 Jonah Lomu

Imagine what this man could have done if he had better health. The most devastating player to have ever set foot on a rugby pitch, bar none. People who refuse to accept this are stuck in a fuddy duddy rugby paradigm. Some people would rather he was never there, like a dream... but he was there, wasn't he? Like a nightmare you couldn't wake up from; the unstoppable Juggernaut, littering the pitch with trampled bodies and battered egos... utter carnage.

Lomu was known for his unmatched power. Coupled with his speed, this near 150kg man wold punish every team that stood in his way. He is also known as rugby's first superstar. Go Lomu! You The Best!

He is the all time unstoppable player that every player feared, he inspired a lot of people to play rugby and up to now he is a mentor and a roll model.

best ever

V 59 Comments
3 Dan Carter

Carter is the highest points scorer of all time, he can play well in anywhere in the backline, he hardly ever miss's a tackle, HE IS THE BEST EVER

Based on the players listed, DC is by far the most accomplished player. His versatility in the back line means he can play anywhere from 10-12 and most probably 15. Near perfect when tasked with kicking goals (Please refer to his record if unsure - outstanding) he is by far the most complete 1st 5 8th in the history of the game played in heaven. Another attribute DC brings to a team is his defense strength which is normally a downfall in fly halves (Grant Fox or Quade Cooper are perfect examples). Brian O'Driscol is unlucky not to take the prize as he has shown in his illustrious career how good he is, and Jonah well he speaks for himself. But when you talk about an all round gifted player who contributes to a team in nearly every aspect of the game, DC is the man. Why isn't Richie McCaw or George Gregan there I don't know? Definitely should be

Dan carter is new Zealand's best because he is the man at kicking, tackling and he scored the most points

Greatest ever

V 24 Comments
4 Jonny Wilkinson

Dan the man is so much better. Johnny was a one dimensional player. He was good in defense and protected heavily by his team mates. Johnny's strength in kicking was also a complete embarrassment to the English rugby reputation. All the opposition team had to do to win was control Johnny. He had one good game which as the World Cup and kudos to him. If you watch southern hemisphere rugby then you would know he is probably around number 10 in the world (only because he won England a world cup).

Australia 17-17 England 2003 WCR Final with 40 seconds to go but then Jonny Wilkinson uses his right boot to score for England to win the 2003 WCR, what a great man.

Not the most talented, but the most dedicated and valuable to his team. World class kicking and defending, and an example to all young players of whatever sport for how to conduct yourself on and off the pitch.

Very precise with penalty kicks and very good with defense.

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5 Gareth Edwards

In my opinion I believe he should be higher up the list somewhere in the top ten. But he was amazing had the pace, skill, and the will to score remarkable tries.

Despite my natural antipathy as a proud Englishman even I am forced to concede Gareth Edwards was without compare as a rugby player of a time.

A player that would without any doubt have ruled the game any time since it was invented.

Just for the best ever try in the world where he started the move from his own half and ended it he should be higher... all over the park and setting up so much for his team a true great ( and that's from an Englishman)

V 31 Comments
6 Richie McCaw

The inspirational All Blacks' skipper who lead the side to their first world cup win in 24 years. Is he the greatest player of all time? Probably not. He is, however, better than every other player on the list. Johnny Wilkinson? Come on guys.

No one compares to Richie. His accomplishments are unbeatable. His drive, word ethic, leadership and what he does on and off the field is irreplaceable. 130+ test matches, the most ever. To come across another player like Richie is rare. Yeah there are some young stars coming through but none of them come close to Richie. And if they tried to it would be very hard. If you go around asking the locals who do you think the nest player is, I bet 85% of those people will say Richie Mccaw.

His record is unmatched - so are his inspiration and leadership. And he's still playing superbly at such a high level after more than 12 years in such a punishing position. Best captain on the planet, ever. Before he's done, he'll probably smash a few more records along the way. Why is he not at #1?


V 41 Comments
7 Brian Habana

South African legend at the age of 20

The fastest wing ever with GREAT skills!

He is good and can run very fast and I'm his neighbour

Only player to ever to compete with Lomu's stats

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8 Jason Robinson

England international lightning speed and full of energy

This guy was an amazing player. Darting through foreign defences like they weren't there. He's a great inspiration to young players. Truly magnificent

He's quick and very effective. Devastating.


