News Update


Rank the top ten rugby World Cup icons in tournament history.

Two World Cup winners, Matt Dawson of England and Bryan Habana of South Africa, join the BBC’s rugby union journalist Chris Jones in a podcast series on BBC Sounds to debate their rankings.

The show also covers topics like as the best captains, attempts, upsets, and teams.

Their choices for the best icons are shown below. Consider your options, then rate them yourself.

BBC Sounds is presently playing the Rugby World Cup Top 10s series.
Jonah Lomu from New Zealand
Lomu is often considered as the first real worldwide celebrity of rugby union, owing mostly to his exploits at the World Cups in 1995 and 1999. Despite failing to win a World Cup, the strong winger transcended the game. alongside 15 tries, he is tied for the competition’s all-time try-scoring record alongside Habana.

“Rugby’s first global superstar,” says Jonah Lomu Habana. The fact that South Africa confronted him in 1995 was a watershed event. He changed people’s perceptions of rugby all around the world.”

“I’m not sure anyone has passed him as a global superstar,” Dawson says. He was the hottest property the game had ever seen at a time when it was turning professional.”

Richie McCaw from New Zealand
McCaw appeared in four World Cups between 2003 and 2015. He led the All Blacks to back-to-back tournament victories in 2011 and 2015, becoming him the first and only captain to do so.

“To play the World Cup final in 2011 with a broken foot and to lift that trophy in 2015… Richie was at the level that every aspiring rugby player should aspire to: wanting to be the greatest of all time.” What steps do you take to become the best of all time? Captain your country to two World Cups in a row.”

England’s Jonny Wilkinson
The fly-half hit a drop-goal with his weaker foot in the last minute of extra time to seal England’s thrilling 20-17 victory against Australia in the 2003 final. Four years later, following an injury-plagued time, he was important in England reaching the final in Paris, where they were defeated by South Africa.

Dawson on Jonny Wilkinson: “If you go to Australia, Jonny Wilkinson would be a bigger icon than Richie McCaw.”

New Zealander Dan Carter
Carter appeared in four World Cups and was named World Rugby Player of the Year after helping New Zealand win the 2015 World Cup. That happened four years after the fly-half was memorably wounded at a home World Cup, preventing him from hoisting the championship.


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