Nigel Owens Reveals His Top 5 Rugby Players of All Time - Ruck

Nigel Owens Reveals His Top 5 Rugby Players of All Time

Popular Welsh referee flanker Nigel Owens recently picked his all-time dream team, singling these five out for specific praise.

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5. Dan Carter (New Zealand)

The professional era’s greatest back, Carter holds the record for the most points scored in international rugby history with 1,598 points from 112 caps. In addition to his impressive international career, he also scored 1,708 points for the Crusaders.

Known for his goal-kicking abilities, smooth running style, and exceptional control, Carter is a complete player and has consistently proven to be a game-changer at the highest level.

He made his Test debut against Wales in 2003, playing at inside centre and scoring 20 points, and it was also against Wales in 2010 that he kicked a penalty from halfway at the Millennium Stadium to surpass Jonny Wilkinson as the top point scorer in the world.

OWENS SAID: “There are lots of outside-halves who have been great, but not one who has done it over so many years like Carter.

“Before the 2015 World Cup, some people said he was past his best and wouldn’t make the New Zealand squad for the tournament. But for Carter to come back from injury and play as well as he did then is a sign of a special player.”

4. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

Jones, born September 19, 1985, in Swansea, Wales, is a celebrated rugby union player renowned for his leadership and resilience.

Standing at 6’6″, he has been a formidable presence in the second row. Jones debuted for the Welsh national team in 2006 and has since earned over 150 caps, making him one of the most capped players in rugby history.

He has captained Wales to numerous Six Nations titles, including Grand Slams, and led the British & Irish Lions on multiple tours. Off the field, Jones is respected for his sportsmanship and commitment to rugby’s core values.

OWENS SAID: “A man of few words, he does his talking on the field with his actions. Not only is he a brilliant player and a very good captain but I don’t think I have reffed a match where he hasn’t given absolutely everything.

“He’s been playing at lock for 15 years and remains one of the first names on the Wales team-sheet, which says everything about his ability.”