The Greatest XV of the Professional Era - Ruck

The Greatest XV of the Professional Era

The game of rugby changed forever 25 years ago today on with the introduction of professionalism on the 26th August, 1995.

But who are the best to have played the game over the past 25 years? And who would make a combined XV?

15. Christian Cullen (New Zealand)

Just about the most exciting player in the world game for a few years in the late 1990s. Nicknamed the Paekakariki Express, he had a remarkable strike rate, scoring 46 tries in just 58 Tests for New Zealand, with his elusive running and pace from full-back ripping sides apart.


14. Shane Williams (Wales)

Named world player of the year in 2008, he ended up with 60 Test tries, leaving him fourth on the all-time list behind behind Daisuke Ohata, David Campese and Bryan Habana. He was The Great Entertainer.


13. Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

One of the most feared players in the game, O’Driscoll was also one of the most consistent. His 141 Test caps, including eight for the Lions, makes him one of the greatest of all-time.


12. Tim Horan (Australia)

Capable of cutting teams to bits on attack, putting in solid hits on defence and creating chances for others, Horan was the complete player and World Cups (1991,1995 & 1999) seemed, brought out the best in him.


11. Jonah Lomu (New Zealand)

Rugby’s first global superstar had a unique combination of size, speed and power which saw him close to unstoppable at his best. Within weeks he took over the rugby world and became the face of the 1995 and 1999 World Cup’s.

CONTINUES ON PAGE TWO


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