The 5 Best Number 8's Of All Time, Ranked - Ruck

The 5 Best Number 8’s Of All Time, Ranked

Here we pick our top five best number 8’s of all time. We’ve used a number of stats to quantify our rankings, as well as a player’s overall contribution to the game. So who makes it into our top five?

The controlling force behind the scrum, the number eight completes the pack and must be incredibly strong and are the key ball winners with the muscle of forwards and pace of the backs.

Normally tall and athletic, but incredibly strong, they are key ball winners with the strength of forwards and the speed of some backs

All stats come from and are correct as of the publish date.

Honourable mentions: Wayne Shelford (New Zealand), Dean Richards (England)

5 Best Number 8’s Of All Time

#5. Kieran Read (New Zealand)

Death, taxes and Read unpicking defences in the 15-metre channel were three inevitabilities during his incredible career. The champion No.8 was a member of New Zealand teams that won the World Cup in 2011 and 2015 and he was voted World Rugby Player of the Year in 2013.

Read also won four Super Rugby titles with New Zealand’s Crusaders. Making his All Blacks debut in 2008, Read assumed the captaincy from Richie McCaw in 2016 and led the All Blacks to the semi-final at the 2019 World Cup before ending his international career in 2020.

Did you know? Read is the third most-capped All Blacks in history with 127 Test appearances – 52 of them as skipper.

HRH Prince Harry shares a laugh with Kieran Read of New Zealand – Photo mandatory by-line: Gareth Davies/Pinnacle – Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 – Mobile:0797 1270 681 – VAT Reg No: 183700120 – 31/10/2015 – SPORT – RUGBY UNION – RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015 FINAL – New Zealand v Australia – Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London, England.