Heroes. We all have them. Be it your favourite player, the one you emulated in training or he whose poster you had on your bedroom wall. They live long in the memory, and we never forget them, nor do we stop loving them.
But what about the heroes who aren’t the star names? What about those who in times of adversity stepped up to the plate, delivered the goods and etched their names into rugby union folklore forever?
Well, it’s those we are going the herald here as we look back on five players who became heroes unexpectedly. The true greats.
1. Karne Hesketh
There is only one place we could start.
On as a replacement, the speedster, with 84 minutes on the clock, scored possibly the most iconic try in rugby history as Japan overcame South Africa 34-32 in Brighton during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Afterward, he spoke of his immense pride at this victory of the Japanese national rugby team and celebrated with his teammates.
DID YOU KNOW: His partner, Carla Hohepa, is a female New Zealand rugby union player who plays as a wing for New Zealand,
2. Rob Howley
An incredible scrum-half in his day, but nobody expected him to pop if with the winning try during Wasps’ 27-20 Heineken Cup Final victory over Toulouse.
Clement Poitrenaud’s decision to allow Howley’s grubber kick to bounce, hoping it would dribble into touch, stands as perhaps the most ill-judged in European rugby history. As Howley dived at his feet to dot down it immediately entered folklore as one of the most dramatic single moments in rugby since the turn of professionalism.
An unlikely try made an unexpected hero.
3. Stephen Donald
Donald was hardly a household name before he was called up as the fourth-string number 10, replacing third choice Aaron Cruden, for the All Blacks side to play in the World Cup final.
In fact, he was quite maligned due to ordinary performances previously for his country.
But he became a superstar in one kick, the one that clinched the Cup 8-7 against France.
4. Elliot Daly
Rewind to 2017 and Elliot Daly wasn’t yet the household name he is today.
After 10 caps, in which he’d played three positions (centre,fullback,wing), the then Wasps flier had struggled for tries but then scored potentially the most iconic England try in recent years as they overcame Wales in Cardiff.
This score catapulted Daly into contention for a place on the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand that summer where he would play a key role in the drawn series.
DID YOU KNOW: He has represented England at U16, U18, U20 and Senior level including winning an U20 Grand Slam in 2011
5. Andy Goode
He doesn’t look like a superstar rugby player, but he proved everyone wrong time after time during his distinguished career.
During his career he earned 17 England caps, won five Premiership titles (1999–2002 and 2007) and two European Cups (2001 and 2002) all with Leicester; he also won the RFU Championship with Worcester Warriors.One of the most beloved players in recent times.
DID YOU KNOW: Goode is the second highest scorer of all time in Premiership Rugby, having previously been the record holder.
Top 23 Hilarious Andy Goode Memes
Andy Goode is a legend. There is no going around it, you may hate him, or you may love him, but you cannot deny that the man is a myth in the world of rugby.
So without any more waiting, get ready for some laughs because here are the top 23 Andy Goode memes that are savage AF.
Most are from our favourite Instagram profile RUGBY MEMES OFFICIAL.