Six dirtiest rugby players of all-time, two Englishmen included - Ruck

Six dirtiest rugby players of all-time, two Englishmen included

There is a fine line between being an aggressive, hard nosed player and a dirty one.

Join the RUCK’s WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.

With some players it is difficult to distinguish whether or not they are simply playing with grit and determination

Here are, in RUCK’s opinion, the 5 dirtiest rugby players in history.

6. Dylan Hartley

Throughout his career, this Northampton player accumulated a staggering total of 60 days in bans, showcasing a penchant for on-field controversies.

In the annals of rugby misconduct, April 2007 marked a notorious moment when the Northampton athlete found himself banned for a whopping 26 weeks. The offense? Gouging Wasps duo James Haskell and Jonny O’Connor.

Fast forward to March 2012, and he was suspended for eight weeks for sinking his teeth into Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris while representing England at Twickenham. The disciplinary woes continued in December 2012 with a two-week ban for throwing punches at Ulster’s Rory Best.

May 2013 brought about an 11-week suspension, a consequence of verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes during the Saints’ Premiership final defeat to Leicester. This incident also cost him a spot on the Lions tour of Australia. Yet, despite the repercussions, he failed to learn his lesson. In December 2014, he earned a three-week ban for elbowing Tigers wing Matt Smith. Then, in May 2015, a four-week suspension followed for striking Saracens’ Jamie George, leading to his exclusion from England’s World Cup plans.

In 2016, the saga continued as he grabbed Leinster’s Sean O’Brien in the head with a swinging arm from behind, resulting in a red card and a subsequent six-week ban. The pattern of on-field indiscretions marked a turbulent career for this rugby player.

5. Danny Grewcock

In the rough and tumble world of rugby, this second-row player has earned quite a reputation for having a short fuse. His track record includes a five-week ban back in 1998 for kicking All Blacks hooker Anton Oliver during a Test match in Dunedin. The disciplinary woes continued with a two-week suspension in 2003 for throwing punches at Lawrence Dallaglio during a club match.

In 2005, he faced a two-month ban for sinking his teeth into All Black hooker Keven Mealamu during the first Lions Test. The following year, a six-week suspension was handed down for a punching incident involving French lock Thibault Privat. Not stopping there, in 2010, he received a seven-week ban for stomping on Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris.

Known for his frequent visits to the disciplinary offices, this player has rightfully earned his place among the dirtiest rugby players in the game.