The ultimate. Mastered every facet of his position and set the standard for everyone else. As his body changed with age, he adapted and found new skill-sets and kept himself in the top flight for 15 years. Retired on his own terms.
His greatest asset was his ability to read the game, at times making it seem like he could see into the future.
He would lead from the front and shied away from no challenge - the first man into battle and the last man standing who could make that game-saving tackle inches from his own line.
We are privileged to be the ones alive to witness his greatness.
Richie McCaw should be here. You tell me with the depth nz have in rugby who can make the all blacks for 14 years straight and out of 142 tests start in 138 of them AND play the whole 80minutes of those games year in year out? Any other player in the world may make the all blacks BUT retaining that Jersey for that long amidst the best players in the world is something admirable. Everyone knows that even bench players in the all blacks would be starting players in any other international side. Also mccaw has captained the team over 110 tests hes ben named irb player of the year 3 times an nominated 5times. All blacks have on lost a handful of games under his captaincy. Legend
Wow! Brian ODriscoll seriously? What a joke, alright fair enough he was a great centre for Irleand but thats it. He might of won some 6 nations championships and voted player of the season. But unless you have been voted IRB Player of the year more than once you shouldnt even count. He and Ireland have never beaten the All Blacks in over 100 years of playing the sport. Best player of all time has to be a All Black because they are quite simply. The greatest sporting team of all time. I implore people to check stats prior to voting or posting a comment.
Yes Ritchie McCaw is a great specialist 7, Shane Williams was a great specialist wing... But Brian ODriscoll not only was a great specialist centre, but could tackle, steal ball, break the gain line, use the foot and score tries like everyone before him. His ability as a centre alone is enough to attribute him one of the greatest players ever to play the game, but combine this with his ability to do all of the above with the same degree of skill as those other great who specialised in these areas simply makes him the best individual player to pick up the oval ball
If every rugby fan voted with honesty, Jonah would win without a doubt. He crushed almost every team during the world cup when he was only 20 yrs old with two caps. The South African team before the final 1995 RWC changed all their game plans to stop one player and worked. The All Black team was poisoned just to make sure they wouldnt succeed. Jonah was nowhere near his best when diagnosed with his illness. Most rugby star were still playing school boy rugby at twenty years of age. Jonah was heavier than most forwards, stronger than any rugby player on the planet but could sprint sub 11 secs in 100m, could side steps like rugby 7 backs, could swat aside or bump big forwards heavier than himself, flying backyards. He played rugby sevens and according to NZ rugby 7 coach for the 1998 commonwealth game, Jonah almost single handedly won them a gold medal. Normally it takes a decade for someone to come close to achieving one quarter of what Lomu achieved as young man.
This man was electrifying on the field. There has never been one like him before and there wont be another one for another 100 years. He faught adversity through his career. He was the greatest superstar to grace rugby. I am not even a New Zealander but I place this man at the very top. If he did not have this debilitating kidney disease he may have scored 70 tries for the All Blacks. He had everything. Power, Pace and Presence. He has to be compared with Usain Bolt, Brian Lara, Pele and Maradona as someone who transcended their sport.
Imagine what this man could have done if he had better health. The most devastating player to have ever set foot on a rugby pitch, bar none. People who refuse to accept this are stuck in a fuddy duddy rugby paradigm. Some people would rather he was never there, like a dream... but he was there, wasnt he? Like a nightmare you couldnt wake up from; the unstoppable Juggernaut, littering the pitch with trampled bodies and battered egos... utter carnage.
LMAO ODriscoll number one?!?!? What a joke! If he was a kiwi he wouldnt even have made the All Blacks, Umaga and Smith wouldve been ahead of him! He has no business being so high up this list.
Lomu is the GOAT hands down. Revolutionized the game, did things that NO ONE else has ever been able to do or ever will be able to do. He was beyond a freak of nature. There will never be another Jonah, the is the greatest, most dominant rugby player there ever has been or will be.
