Ranking the 10 Best Number Eights in Rugby History - Page 2 of 3 - Ruck

Ranking the 10 Best Number Eights in Rugby History

6 Scott Quinnell

Son of legendary Wales flanker Derek, Scott Quinnell was a cross-code star of the 1990’s, representing Wales in both Union and League. His Test debut came against Canada in 1993, but it was against France in 1994, as Wales were on their way to the Five Nations title, that he announced himself with a stunning solo try. He retired in 2002 after making 52 appearances for Wales before hanging his boots up entirely in 2005 to focus on coaching Llanelli, before later becoming a well-liked television pundit.

Did you know: He has made a recurring guest appearance as himself in the Sky 1TV comedy series Stella.

5 Mervyn Davies

The late Wales and British Lions Number 8 Thomas “Mervyn” Davies is the only player on this list from the pre-World Cup era. He won a Triple Crown in his first international season in 1968 before claiming a Grand Slam and being selected for the Lions’ famous tour of New Zealand in 1971. He then skippered Wales to the Five Nations Championship in 1975 before winning the Grand Slam the following year but was forced to retire at the age of 29 due to injury. Davies sadly lost a long battle with cancer on March 16, 2012 – just one day before Wales went for a possible Grand Slam against France.

Did you know: He was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2001 and the following year a poll of Welsh rugby fans saw him voted the greatest ever Welsh captain and the greatest ever Welsh No.8.

4 Wayne Shelford

All Black Wayne “Buck” Shelford was a top class forward and was also credited with the improved performance of the All Blacks traditional “Ka Mate” haka. He was part of the New Zealand team that won the inaugural World Cup in 1987 and after that competition concluded became Captain until 1990. In that time, the All Blacks didn’t lose a game, drawing once against Australia in 1988.

Did you know: In June 2007 it was announced that Shelford faced the biggest battle of his life after being diagnosed with a form of cancer labelled lymphoma. He made a full recovery from the disease.