3. Phil Vickery (England)
For more than a decade Phil Vickery was regarded as England’s premier tight head prop, a reputation which reached its zenith when he was appointed the national team’s captain by Brian Ashton in January 2007.
Despite a debut thrashing of Wales in the Five Nations, Vickery suffered a baptism of fire on the international stage with the ‘Tour from Hell’ in the summer of 1998.
He went onto be capped 73 times for his country, and twice a British & Irish Lion, he also captained England at the 2007 World Cup and was part of the historic team that lifted The Webb Ellis Trophy in 2003.
Did you know: Vickery won the 2011 series of Celebrity Masterchef beating Kirsty Wark and Nick Pickard in the final.
Honourable mentions: Jean-Pierre Garuet (France), Patricio Noriega (Argentina & Australia)
4. Martin Johnson (England)
Iconic England legend Johnson is widely regarded as one of the greatest locks to have ever played the game.
He famously led England to glory at the 2003 Rugby World Cup and also captained the British & Irish Lions in 1997 and 2001 – the first player to have ever led the elite tourists twice.
In a glittering career, Johnson was also part of two Grand Slam-winning England sides in 1995 and again as the Skipper in 2003.
Did you know: Johnson was awarded an OBE by The Queen in 1997 but later honoured with a CBE in the aftermath of England’s Rugby World Cup triumph in 2003.
Honourable mentions: Victor Matfield (South Africa), Paul O’Connell (Ireland), Colin Meads (New Zealand)
5. John Eales (Australia)
Perfect is a hard word to describe someone as but John Eales was not far off.
He had pretty much every skill the modern-day rugby play requires and was a born match winner. A true Australian sporting legend, Eales won two World Cups and played 86 times for his country, 55 times as captain.
Rarely for a forward, he was also a goal-kicker, with his most memorable strike being a sideline penalty goal in the final minutes of a 2000 test to win the Bledisloe Cup against New Zealand.