In a recent survey featuring the participation of over 5,000 fans, the iconic Jonny Wilkinson, revered as an England legend, has clinched the title of rugby’s greatest player.
His unforgettable last-minute drop-goal, securing England’s triumph in the 2003 Rugby World Cup against the home team in Australia, stands as a defining moment in his illustrious career.
Wilkinson’s legacy extends far beyond that historic kick, as he ascended to the status of one of rugby’s all-time greats through a record-breaking journey. Out of the 91 games he played for England, they emerged victorious in 67, with Wilkinson contributing an impressive total of 1,179 points. Furthermore, he holds the record for the most points scored in Rugby World Cup history, tallying an extraordinary 277 points.
Among the top 20 players acknowledged by fans, New Zealand dominates with five representatives, including legends such as Dan Carter, Richie McCaw, and Zinzan Brooke. Notably, the lone player hailing from the amateur era is Wales’ legendary scrum-half, Gareth Edwards, often regarded as the best in his position.
Without further ado, here is the much-anticipated list of the top 20 greatest rugby players ever, as determined by the passionate votes of fans:
Greatest Ever Rugby Playesr: Top 20
20. Sergio Parisse (Italy)
Parisse, an Italian rugby legend, is known for his exceptional skills and leadership. He holds numerous records for Italy and has been a key figure in international rugby. Parisse’s passion for the game and dedication to his team have made him an iconic figure in Italian rugby.
19. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
Sexton, the talismanic Irish fly-half, has been a pivotal force in Irish rugby. Known for his precise kicking and on-field leadership, he has guided Ireland to numerous victories. His commitment to the sport and unwavering dedication have made him a beloved figure in Irish rugby.
18. Jason Leonard (England)
Leonard, a former England prop, is a true rugby legend. Renowned for his scrummaging prowess and longevity, he earned a record number of caps for England. Leonard’s contributions to English rugby are celebrated, and he remains an inspirational figure in the sport.
17. Zinzan Brooke (New Zealand)
Brooke, a legendary All Blacks No. 8, is celebrated for his dynamic play and versatility. His ability to score drop goals from remarkable distances is iconic. Brooke’s impact on New Zealand rugby is enduring, and he is remembered as one of the greats.
16. Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand)
Williams is a rugby sensation known for his powerful runs and offloading skills. A dual-code international, he’s achieved success in both rugby union and rugby league. Williams’s athleticism and charisma have made him a global rugby superstar.