V 2 Comments
9 David Campese

His ability to out-fox his opponents was second to none. He had the most amazing ability to attack and his leg speed was amazing. He was truly the first modern player of our age. He took on all before him and won. He has won a World Cup and was the player of the tournament. His flair in attach has rarely been matched. If he played today he would still send fear into the opponents. My God he was good!

Australia's greatest ever rugby player, no doubt!

He made the All Blacks defense look clumsy, like no other. He made 37 clear breaks in world cups, more then any other player, 5 clear breaks ahead of Jonah Lomu. No one else even close.

The name says it all...

V 4 Comments
10 Yannick Jauzion

He was such a great player for French rugby but not a top 10. Can you believe he is on 37 years old?

The Contenders

11 Christian Cullen

Nobody looked as good as Cullen with the ball. It was like he was on rails. Made Blanco look like a drunken hobo. Career destroyed by a toothless bald headed hillbilly named Mitchell. Best player ever.

Simply the best introducing the world to the purest form of scintillating running rugby

Most athletic running fullback I have ever seen. Amazing try scoring rate and freakish ability to score in impossible situations.

Had everything and used it, lightening quick, ridiculously strong for his size and elegant to go with it. Mitchell your IQ matched the number you wore as a player!

V 3 Comments
12 Shane Williams

Greatest feet in rugby, shows that size doesn't matter

but seriously wtf is cipriani anywhere near this list - mattlol

Best ever player for his size

He is the best ever winger the best ever at running in rugby sure Habana can run but is no were near as good at side stepping shane is my favorite and has been since I was little

Best ever

V 2 Comments
13 Ronan O'Gara

A great player who's unceremonious exit from Irish rugby did not reflect the quality of his service

Great servant of Irish rugby

Ronan O'Gara is a legend!


V 7 Comments
14 Colin Meads

The springboks' can tell you all about Colin Meads he mess them up with a broken arm.

When your passion runs as deep as "Pinetree's'" you to can scare the opposition

Pinetree meads the best ever

a Legend

15 Michael Jones

A machine, simply the most inspiring player I have ever seen. Total commitment, ball handling to match any, and more stamina than many of todays pros.

Iceman one of the greatest ever to play the game the first player in history to score back to back tries in the opening games of the world cup.

One of the very best!

One of the greatest

V 2 Comments
16 Serge Blanco

Sheer wizardry. Blanco may not be the best rugby player ever (Gareth Edwards is), but he is undoubtedly the best fullback ever.

Probably the best player I have ever seen in my life. To me, is the best ever.

Most skillful

One of the best

17 Martin Johnson

Powerful leader brought us glory

Very good player he was a great leader and always kept carm under pressure and was a great leader


This guy was captain when we beat Australia in Australia!

top 7 please

18 Tana Umaga

Line breaker, hard defense brilliant hands

Total package centre. Big, strong and fast. Very smart and defensively powerful.

19 Sonny Bill Williams

Sonny Bill is a great player with beautiful offloads and runs like a machine. HE is my favourite player in the world. What an amazing player GO ALL BLACKS...

Magnificent skills. Pity he swaps codes so many times and then tries rugby 7's in the olympics which ended up being a flop

He is brilliant. He has hugely influenced union. But he started in league and that's where he is now. Plenty high on this list. Gareth Edwards belongs a lot higher.

The best rugby player

V 8 Comments
20 Byron Kelleher
21 Fourie du Preez

One of the greatest scrum-halves in the world.

The greatest scrum half still playing today

A very good scrum half

Best number 9 ever

V 2 Comments
22 Paul O Connell

Who wouldn't have him on their team? A beast who could take his team by the scruff of it's neck and shove it over the finishing line. Let's face it - if you didn't pull you're weight you'd have to answer to him. You wouldn't relish that prospect.

A true legend of Irish rugby, one of the greatest ever

Can't get any better leader of a team

Saw him in his last game at Twickenham. He drew the eye with his stature among the Ireland team, and the respect the all the Englisg team showed him. What an outstanding player he proved to be over the years.

