#1. Thierry Dusautoir (France)
Dusautoir is a retired French rugby union player renowned for his incredible defensive skills and fearless tackling. As a flanker, he captained the French national team from 2009 to 2015 and was a key figure in their formidable defense.
The flankers physicality, tenacity, and ability to disrupt opponents’ play made him a formidable force on the field. He earned numerous accolades throughout his career, including the prestigious World Rugby Player of the Year award in 2011.
Dusautoir’s leadership and dedication to the sport have left a lasting legacy, inspiring aspiring rugby players around the world.
Owens said: “My choice as the best skipper I encountered may raise a few eyebrows, but what a captain Dusautoir was.
“He unfailingly put his body on the line throughout his career — recall the 38 tackles he made when France knocked the All Blacks out of the 2007 World Cup — led by example and understood the game very well.”