Sunday, December 26, 2010

Top Best Players Of Rugby and It's Latest Ranking Team In The World

The best rugby players in the world 2009-10 and It's Popularity In The World-

The Top 50 list is back for another year with the star performances of 2009 forming the basis for our rankings.

Once again the IRB's choice doesn't take the No.1 slot in our list. Richie McCaw has had a good year, but not outstanding by his high benchmark. Outstanding is certainly something you can say of the 12 months Brian O'Driscoll has had. 

The Irish captain sits in pole position after leading - sometimes dragging - Ireland to their first Grand Slam since 1948, lifting the Heineken Cup at last with Leinster and having an outstanding tour with the luckless 2009 British and Irish Lions. He still had enough in the tank to play a key role in Ireland's impressive Autumn series as well.

There are some who have slipped from view - Shane Williams and John Smit to name just two to miss out this year - who fall foul of a loss of form and the emergence of other shining talents such as Tommy Bowe and Schalk Brits.

There are fewer front rowers in this year's list, a sign of the mess that the scrum has become in 2009 with world class exponents of the dark arts of the coalface spending more time face down in the mud than displaying their wares. And the breakdown debate has also had an influence. There are three back row players in our top ten - McCaw, Heinrich Brussow and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe - who have exploited the laws as they stand to shine this year.

As with last year, it is never easy to assess the merits of a second row against those of a fly-half when trying to sort these players into some sort of order, and so it comes down to the impact a player has had in the role he is asked to perform. It is on that basis that we give you our best 50 players of the year, and retreat to lay down in a darkened room.

We've watched the games and deliberated, cogitated and argued long into the night. It's a nigh on impossible task and we certainly don't expect you to agree with us, but here it is: our countdown of the best 50 players on the planet. 

The exclusion of Danny Cipriani and Paul Sackey, or the fact we placed Juan-Martin Hernandez ahead of Dan Carter might seem a suprise, but after much discussion, that's what we thought. 

We also resisted the temptation to flood the list with northern hemisphere names, but quite frankly, we'd have looked foolish in the extreme given the pasting the home unions took at the hands of the big three from down south last autumn. 

We've also placed a lumbering 19st lock higher than a free-scoring wing, which might cause some uproar, but that's the idea of any good countdown - to provoke debate. Let us know what you think by commenting below. 

For the full list of the 50 best rugby players in the world,

Rugby World Cup 2007-

The Springboks
Grouped in Pool A at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, they opened their campaign in Paris with a 59–7 victory over Samoa. Next up was England at the Stade de France, where the Springboks triumphed 36–-0. The third pool game against Tonga in Lens was more competitive and they narrowly won 30–25. The final pool game against the USA in Montpellier produced a 64–15 win.

Having won all their pool games, they advanced to the quarter finals to defeat Fiji 37–20 before accounting for Argentina 37–13 in the semi-finals. They prevailed 15–6 over England to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for a second time on 20 October 2007. Some members of the English media claimed that the match was controversial because they felt that an England try was disallowed by the Australian fourth official. The Springboks won the match joining Australia as the only other national team to have won the trophy twice.

Tri Nations-

South Africa's only annual tournament is the Tri-Nations competed against Australia and New Zealand. South Africa has won the tournament three times; in 1998 and 2004 and 2009. South Africa also participates in the Mandela Challenge Plate with Australia, and the Freedom Cup with New Zealand as part of the Tri-Nations.

Nation Games Points Bonus
played won drawn lost for against difference
 New Zealand 68 48 0 20 1841 1331 +510 30 222 10
 South Africa 68 27 1 40 1387 1692 -305 23 133 3
 Australia 68 26 1 41 1398 1603 -205 33 139 2
Updated 14 September 2010

 World Cup-

South Africa did not participate in the 1987 and 1991 World Cups because of the sporting boycott that apartheid brought against them. South Africa's introduction to the event was as hosts. They defeated defending champions Australia 27–18 in the opening match, and went on to defeat the All Blacks 15–12 after extra time in the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final, with a drop goal from 40 metres by Joel Stransky.

