All Blacks legend Richie McCaw named the best rugby player of the professional era - Page 4 of 5 - Ruck

All Blacks legend Richie McCaw named the best rugby player of the professional era

10 Jonny Wilkinson (England)

Jonny Wilkinson was a legendary fly-half and renowned match-winner. His precision kicking, tactical acumen, and iconic World Cup-winning drop goal solidified his place in rugby history.

They said: “He’s also been one of the great match winners of the era and one of the game’s greatest ever accumulators of points.

“In fact, only Dan Carter has scored more in Test rugby, with Wilkinson having garnered 1,246 during his 97 caps for England and the Lions. His finest hour, of course, came in 2003, when he slotted the drop goal that won the World Cup.

“The fact he landed it with his weaker right foot speaks volumes for his hours and hours of diligent practice. Bowed out on a high, earning two more trophies with Toulon.”

9 John Eales (Australia)

John Eales was an exceptional lock known for his skill, athleticism, and leadership. As one of Australia’s most successful captains, he left an indelible mark on the game.

8 Shane Williams (Wales)

Shane Williams was a diminutive winger with exceptional speed and agility. His elusive running and try-scoring ability made him a fan favorite and a true entertainer.

7 Tim Horan (Australia)

Tim Horan was a gifted center with superb attacking skills and astute game understanding. His ability to break through defenses and create opportunities made him a key figure for Australia.

6 Sergio Parisse (Italy)

Sergio Parisse was a talismanic number eight for Italy, leading his country with distinction. His athleticism, skill set, and dedication to the game made him a respected figure worldwide.