Throughout the history of the sport, a number of legendary players have competed in both national and international championships - plenty of fans will have had a rugby bet on these stars over the years.

Ranking athletes can, of course, be quite subjective, but we've considered each athlete's skills, accomplishments, and overall influence on the game.

Best Rugby Union Players Of All-Time:

  1. Jonah Lomu - New Zealand

  2. Dan Carter - New Zealand

  3. Gareth Edwards - Wales

  4. Richie McCaw - New Zealand

  5. David Pocock - Australia

  6. Percy Montgomery - South Africa

  7. Shane Williams - Wales

  8. David Campese - Australia

  9. Brian O'Driscoll - Ireland

  10. Michael Hooper - Australia

The Rugby World Cup is on the horizon and excitement is building ahead of this year's tournament in France. Have you learned the rugby union positions yet? If not, then get cracking!

For now, let’s get stuck into our all-time greatest rugby players list. It should come as no surprise to see that New Zealand dominate but there is a clear lack of an English presence in the top 10...

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10) Michael Hooper

Hooper, a rugby superstar from Australia, is admired for his prodigious talent and unwavering work ethic. Throughout his career, he has regularly demonstrated remarkable abilities in both offence and defence as a dynamic back-row player.

He has excelled for both the Wallabies and his club sides, earning praise for his lightning-quick quickness, unshakable dedication, and remarkable tackling ability.

Hooper has often been given the honour of leading the Australian national team due to his outstanding performances and captain qualities.

9) Brian O’Driscoll

O’Driscoll, a legendary figure in Irish rugby, has left his mark on the history of the game – particularly when it comes to the home nations. He is regarded as one of the all-time best centres because of his talent, vision, and leadership.

He was the Irish national team's captain and was a key contributor to their accomplishments, particularly their famous Grand Slam triumph in 2009. While his impact on Rugby World Cup predictions was mooted, he remains a legend of the sport.

O'Driscoll has justifiably earned a spot among the Irish rugby heroes thanks to his tremendous attacking skills and ability to read the game.

8) David Campese

Campese, who played for Australia, had an enduring impression on the sport with his outstanding talent. Hailed as one of rugby's most innovative and entertaining wingers in history, Campese dazzled spectators with his unpredictable brand of play.

He was a powerful force thanks to his amazing try-scoring prowess and intuitive grasp of the game and his contributions to Australian rugby and memorable on-field performances have cemented his place as one of the all-time greatest rugby players.

7) Shane Williams

A joy to watch at his brilliant best, one of his illustrious career’s defining moments took place in the 2005 Six Nations competition as he scored a try in every Wales fixture.

Williams' extraordinary ability to score tries was essential to Wales winning every game, which led to an incredible Grand Slam triumph. Instead of being satisfied with a single accomplishment, he was essential in assisting Wales to repeat this success in 2008.

Williams also made history by being the first Welshman to win the prestigious IRB Rugby Player of the Year Award, a reflection of his outstanding abilities and services to the game.

6) Percy Montgomery

Rugby star Montgomery from South Africa captivated spectators with his dexterity, adaptability, and precision at fullback.

Montgomery, a renowned kicker with a propensity for counterattacking, was essential to South Africa's historic 2007 Rugby World Cup triumph.

His reputation as one of the most accomplished players to wear the Springbok uniform has been confirmed by his dependability and consistency under duress as well as his spectacular point-scoring accomplishments.

5) David Pocock

Pocock, a rugby great from Australia, is renowned for his outstanding flanking abilities, although the Wallabies failed to top the rugby world rankings during his time in the side.

He is largely regarded as one of the greatest in his position and is well known for his persistence, strength, and intimidating presence at the breakdown.

The Australian star was a force to be reckoned with because of his capacity to sabotage opposing plays and secure vital turnovers.

Pocock is regarded as a respected character in Australian rugby history because of his unwavering dedication to the sport and his leadership abilities.

4) Richie McCaw

McCaw is recognised as one of the all-time great rugby players and a true titan of the sport. He had great leadership abilities and an unrivalled work ethic as a fearless and uncompromising flanker.

Numerous accomplishments have been made throughout McCaw's career, including leading New Zealand to two Rugby World Cup victories in 2011 and 2015.

He is without a doubt one of the greatest rugby players of all time thanks to his outstanding performances, wise choices, and persistent dedication to perfection.

3) Gareth Edwards

Wales-born Edwards is frequently praised as one of the best scrum-halves to have played the game of rugby - and he did so whilst respecting the rugby union rules throughout his career.

During his career, scrum-half Edwards, known for his agility, speed, and excellent passing ability, revolutionised the position.

He was an essential part of the Welsh squad that won the Grand Slam in the 1970s, and his great performances left a lasting impression.

2) Dan Carter

One of the finest fly halves in rugby history, Carter was the first name on the New Zealand team sheet for most of his career.

Carter was the definition of greatness on the pitch, known for his superb kicking, pinpoint passing, and tactical playmaking.

He was a crucial member of the All Blacks' dominant squad and contributed significantly to their 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup titles.

Carter's unrivalled skill set, calm demeanour, and reliable performances have cemented his position in rugby history.

1) Jonah Lomu

Rugby legend Lomu is recognised as one of the sport's most dominant and influential players ever.

With his incredible speed, strength, and athleticism, Lomu, a tall and muscular wing player, changed the way the game was played.

When he bulldozed through opposing defences during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, he enthralled the world and left a trail of wonder and admiration en route to winning the competition.

Lomu's influence went beyond the playing field as he developed into a global ambassador for rugby and a role model for numerous aspiring athletes.

His legacy as a genuine game legend endures to this day. Undoubtedly the greatest New Zealand player of all-time, I'm ranking him first among the all-time greats for every nation.


Alex is a sports betting tipster, specialising in Premier League football, the Champions League and horse racing.

He loves placing a weekly accumulator on the football at the weekend and dreams of landing the big winner that will take him back to Las Vegas.

As well as writing sports betting tips for 888sport since 2015, Alex has produced content for several international media companies, such as and The SPORTBible.