Rugby World Cup Greatest Players: Our top 20 ranked
15. Francois Pienaar (South Africa)
The fearless captain of South Africa, who at a time when the country needed a hero, delivered a performance worthy of a Hollywood movie. The 1995 final was more than just the occasion, “it became a story about us, new South Africa finding its identity through sport” Pienaar would later say. He epitomises what a Rugby World Cup-winning Captain should be; he led from the front with staunch bone-crunching defense, he put his body on the line constantly getting over the ball for turnovers or just to stop the All Blacks from getting quick, clean, ball.
14. David Campese (Australia)
A true entertainer on the wing, ‘Campo’ had every magic trick in his arsenal and they were all on show during Rugby World Cup 1991. The RWC leading try scorer, player of the tournament and RWC winner, Campo’s name could not be left off this list.
13. Zinzan Brooke (New Zealand)
This man took some stopping. One of the game’s greatest ever forwards.
12. Od du Randt (South Africa)
Included as much for his longevity as his ability, du Randt won two RWCs, despite missing a tournament when he should have been in the prime of his career. A total of 12 years separate the Springbok’s two titles and though in 2007 du Randt didn’t physically resemble the fresh-faced youth that won the tournament in 1995, his powerful scrummaging and tireless defensive work were unmistakable.
11. Richard Hill (England)
Perhaps the most important cog in England’s illustrious back row of 2003, Hill performed every dirty job that England thrust upon him with aplomb. The blindside was a ferocious rucker and tackler, often paving the way for Neil Back’s success, whilst he provided the hard-fought metres around the fringes that set up Lawrence Dallaglio for his big canters through retreating defences.