In 1999 South Africa suffered their first ever World Cup loss when they were defeated 21–27 by Australia in their semi-final; they went on to defeat the All Blacks 22–18 in the third-fourth play-off match. The worst ever South African performance at a World Cup was in 2003 when they lost a pool game to England, and then were knocked out of the tournament by the All Blacks in their quarter-final. In 2007 the Springboks defeated Fiji in the quarter-finals and Argentina in the semi-finals. They then defeated England in the final 15–6 to win the tournament for a second time.

2010 and beyond-
On 6 November 2010, the Springboks had the honour of being the first Test team to play Ireland at their new home of Aviva Stadium. Because of the historic significance of this match, the Boks had agreed to wear their change strip to allow Ireland to wear their regular green. (Normally, the home team changes in case of a colour clash.) The match was the opener of their first attempted Grand Slam tour since 2004, with the Ireland match followed by encounters with Wales, Scotland and England. The Boks followed the tour up with a match against the Barbarians.

The Boks began their 2010 Test campaign on 5 June, defeating Wales 34-31 at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Controversy arose prior to the game as Bath-based Butch James was withdrawn from the team at the last minute due to the refusal of Premier Rugby, which runs England's Premiership, to grant James permission on the grounds that the match fell outside the IRB-recognised June Test window. The victory over Wales was achieved without some of the regular Springbok stalwarts such as Fourie du Preez, Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger, Pierre Spies, Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen.

Afer defeating Wales, the Springboks headed back to Cape Town to play against France on the 12 June for their second international in 2010, which they won 42-17. The Springbok victory over the French was their first since 2005. Victor Matfield believes the victory will give the Springboks a psychological advantage over the French as they may meet in the knock out stages of the Rugby World Cup 2011. The crushing victory over the French was achieved through five tries with Pierre Spies , Guthro Steenkamp , and Francois Louw each scoring one try and Gio Aplon, the 75kg wing, scoring two tries. Their final preparations for the 2010 Tri-Nations tournament includes two internationals against Italy. In the first test a lacklustre Springbok team beat Italy by 29-13. The Springboks acquitted themselves much better in the second test crushing the Azzuri 55-11.

The Boks were widely fancied to beat the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland in the first Tri-Nations test of 2010.. The Boks had only previously won twice at Eden park, the last time being in 1937. However, the first test of the 2010 Tri Nations campaign turned out to be a nightmare for the Boks. They went down 32-12 and in the process conceded four tries.. Since then, the Boks lost consecutive tests to again succeed both the Tri-Nations trophy and Freedom Cup to the world number one ranked All Blacks, as well as lose the Mandela Plate and second place IRB World Ranking to Australia.

The definitive list of all-time greats from the former England captain. Have your say on Will Carling's choices and vote for your favourite.

50. Rory Underwood (Wing, England, 85 caps) Did well to score tries early in his career as well when England were not so strong. Pace, power, ability.
49. Uli Schmidt (Hooker, South Africa, 17 caps) First explosive front row runner I ever saw – his side step and ball skills were mind boggling for a hooker.
48. Fran Cotton (Prop, England, 31 caps) Sheer size and might of the guy was incredible. Iconic photograph sums him up. One of the classic Lions.
47. Joost van der Westhuizen (Scrum-half, South Africa, 89 caps) One of the most dangerous runners at scrum half there has ever been, certainly in my career.

46. Graham Price (Prop, Wales, 41 caps) To me any prop that can run the length of the field and score at Parc des Princes is very special.

45. Andy Irvine (Full-back, Scotland, 51 caps) Could play wing or full-back. Ability and confidence to take risks and carry off what he intended from anywhere on the field.

44. Lawrence Dallaglio (No 8, England, 77 caps) In his prime he had everything really - pace, power, aggression, pride.

43. Gregor Townsend (Fly-half, Scotland, 82 caps) Naturally gifted player, he was always predictably unpredictable and was a player that could win a game on his own.

42. Fergus Slattery (Flanker, Ireland, 61 caps) The long hair and the side-burns complimented his courage and his bravery. Another classic Lion.

