Warning: the following article will annoy you. The following article will trigger you. The following will make you think ‘how in under God did he get this SO wrong? This is ridiculous!!!!!’
But maybe, just maybe, it’s not SO wrong.
Maybe this list ranking the 30 greatest rugby players of the professional era is actually 100% correct.
But before you angrily tweet us or angrily WhatsApp your friends your disgust, please bear the aforementioned in mind and TRY (all I’m asking is you try) and enjoy reading Wales Online’s ranking from back in 2018.
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Best rugby players (professional era)
30 Jason Robinson (England)
Known as Billy Whizz, this former rugby league star proved a hugely successful convert to Union. A lethal runner from full-back or wing, he was a nightmare to mark in one-on-one situations.
They said: “Known as Billy Whizz, this former rugby league star proved a hugely successful convert to Union. A lethal runner from full-back or wing, he was a nightmare to mark in one-on-one situations.”
29 George Smith (Australia)
Renowned for his skills at the breakdown, George Smith was a master of turnovers and a tireless worker on the field. His tenacity and rugby intelligence made him a valuable asset for Australia.
28 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
A true leader and embodiment of Welsh rugby, Alun Wyn Jones has been a towering presence in the second row. With his physicality, work rate, and immense passion, he has achieved numerous accolades.”
27 Sam Warburton (Wales)
Sam Warburton captained Wales and the British and Irish Lions with distinction. His athleticism, poise, and ability to win turnovers made him one of the finest openside flankers of his generation.
26 Doug Howlett (New Zealand)
As a former New Zealand rugby star, Doug Howlett was a prolific try-scorer. His speed, agility, and finishing ability made him a constant threat on the wing for both club and country.
25 Stephen Larkham (Australia)
Stephen Larkham was a gifted playmaker who orchestrated attacks with his vision and passing skills. His ability to read the game and create opportunities set him apart as a top-class fly-half.
24 Gethin Jenkins (Wales)
Gethin Jenkins was a formidable prop known for his scrummaging prowess and work rate around the field. His durability and consistency made him a vital asset to the Welsh and British Lions.
23 Richard Hill (England)
Richard Hill was a versatile back-row forward who excelled in both defense and attack. His commitment, reliability, and selflessness earned him plaudits as a vital contributor to England’s success.
They said: “Did all the unseen, grafting work and just got on with his job in unassuming fashion, putting his body on the line. Able to excel right across the back row, he was a pivotal figure on two Lions trips and an England World Cup winner.”
22 Schalk Burger (South Africa)
Schalk Burger was a dynamic and physical flanker, always putting his body on the line. His ferocious tackling and ability to turn over ball made him a feared competitor in the back row.
21 Lawrence Dallaglio (England)
Lawrence Dallaglio was a powerful number eight who led by example. His leadership qualities, ball-carrying ability, and never-say-die attitude made him an integral part of successful teams.
They said: “Had it all in his prime – pace, power, aggression, pride and a steely mind-set. A Lions series winner, a World Cup winner and a trophy magnet with Wasps.”