Top 5: Best Rugby World Cup Debut Appearances of All Time - Ruck

Top 5: Best Rugby World Cup Debut Appearances of All Time

Making an appearance at the Rugby World Cup, is considered to be the amongst the pinnacle accomplishments in the career of any rugby player.

Only necessarily rivalled with the illustriousness of the British & Irish Lions, reaching the showpiece event after grinding out results for a club, and making the cut after months of gruelling training camps is certainly a commendable feat.

The Webb Ellis Cup – 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.

A select few players mark their first appearance at the Rugby World Cup with moments of magic. Inspired performances that see the stars rise to the occasion of the World Cup stage, and steal the show on the first run out at international rugby’s grandest competition.

Here are five of those very such players, with honourable mentions going to England and Wales stars from the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Fullback Mike Brown and Winger Cory Allen get honourable nods, as Brown scored twice in England’s 35-11 triumph over Fiji, and Allen wrapped up a hat-trick against Uruguay just two days later, with both matches marking each player’s first RWC run-out.

1. Jonah Lomu: Ireland 19 – 43 New Zealand – 1995 Rugby World Cup

The late, great Jonah Lomu made his Rugby World Cup debut in 1995, after making just two prior appearances for the All Blacks. The unstoppable winger scored seven tries in five matches, as New Zealand reached the final to become eventual runners-up at the hands of South Africa.

Lomu’s first Rugby World Cup match saw him score two tries against Ireland, in a breath-taking display of dominance from the All Blacks. Lomu was a formidable force along the left wing, he powered through two tackle attempts before skipping past the last Irish defender to score his first Rugby World Cup try after half an hour’s play.

The iconic winger’s second try came from a tap penalty, with a move straight from the training pitch. Three All Blacks huddled around the ball, early in the second half. They shipped a pass off to the fast-flowing back-line, with some slick offloading sending the ball into Lomu’s hands. It was then head-down from there, as Lomu drove through the crumbling green wall to score.

A memorable victory for the All Blacks, made even more special as the match marked the arrival of Jonah Lomu to the world rugby stage. The Springboks took note, and were able to neutralise the threat in the final, however nothing takes away from this breakout world cup performance, from one of rugby’s most mesmerising players.