41. Michael Lynagh (Fly-half, Australia, 72 caps) Great tactician, great kicker, very underrated runner, pivot of 1991 World Cup-winning side.

40. Denis Charvet (Centre, France, 23 caps) Movie star figure in the French backline.

39. Rob Howley (Scrum-half, Wales, 59 caps) Had it all as a scrum-half and was still brilliant behind a losing Welsh pack.

38. Phil Bennett (Fly-half, Wales, 46 caps) Almost in here for his three sidesteps for the Baabaas alone (1973 v All Blacks). Brilliant runner.

37. John Kirwan (Wing, New Zealand, 63 caps) First of the big powerful wingers with a sidestep, the ball skills and a footballing brain.

36. Gerald Davies (Wing, Wales, 46 caps) The most devastating sidestepper I've ever seen.

35. Tana Umaga (Wing/Centre, New Zealand, 74 caps) He was the focal point of the New Zealand backline and a great reader of the game.

34. Raphael Ibanez (Hooker, France, 84 caps) Durability and passion. His career was over but amazingly he is now back to captain France.

33. Jerry Guscott (Centre, England, 68 caps) Smooth runner, pace, anticipation, confidence, a supreme attacker.

32. Richard Hill (Flanker, England, 71 caps) I’m a huge fan of his. Great work rate, great lines, great at reading the game. Quiet, unassuming demeanour but was always vital.

31. Nick Farr-Jones (Scrum-half, Australia, 63 caps) Intelligent player, great tactician, great skills, great leader.

30. Keith Wood (Hooker, Ireland, 58 caps) Mad, explosive Irish talent.

29. Jason Leonard (Prop, England, 114 caps) More than 100 caps as a prop is unbelievable.

28. Barry John (Fly-half, Wales, 25 caps) The king, to me his swerve and body movement were simply sublime. A subtle move of his hips sufficed. A very deceptive runner.

27. Richie McCaw (Openside, New Zealand, 55 caps) Brave, athletic, quite outstanding exponent at the breakdown.

26. Morne du Plessis (No 8, South Africa, 22 caps) He was everything that's great about South African rugby - intelligent, athletic, brave.

25. John Eales (Second row, Australia, 86 caps) Line out genius, quiet leader, double World Cup winner.

24. Jonny Wilkinson (Fly-half, England, 57 caps) The ultimate kicking and defensive fly half.

23. Dan Carter (Fly-half, New Zealand, 41 caps) At his best – sublime. If he continues in same vein will make top ten.

22. Wayne Shelford (No 8, New Zealand, 22 caps) Huge influence in returning the pride to the haka and the All Blacks.

21. Tim Horan (Centre, Australia, 80 caps) Double World Cup winner. Pace, balance, great ball skills, courage.

20. JPR Williams (Full-back, Wales, 55 caps) When I was growing up he was the embodiment of competitiveness. Brave, attacking full back and a rock in defence.

19. Willie John McBride (No 8, Ireland, 63 caps) Pipe-smoking legend, the definitive Lion.

18. Sean Fitzpatrick (Hooker, New Zealand, 92 caps) Nasty, ultra-competitive winner.

17. Peter Winterbottom (Openside, England, 58 caps) Respected in New Zealand, adored in South Africa, worshipped by me.

16. Jean-Pierre Rives (Openside, France, 59 caps) Hardest and bravest man I have seen on a rugby pitch, and he had all the skills.

15. David Duckham (Wing, England, 36 caps) His talent and sidestepping ability shone through though he was starved of ball.

14. Colin Meads (Second row, New Zealand, 55 caps) 'Pinetree' - this hard man was the foundation which the success of the All Blacks was built around.

13. Mike Gibson (Centre, Ireland, 69 caps) Almost the complete centre. Balance, vision, ball skills, temperament.

12. George Gregan (Scrum-half, Australia, 132 caps) Most capped player of all time - that says it all.

11. Philippe Sella (Centre, France, 111 caps) Prince of French centres, at his best untouchable.


10. Brian O'Driscoll (Centre, Ireland, 71 caps) As a balanced centre he has everything - pace strength, great attacking skill and is as good in defence as attack. On the 2001 Lions tour, he showed his outstanding talent as the stand out back in the series. He has the ability to prise open defences that other players cannot even contemplate. With his poise, his change of speed and his closeness to the ground it is very hard to stop him. Ireland are half the side without him.

