World Rugby Hall of Fame to recognise five Rugby World Cup greats - Page 2 of 5 - Ruck

World Rugby Hall of Fame to recognise five Rugby World Cup greats

Thierry Dusautoir (France)
World Rugby Hall of Fame – Inductee No.163

Thierry Dusautoir became only the second Frenchman to be named World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year in 2011, in recognition of his fine performances at that year’s Rugby World Cup.

Dusautoir, lauded for his tackling ability, led Les Bleus to the RWC 2011 final, and scored his side’s only try as he turned in a Player of the Match performance at Eden Park. It wasn’t to be, however, as the All Blacks held on to win a low-scoring affair 8-7.

The All Blacks proved to be a touchstone throughout Dusautoir’s international career. He feared his time in the France team had come to a premature end having been dropped following his third cap, a defeat to New Zealand in November 2006, but he returned to Les Bleus’ back-row ahead of RWC 2007. It was during that tournament that he provided one of the greatest individual performances. The flanker made a Rugby World Cup-record 38 tackles as the hosts memorably upset the form book and beat the All Blacks 20-18 in their Cardiff quarter-final.

New Zealand were also the opposition for Dusautoir’s final France appearance, again in Cardiff, during RWC 2015. By the time he called time on his test career, the indefatigable flanker had played in three Rugby World Cups, won 80 caps, 56 as captain, and scored six tries.

Remarkably, given all that he achieved in the game, Dusautoir did not pick up an oval ball until he was 16. However, his grounding in judo was perhaps evident in his approach to defence. At club level, his senior debut came at Bordeaux and he would go on to represent US Colomiers, Biarritz and Toulouse with distinction, winning five French titles and one Heineken Cup. As a 19-year-old he also represented his country on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and played two matches for the Barbarians following his test retirement.