RANKED | The 20 toughest rugby players of all-time - Ruck

RANKED | The 20 toughest rugby players of all-time

Respected rugby scribe Brendan Gallagher has continued his fascinating series in which he ranks players from down the years. This time it’s the toughest players to play the game

We’ll have our own look through his top 10, but to read the full article head over and subscribe to the UK’s best-selling rugby publication, on-sale every Sunday.

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10. Jean-Francois Imbernon (France)

Between 1971 and 1984, the powerhouse laid down the physical markers for French rugby, both in their domestic game and in the international arena. 

9. Willie John McBride (Ireland)

McBride, known as the “Gentle Giant,” wasn’t the biggest man, but he had the heart of a lion. The Irish legend was one of the most respected players of his era, and an absolute gentleman to boot. But you didn’t mess with him. Play fair, keep it on the pitch, but, come on, fight clean.

8. David Leslie (Scotland)

The tough man played for Scotland 32 times between 1975 and 1985. He usually played at number eight, but occasionally at flanker.

7. Patricio Albacete (Argentina)

 He was one of the greatest second-rowers of his generation. When he played for Argentina between 2003 and 2015, he wreaked havoc.


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