Based on the players listed, DC is by far the most accomplished player. His versatility in the back line means he can play anywhere from 10-12 and most probably 15. Near perfect when tasked with kicking goals (Please refer to his record if unsure - outstanding) he is by far the most complete 1st 5 8th in the history of the game played in heaven. Another attribute DC brings to a team is his defense strength which is normally a downfall in fly halves (Grant Fox or Quade Cooper are perfect examples). Brian ODriscol is unlucky not to take the prize as he has shown in his illustrious career how good he is, and Jonah well he speaks for himself. But when you talk about an all round gifted player who contributes to a team in nearly every aspect of the game, DC is the man. Why isnt Richie McCaw or George Gregan there I dont know? Definitely should be
DC broke the record for points being held by a rugby player. He is a legend and the best first five eighths in the world. DC and Richie make a great team and together are a major part of the champions AKA All Blacks.
Best ever. Even at 34 he still wins games on his own. Look what he is doing at racing metro. At 33 He was named World Rugby Player of the Year 2015. This proves my point. World record points scorer The list goes on.
He has scored heaps of points he might be the best player ever. He is way way better than Brian o Driscoll he cant e the best rugby player ever. He cant score many tries he is not good at all and Dan carter is BEST
Quite simply the complete scrum half. I mean try finding a weakness in his game. He was physically strong quick, could handoff, had the best box kick in history & was unstoppable from 5 meters out. More than that however he could do things other scrumhalves, indeed other rugby players could only dream & on top of all that he had the professional attitude of always asking himself how can I get better? In short he was special the greatest of all time, though was too modest to say so himself.
Not famous for 1 kick, points racked up or physical size unlike others..He is here based on pure skill, pace and insight in the game... The mere fact he is being discussed decades on in the company of professionals and with his skills still impressive in comparison to them is testimony to just how good he was... Just imagine how good he would be in todays game with all the resources and training technology available... Simply the best...
In my opinion the best player to grace the game, so much ability, acceleration, speed, passing, bravery and a reading of a game, Im a Englishman and would love to be able to pick an English man but not one as come close to the great Gareth Edwards.
Simply the greatest play to grace the game, pac, passing, kicking, reading of the game, and if anyone wants to see how he lays now almost 40 years on, have a look at scrum v challenge! Wow!
Dan the man is so much better. Johnny was a one dimensional player. He was good in defense and protected heavily by his team mates. Johnnys strength in kicking was also a complete embarrassment to the English rugby reputation. All the opposition team had to do to win was control Johnny. He had one good game which as the World Cup and kudos to him. If you watch southern hemisphere rugby then you would know he is probably around number 10 in the world (only because he won England a world cup).
The only Englishman praised by the French, in his honor God save the Queen was heard during the top 14 final. The most committed player of all time, the man was injured manny times and overcame his injuries,he then statistically became the best player of all time... what else do I have to write?
Not the most talented, but the most dedicated and valuable to his team. World class kicking and defending, and an example to all young players of whatever sport for how to conduct yourself on and off the pitch.
Carter might have got more points in the end: but Johnny was a better kicker a better defender and a better passer.
When you look at Ritchies record it is staggering considering he was the best player on field so often, and most of the games he played were against, wallabies and springboks, who, were mostly for his period of playing ranked top 3 sides. So keeping that in mind he was the best playing the best. Unfortunately there are players in this top 10 who constantly played teams well below the level of the Southern Hemisphere rugby so to have them in the top 10 Is wrong. Not many northern hemisphere players would even get to keep the bench warm in a Southern Hemisphere team. 1 Ritchie, 2 Dan Carter, then the fight over the next 8. Id consider George gregan, Stirling mortlock, josh kronfeld
No one compares to Richie. His accomplishments are unbeatable. His drive, word ethic, leadership and what he does on and off the field is irreplaceable. 130+ test matches, the most ever. To come across another player like Richie is rare. Yeah there are some young stars coming through but none of them come close to Richie. And if they tried to it would be very hard. If you go around asking the locals who do you think the nest player is, I bet 85% of those people will say Richie Mccaw.
No flash or flair, just an absolute beast to play against. A terror for the opposition at the breakdown and still diving into rucks with reckless abandon, despite being no spring chick. Hell be revered as the best skipper in the game. The sight of him standing resolute on the pitch is iconic in itself.
His record is unmatched - so are his inspiration and leadership. And hes still playing superbly at such a high level after more than 12 years in such a punishing position. Best captain on the planet, ever. Before hes done, hell probably smash a few more records along the way. Why is he not at 1?
Never has there been a greater wing in world rugby. Never.
The best with Lomu. The rest are miles away!
