In 2015, with the mentorship of Heineken ambassadors Will Carling and John Smit, a panel of 11 rugby union experts convened to compile a list assessing the greatest players who have graced the pinnacle stage of the sport.
Their 11 judges
Will Carling Former England international and Heineken ambassador
John Smit Former South Africa international and Heineken ambassador
Robert Kitson Guardian rugby correspondent
Eddie Butler Observer rugby correspondent and former Wales international
Paul Rees Guardian rugby writer
Mike Averis Guardian rugby writer
Michael Aylwin Guardian rugby writer
Andy Bull Guardian chief sport writer
Claire Tolley Guardian Rugby World Cup editor
Ian Prior GNM head of sport
Stephen McMillan Guardian sport features editor
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How the voting worked
The No1 choice of each judge was awarded 40pts, No2 given 39pts, down to 1pt for their No40 choice.
All the votes were added together to give a final score.
The voting statistics will be published here when the full top 50 has been revealed.
Top 50 players from the Guardian
Done in 2015.
50 Felipe Contepomi – Argentina – Fly-half
49 John Gallagher – New Zealand – Fullback
48 Chester Williams – South Africa – Wing
47 Willie Ofahengaue – Australia – Prop
46 Raphael Ibanez – France – Hooker
45 Agustin Pichot – Argentina – Scrum-half
44 Keith Wood – Ireland – Hooker
43 Neil Back – England – Flanker
42 Josh Kronfeld – New Zealand – Flanker
41 Gavin Hastings – Scotland – Fullback