Top 10 Rugby World Cup try scorers
The Rugby World Cup is where the good players become great and the great become legends.
And now with the World Cup just two months away, RUCK.co.uk runs down the Top 10 finals try-scorers of all time…
7=- Shane Williams, Wales, 10 tries
Wales wing legend Shane Williams overcame people telling him he was too small to become the world’s best player after he was named the International Rugby Board’s world player of the year at their awards ceremony in London in 2008. He scored 58 tries in 87 appearances for Wales while also touching down eight tries for the British and Irish Lions.
Did you know: His 41st try for Wales came against France during the Six Nations in 2008 and as a result he pocketed a cool £25,000 following a £50 bet he placed when he was 21 that he would one day become Wales’ leading try scorer.
7=- David Campese, Australia, 10 tries
Representing Australia for 15 years the brash but brilliant wing-wizard David Campese became a household name in rugby. He was the first man in Australian history to play 101 tests for his country in which he scored 64 tries during his remarkable career. His willingness to take chances and make mistakes resulted in more than a handful of memorable moments, particularly for the Barbarians in 1984 and in the 1991 World Cup Semi Final against New Zealand. It was not unknown for referees to verbally applaud Campese on displays of genius during games. Most notably, Welshman Clive Norman congratulated Campese ‘on the best try that he had ever seen’, shortly after notching up five points against Argentina.
Did you know: His nickname was “Too Easy (Campese)”. The phrase ‘Easy Campese’ has passed into the vernacular in Australia, meaning something like no worries.
7=- Bryan Habana, South Africa 10 tries
Bryan Habana is often described as the fastest man in rugby after famously racing a cheetah, but he has a lot more to offer in his cache than just pure speed. His performances at the 2007 World Cup cemented his reputation as one of the finest wingers the game has ever seen. And as a result, the try-scoring machine, who touched down a total of 57 tries in 106 games for the Springbok’s, went on to win the World Rugby Player of the year in 2007.
Did you know: He was named after former Manchester United footballers Bryan Robson and Gary Bailey
7=- Rory Underwood, England 10 tries
Rugby Union legend Rory Underwood MBE is a unique talent in rugby having a combined 18 years of experience flying jets in the RAF with 12 years of playing international rugby for England. The lightning-quick and prolific winger accumulated 85 caps for England and six for the British and Irish Lions. He played at three World Cups including the 1991 World Cup final and the inaugural competition in 1987.
Did you know: When he lined up with his brother, Tony Underwood, on opposite wings in 1992 against Canada they became the first brothers to play together for England since 1937
3=. Joe Rokocoko, New Zealand 11 tries
Rokocko, who was well known for making defenders look silly with his blistering pace, is the first of three men who touched down 11 tries at Rugby World Cup finals. The Fijian-born winger when at his peak was the most lethal finisher in the game, scoring six tries in five appearances at the 2003 World Cup before notching a further five tries at the 2007 tournament.
Did you know: He set the world stage alight with a total of 17 tries in 12 Tests in 2003 including hat-tricks against both France and Australia, which is a world record for a calendar year.
3=. Brian Lima, Samoa 11 tries
Playing at an incredible five World Cups, Brian Lima was the youngest player at the tournament in 1991, aged 19, but played his part in Samoa’s famous 16-13 victory over Wales, before they went on to reach the quarter-finals. Four years later in 1995 they were at it again, reaching the quarter-finals for a second consecutive tournament after striking wins against Argentina and Italy. He then played a part in another famed win over Wales in 1999 before going on to play a part in both 2003 and 2007.
Did you know: He earned the memorable nickname of “The Chiropractor” for his shuddering hits both on and off the pitch that supposedly rearrange the bones of the victim.
3=. Vincent Clerc, France 11 tries
Renowned as one of the finest French international times of all-time Vincent Clerc cemented his place in history with his World Cup scores. Speed and efficiency are two words that summed up the magnificent wings displays since his arrival on the world stage. The former U-21 international had missed out on selection for the 2003 Rugby World Cup but four years later, with two six nations titles to his name, was able to wipe the memories of the previous tournament as he played a key role in Les Bleus reaching the semi-final. Clerc then in 2011 concluded the tournament with five tries to his name, finishing joint top-scorer with England’s Chris Ashton, and performed a key role in France’s charge to the final, where Les Bleus were scarcely beaten by New Zealand.
Did you know: Clerc is involved with the Toulouse-based charity Maison des Parents, which works alongside parents and their children, who suffer from illnesses and are being treated in Toulouse.
3=. Chris Latham, Australia 11 tries
The last of the stars to score 11 tries at World Cup’s is Chris Latham, who is Australia’s second highest all time try scorer. The strong running fullback made his international debut in 1998 aged 23, and would go on to win 78 caps, 68 as a starter and scored 40 Test tries. His last international appearance came in France during Australia’s World Cup exit to England at Stade Velodrome, Marseille in 2007.
Did you know: He became the first backline player to be awarded the John Eales Medal in 2006, which is awarded to honour the best Australian rugby union player each year.
2. Doug Howlett, New Zealand 13 tries
Second on the list is All Blacks record try-scorer, Doug Howlett, whose standing as one of the greatest wingers ever in the game remains incontestable. Blessed with scorching pace he made an instantaneous impact at the young age of 18 as he scored a hat-trick on his Super 12 debut for the Highlanders. He represented New Zealand in the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, with his try against Scotland in the latter tournament ensuring he broke the New Zealand all-time try-scoring record from Christian Cullen.
Did you know: He once clocked a personal best 10.94 seconds for the 100 metres in an under 20 athletics championship in 1998.
1. Jonah Lomu, New Zealand 15 tries
Top of the list is giant All Blacks wing Jonah Lomu, who was rugby’s first global star. He burst on the scene at the 1995 World Cup with some of the most destructive performances the rugby world had ever seen. Lomu has been recognised by the IRB as one of the greats of the game, and in 2003 he received a Special Merit Award at the International Rugby Players Association’s awards. Despite a career sadly cut short by illness, Lomu remains one of the most recognisable players in the world and his performance in the 1995 World Cup semi-final is still a favourite with fans on YouTube, so check that out.
Did you know: When professionalism in its infancy Lomu became rugby’s first millionaire.