Most explosive winger ever.. He could run
This guy was an amazing player. Darting through foreign defences like they werent there. Hes a great inspiration to young players. Truly magnificent
Hes quick and very effective. Devastating.
He was such a great player for French rugby but not a top 10. Can you believe he is on 37 years old?
His ability to out-fox his opponents was second to none. He had the most amazing ability to attack and his leg speed was amazing. He was truly the first modern player of our age. He took on all before him and won. He has won a World Cup and was the player of the tournament. His flair in attach has rarely been matched. If he played today he would still send fear into the opponents. My God he was good!
Couldnt tackle to save his life. John Kirwan would run over the top of him like a speed bump. Today he would be obsolete. Too many big strong wingers that would run through him. Very gifted runner but infortunately you must have a strong defense to play this game.
He made the All Blacks defense look clumsy, like no other. He made 37 clear breaks in world cups, more then any other player, 5 clear breaks ahead of Jonah Lomu. No one else even close.
Of course he is the best lah. People or someone please read about him or history. You will know what a great man he was
Only 12 of his 60 tries were against AUS, NZ, and SA. He played an era which was dominated by the big southern hemisphere teams, and for 2 years England. He was a great player playing against school boy teams and is maybe a top 100 player. He wouldnt even get on a bad Wallabies team with his talent.
Nobody looked as good as Cullen with the ball. It was like he was on rails. Made Blanco look like a drunken hobo. Career destroyed by a toothless bald headed hillbilly named Mitchell. Best player ever.
Had everything and used it, lightening quick, ridiculously strong for his size and elegant to go with it. Mitchell your IQ matched the number you wore as a player!
Most athletic running fullback I have ever seen. Amazing try scoring rate and freakish ability to score in impossible situations.
Christian should be number one he is better than all the other options
A fly-half even Carter and Wilkinson might struggle to emulate. There was a reason he was called The King. He could drop the ball on a sixpence and had the ability to slice the opposition defense open with a single pass. Had he not retired at just 27 he would undoubtably be considered one of the best by most people.
The King. Talents stood out starkly even with Gareth inside him.
The springboks can tell you all about Colin Meads he mess them up with a broken arm.
A machine, simply the most inspiring player I have ever seen. Total commitment, ball handling to match any, and more stamina than many of todays pros.
Iceman one of the greatest ever to play the game the first player in history to score back to back tries in the opening games of the world cup.
The best blind side flanker ever. Freak athlete
Sheer wizardry. Blanco may not be the best rugby player ever (Gareth Edwards is), but he is undoubtedly the best fullback ever.
Probably the best player I have ever seen in my life. To me, is the best ever.
This guy was captain when we beat Australia in Australia!
One of the greatest scrum-halves in the world.
Without him South Africa wouldnt have won the 2007 WC. Remarkable scrum half.
Well, he was a boxer then rubgy league legend now a rugby union star what next... Rio 2016 gold in rubgy 7s? Three world cup winners medals in 4 years he can afford to give one away! Great sportsman and idol! He should be a top 10 in a few years (maybe after 2019, Im going for another all black win! :) for me his best moment is THAT offload for ma nonus try in the world cup final tying up a third of the field! And so unselfish. He doesnt take it alone like Johnny May (who just seems to run sideways! ) he brings others into play!
He is brilliant. He has hugely influenced union. But he started in league and thats where he is now. Plenty high on this list. Gareth Edwards belongs a lot higher.
Sonny Bill is a great player with beautiful offloads and runs like a machine. HE is my favourite player in the world. What an amazing player GO ALL BLACKS...
Magnificent skills. Pity he swaps codes so many times and then tries rugby 7s in the olympics which ended up being a flop
A critical part of the legendary welsh backs squad of the 70s. Crazy that Manu Tuilagi is above such a legend.
What. How can you take any list seriously with JPR so far down. Top 10
Agreed, too early to be included on the list as gets injured all the time.
Should not be on this list. Load o bollocks
Who wouldnt have him on their team? A beast who could take his team by the scruff of its neck and shove it over the finishing line. Lets face it - if you didnt pull youre weight youd have to answer to him. You wouldnt relish that prospect.
Saw him in his last game at Twickenham. He drew the eye with his stature among the Ireland team, and the respect the all the Englisg team showed him. What an outstanding player he proved to be over the years.
This stupid guy who created this list forgot to put nonu in the top ten