10 best rugby union players in the world right now [Ranked] - Ruck

10 best rugby union players in the world right now [Ranked]

In the bustling landscape of rugby talent today, pinpointing the top players is no easy feat. Yet, the Radio Times has taken on the challenge, aiming to craft a definitive list of the current top 10 rugby stars globally.

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Amidst fervent fan debates, various criteria come into play, from trophy hauls to scoring prowess and leadership qualities.

RadioTimes.com presents a rundown of the most outstanding and electrifying rugby talents, spanning both hemispheres, accompanied by insights into their placements on the list.

  1. Handrè Pollard (South Africa)

Handrè Pollard embodies the essence of clutch performance, consistently delivering in crucial moments. His decisive kick during the 2023 Rugby World Cup semi-final against England propelled his team to the final, while his impeccable kicking prowess secured victory against New Zealand, securing back-to-back titles for the Springboks.

  1. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)

Duhan van der Merwe, Scotland’s dynamic wing, is a formidable force with the ball in hand and space to exploit. His standout moment came in the 2023 Six Nations against England, where he evaded five defenders on a 55-meter run for a sensational try. In the 2024 Six Nations, he further showcased his brilliance with a hat-trick against England, each try a testament to his individual skill.

  1. Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)

Eben Etzebeth epitomizes the spirit of the Springboks jersey, boasting over 100 caps for his country and revered as one of the world’s premier locks. Instrumental in South Africa’s Rugby World Cup triumphs, his pivotal performance in the 2023 quarter-final against France shifted momentum in favor of the Springboks, underlining his significance to the team.

  1. Ardie Savea (New Zealand)

Ardie Savea, renowned for his versatility and leadership, earned World Rugby’s Player of the Year accolade in 2023. His standout display during the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Ireland showcased his scoring prowess, propelling New Zealand to victory. A key figure in the All Blacks setup, Savea’s impact extends beyond his on-field exploits, providing invaluable leadership to the team.

  1. Bundee Aki (Ireland)

Bundee Aki’s prowess as a centre lies in his ability to breach defensive lines with ease and deliver bone-crunching tackles. His stellar performances at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, including 10 clean breaks, 30 defenders beaten, 28 tackles made, and five tries scored, underscore his exceptional talent. Aki’s contributions have been instrumental in Ireland’s success, securing two Six Nations titles and a Pro12 triumph with Connacht.