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Rugby World Cup Greatest Players: Our top 20 ranked

5. Dan Carter (New Zealand)

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 31: Dan Carter of New Zealand takes a penalty during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

4. John Eales (Australia)

Some say he’s Australia’s greatest ever player. And they may very well be right. Nicknamed “Nobody,”—because, as they say, “nobody’s perfect”—Eales became the most dominant lock of his era and was part of two World Cup-winning teams, being captain for the second one.

3. Jonny Wilkinson (England)

The legend will forever be remembered for his extra-time drop goal that won the 2003 World Cup for England. But he was much more than this. He made his first World Cup appearance as a 19-year-old in 1999. The World Cup wasn’t a successful one for England but served as a learning curve for the youngster and the rest of the team. He then played in 2007 and 2011, again being one of his sides better performers. Could not be left out of a list of the Rugby World Cup Greatest Players.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 19: Jonny Wilkinson of England looks on during the Cook Cup Test Match between the Australian Wallabies and England at ANZ Stadium on June 19, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

2. Jonah Lomu (New Zealand)

Never has there been a player as dominant as him. Rugby’s first global superstar had a unique combination of size, speed and power which saw him close to unstoppable at his best. Within weeks he took over the rugby world and became the face of the 1995 and 1999 World Cup.

1. Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

Possibly the best ever rugby player on the best ever rugby team, the flanker almost gets in on his pedigree alone, but this article is about picking the best performances from the Rugby World Cup-winning team. Playing the 2011 final with a fractured foot, McCaw led from the front with a game-high 18 tackles, producing a ‘captain’s knock’ to inspire his troops to victory. In the 2015 Rugby World Cup final there was not a man on the pitch who worked harder than McCaw. He was the everywhere man. 

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LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 31: Richie McCaw of New Zealand lifts the trophy after victory during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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