See who’s number one in the year you were born! Who have we missed out? Comment below with your suggestions!
1970: Martin Johnson (England)
A player who led by example and the kind of man you would always want alongside you in the trenches when the chips are down. Would never ask someone to do something he wouldn’t do himself. Johnson will always be remembered as the man presented with the 2003 World Cup, which England won in Sydney. As well as being an inspirational leader, the Leicester lock was also a formidable player in his own right. A rock like presence in the tight, whose rugby motto was if in doubt, go forward.
1971: Joost van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
One of the game’s great competitors on the field, the former Springboks scrum-half has carried that attitude into his off-field battles since hanging up his boots. You only have to watch the legendary Living With Lions video from the South African tour of 1997 to understand just how highly he was rated by the opposition and what a threat he was seen as. Aggressive and fearless, he was arguably the finest running scrum-half the game has ever seen, scoring 38 tries in 89 Tests, a remarkable tally for a No 9.
1972: Lawrence Dallaglio (England)
Went from being a schoolboy chorister to one of the most formidable physical presences in the game of rugby. Had it all in his prime – pace, power, aggression, pride and a steely mind-set. A Lions series winner, a World Cup winner and a trophy magnet with Wasps.
1973: George Gregan (Australia)
A talkative figure on the field, was responsible for one of the great on-field jibes, taunting the All Blacks with the words “Four more years” during the dying moments of Australia’s 2003 World Cup semi-final victory. Born in Zambia, this complete scrum-half won a whopping 139 caps.
1974: Jason Robinson (England)
Known as Billy Whizz, this former rugby league star proved a hugely successful convert to Union. A lethal runner from full-back or wing, he was a nightmare to mark in one-on-one situations. Had a knack of scoring memorable tries on the big stage.