Dan Carter picked his five toughest opponents, all five are box-office - Page 2 of 3 - Ruck

Dan Carter picked his five toughest opponents, all five are box-office

4&5. Brian O’Driscoll & Paul O’Connell (Ireland)

Brian O’Driscoll: Revered Irish rugby maestro renowned for his electrifying runs, deft footwork, and impeccable rugby intellect. O’Driscoll’s illustrious career spans multiple Lions tours and Six Nations triumphs, solidifying his status as one of the game’s all-time greats.

Paul O’Connell: Towering Irish lock revered for his fierce competitiveness and inspirational leadership. O’Connell’s storied career includes Grand Slam success and Lions captaincy, earning him widespread admiration as one of rugby’s most formidable forwards.

Carter said: “Two giants of the game that have worn the green jersey were Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll. Their work rate and how they conducted themselves on and off the pitch was exemplary.”

Brian O’Driscoll facts:

  1. He is devoted to Manchester United and his boyhood hero was Mark Hughes
  2. O’Driscoll’s father, Frank, played two games for Ireland and an uncle, Barry, won four caps
  3. His final appearance for Leinster, and for any team, was in the 2014 Pro12 Grand Final on 31 May in Leinster’s home ground, the RDS in Dublin, in which Leinster defeated the Glasgow Warriors 34-12
  4. His most oft-quoted line was delivered at a press conference at Croke Park before an England match in 2009: “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.” 
  5. O’Driscoll was chosen as Player of the Tournament in the 2006, 2007 and 2009 RBS Six Nations Championships.

3. Jonah Lomu (New Zealand)

Larger-than-life New Zealand rugby sensation whose raw power and speed revolutionized the game. Lomu’s unmatched athleticism and imposing stature made him a formidable force on the field, leaving an indelible mark on rugby history.

Carter said: “He was the toughest player. I played against him once, I was 19-year-old and tried to tackle him, kinda woke up five metres back. He changed the game of rugby.”

Jonah Lomu Facts:

  1. He weighed 120 kg and was 1.96 metres tall, but could run 100 metres in 10.8 seconds
  2. In 1996, McDonald’s New Zealand named a burger after Lomu
  3. He’s the only rugby player ever to feature on the front cover of TIME magazine
  4. According to the Telegraph, Leeds were ready to make a third bid to attract All Blacks giant Jonah Lomu to England in 2001
  5. He played 63 tests as an All Black, scoring 37 tries
  6. In 2001 he helped New Zealand win the Rugby World Cup Sevens.

2. Schalk Burger (South Africa)

South African rugby legend known for his ferocious tackling and relentless work rate. Burger’s illustrious career boasts World Cup triumph and multiple Rugby Championships, solidifying his status as a true icon of the sport.

Carter said: “A real competitor and absolute top bloke off the field as well. His mindset was a little bit different when he was out there competing. That just made him such a tough opponent to come up against.”