Top 5 Rugby World Cup Players Of All Time Named And Ranked - Ruck

Top 5 Rugby World Cup Players Of All Time Named And Ranked

The Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle competition for the international game, and the biggest moments often call for the world’s best players to shine.

Throughout the competition’s 36 year history there have been some truly iconic players, who performed at their very greatest when the Web Ellis Trophy was on the line. Picking the top five of this impeccable group is a definite challenge, as there are so many top contenders to be considered throughout the Rugby World Cup’s decorated history.

The world-beating talents of Francois Pienaar, Martin Johnson, Dan Carter and Bryan Habana are all deserved of honourable mentions, yet they fall short of this illustrious top five. Despite all being undisputed legends in their own rights, there is only room for five on this uber-refined list of the Rugby World Cup’s best ever players.

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5. David Campese

The great entertainer, every time David Campese got the ball in his hands for Australia, Wallabies fans got out of their seats. Regarded as one of the greatest wingers in rugby history, ‘Campo’ was a revered opponent the world over, with his fabled goose step wrong-footing the most renowned tacklers.

Arguably the originator of modern-day footwork, Campese’s elusive talents inspired a generation of fleet-footed steppers to the global game. Campese became the first Wallaby, and second ever player to make 100 test match caps. He retired after his 101st cap, with a then world record of 67 test match tries to his name.

Campese was a true box-office draw, with his exciting attack showcased best on the Rugby World Cup stage. An integral part of Australia’s maiden Rugby World Cup voyage in 1987, Campese led his side to an opening victory over England, which featured his ‘controversial’ assist for Michael Lynagh’s try. Campese scored against the USA, Japan and then his world-record equalling 25th test match try against France.

Australia were ousted by a phenomenal ‘Les Bleus’ side in the 1987 semi-final, with Campese’s crowning competition coming four years later at the 1991 Rugby World Cup. The winger scored six tries in six games, and was awarded the top-try scorer award, as the Wallabies lifted the Web Ellis Trophy for the first time in their history.

Campese’s masterclass performance in the semi-final eliminated the All Blacks, and felled their hopes for back-to-back Rugby World Cup titles. Another impeccable outing in the final saw Campese lead from the front, as England could not contain the exhilarating winger, who went on to be named the Player of the Tournament for the 1991 Rugby World Cup.

England would gain revenge on the Wallabies in the 1995 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, with Campese present once again. The ‘Australian Invincible’ had unrivalled longevity in the famous gold shirt, and was consistently at the heart of the action for Australia.