V 7 Comments
23 Barry John

A fly-half even Carter and Wilkinson might struggle to emulate. There was a reason he was called 'The King'. He could drop the ball on a sixpence and had the ability to slice the opposition defense open with a single pass. Had he not retired at just 27 he would undoubtably be considered one of the best by most people.

The King. Talents stood out starkly even with Gareth inside him.

the King

Simpley the best

24 J.P.R. Williams

A critical part of the legendary welsh backs squad of the '70's. Crazy that Manu Tuilagi is above such a legend.

1st on the list for total lack of self regard! Nuts

How was he missed?

What. How can you take any list seriously with JPR so far down. Top 10 - dazter

V 1 Comment
25 George Gregan

The best scrum half for a long time and a great leader

26 Joost van der Westhuizen

Maybe the best halfback to control the field and the pack. Intensely competitive.

Definitely the best scrum half in the world during his playing career

Best ever player. Controlled the game, led the pack, scored the tries and he was graceful and very humble.

Best on 9 in the world

V 2 Comments
27 Manu Tuilagi

Agreed, too early to be included on the list as gets injured all the time.

Should not be on this list. Load o' bollocks

28 Clément Poitrenaud


29 Julian Savea

A true machine. Today's Jonah Lomu. His 2015 World Cup says it all.

You're the best. Quincy

30 Joe Rokocoko
31 Matt Todd

The Best Forward In Rugby History He Can Run! - bulldogbeast

32 Danny Cipriani

Young legend raring to go!

33 Grant Fox
34 Hugo Porta

Best Puma ever should rank higher

35 Alesana Tuilagi


36 Vincent Clerc

Il est pas clair

37 Kieran Read

Will be one of the greats in years to come. Total athlete

He will become the greatest number 8 in future

38 Owen Farrell

Great for club and country

Should be top 20 at least

Too far down the list


39 Danie Gerber

One of the greatest players ever and arguably the best center of all time if he had the changes to display his immense power and speed. The world only saw glimpses of it, but there is still enough footage to proof this statement. "Power on the run"

The best Centre ever and should be in the top 3 best ever players to have played the game.

Best running centre ever

Best centre ever...includes comparissons to O'Driscoll,Sela,Nonu etc

V 6 Comments
40 Sebastien Chabal Sebastien Chabal Sébastien Chabal, born 8 December 1977 in Valence, Drôme, is a retired French rugby union player. He is known for his full beard, long hair and ferocious tackling, leading the French rugby fans to nickname him l'Homme des Cavernes— the Caveman. With this look, he has a number of lucrative commercial more.

He's amazing

The best!

41 John Kirwan

God player

42 Gavin Hastings

He played fullback. Great player and leader.

Biggest strongest and most powerful winger ever to play rugby. He could take on an entire backline and score from anywhere on the pitch. This has never been repeated. He truly is the best rugby player ever.

A great Scotsman, player and kicker.

43 Sergio Parisse

Italy's greatest ever, by far.

A great player In a not so great team

44 Beauden Barrett

A total freak athlete. Just watch this guy go on to become one of the greatest.

Awesome player. Certainly the best at the moment.

45 Agustín Pichot
46 George North

He has pace and power when he runs. should sooo be in top 5 of universe. biggest, strongest most powerful winger ever to play rugby. Always scores in the corners!

47 Sid Going

Enough to change the practice schedule

This guy is my great uncle!


He had the "X" factor.

48 Israel Folau

What is this? HE has received so much attention over the past few years because he is simply amazing

Should be higher on the list. Best fullback in the world today.

Put izzy in top 20now!

Best fullback

V 2 Comments
49 Morne Steyn

The best fly half of his era

He is a very good player😊

50 Victor Matfield

No lock ever dominated line outs like this man. Everyone else can only be second

He has a lot of experience

He has won a world cup before

He is a great lock

The best lock of all time. I enjoyed watching him dominate the line outs year in, year out.


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List Stats

2,000 votes
150 listings
11 years, 17 days old

Top Remixes (15)

1. Matt Todd
2. Joe Rokocoko
3. Tana Umaga
1. Gareth Edwards
2. Barry John
3. Christian Cullen
1. Jonah Lomu
2. Ma'a Nonu
3. Brian O'Driscoll

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