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

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

5 Joost van der Westhuizen (South Africa)

Joost van der Westhuizen was a legendary scrum-half known for his speed and tenacity. His exceptional passing and game management skills made him a vital cog in South Africa’s success.

4 Jonah Lomu (New Zealand

Jonah Lomu was a rugby phenomenon, a powerhouse winger with unprecedented size and speed. His ability to bulldoze through defenders and revolutionize the game made him an icon.

3 Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Brian O’Driscoll was a dynamic center with exceptional skills in attack and defense. His vision, evasive running, and leadership qualities established him as Ireland’s greatest ever player.

They said: “Ireland’s record try scorer with 46 touchdowns, O’Driscoll also led his country more times than any other player and his brilliant defensive qualities and dazzling attacking skills made him a threat all over the field.”

2 Dan Carter (New Zealand)

Dan Carter was a fly-half extraordinaire, widely regarded as the best of his generation. His kicking accuracy, playmaking ability, and sheer skill made him a game-changer for New Zealand.

They said: “The greatest back of the professional era, his record speaks for itself. Way out in front as the leading points scorer in international rugby history, with 1,598 points from his 112 caps. Throw in a further 1,708 points for the Crusaders and the fly-half’s impact on the game cannot be emphasised enough.”

1 Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

Richie McCaw was a legendary flanker and inspirational leader. His relentless work ethic, skill set, and ability to win turnovers made him the epitome of a modern-day rugby great.

They said: “Add to that his leadership and you have the perfect package. Lifting the 2011 World Cup in his backyard was a fitting tribute to one of the greatest ever All Blacks, but he went on to secure true legendary status as he continued for four more years, breaking record after record and uniquely hoisting the Webb Ellis trophy for a second time.”