9. Zinzan Brooke (No 8, New Zealand, 58 caps) A No 8 who could drop a goal from the 10-metre line. For a forward his skills were outrageous. As comfortable playing sevens as 15s, he had better kicking and handling skills than some fly-halves playing international rugby. You align that with his strength and ability as a forward to read the game - he was unique.

8. Martin Johnson (Second row, England, 84 caps) Inspirational leader, formidable player, competitive in every situation. The example he set in tight situations led the way. He didn't ask you for effort or even have to demand it, his very presence made you want to live up to his high standards. He was indispensable to England in the World Cup win. He made it happen.

7. Hugo Porta (Fly-half, Argentina, 58 caps) Out of anyone that has made an impact on international rugby, few can match Porta. Argentina were playing at a lower level until the class of Porta lifted them. He was a great kicker of the dead ball and out of hand but he was also tactically astute - he knew when to attack and when to kick. He put Argentina on the world map single-handedly, an amazing achievement.

6. Danie Gerber (Centre, South Africa, 24 caps) I wouldn't have liked to have played against him. With his pace, power and aggression, he was like a little rocket. He was built like a tank and had the pace of an F1 car. Although he wasn't seen much on the international scene (because of the apartheid boycotts) he made a huge impact. With more time he would have had an incredible effect.

5. Serge Blanco (Full-back, France, 93 caps) He sums up all that is brilliant about French rugby. He had the audacity to take risks that no one else would. He was daring but he had the breathtaking ability to pull it off. He turned many matches from full-back. He was the epitome of the brilliant Frenchmen. A dream to watch, a nightmare to play against.

4. Jonah Lomu (Wing, New Zealand, 63 caps) Talking of nightmares, the physical impact that Lomu had on the 1995 World Cup was beyond the effect of any other player in the history of the game. He was so quick, so powerful and so strong that he changed rugby. He could singlehandedly take on four or five players - no one had done that before or has done it since.

3. David Campese (Wing, Australia, 101 caps) He was well ahead of his time. His anticipation and vision was way ahead of what everyone else was attempting, and 99 per cent of it came off. He took running lines no one else could fathom and made passes no one could see were on. He was an extraordinary talent - the best winger.

2. Michael Jones (Openside, New Zealand, 55 caps) Like Zinzan Brooke for ball skills. He also had great acceleration and pace and could have played for most international midfields. Yet he was a No 7 who read the game brilliantly and was devastating in defence. He was the first multi talented openside. Up until he played it was unheard of to be such a complete player in this position.

1. Gareth Edwards (Scrum-half, Wales, 53 caps) It's hard to compare generations, yet Edwards is the one guy I can say that would have been great whenever he played. He was a supreme athlete with supreme skills, the complete package. He played in the 1970s, but, if he played now, he would still be the best. He was outstanding at running, passing, kicking and reading the game. He sits astride the whole of rugby as the ultimate athlete on the pitch.


1. Richie McCaw-
Age: 28 Position: Flanker Franchise: Crusaders Country: New Zealand

Not for the first time since 1987 the Kiwis' leader left a World Cup dogged by questions about his captaincy: did Mr McCaw, by common consent the finest No.7 since Michael Jones and Josh Kronfeld hung up their size thirteens, go missing in last autumn's quarter-final calamity against the French? Well, unlike other, injured stars at least he was there at the bloody end. And consider those captains with whom he keeps such gloomy company: Gary Whetton, Sean Fitzpatrick, Taine Randell, Reuben Thorne.

Not bad. McCaw is far, far, far from any kind of bad; indeed, he's the modern openside in the mould of the aforementioned Mr Jones, big enough to take the boshes and the bashes around the breakdown, lithe and quick and skilful enough, of course, to link with any of the thousand sets of breathtaking backs the men in black might care to put out. Good enough, even, to dismiss the growing platoon of bleaters who suggest he bends the rules to snapping point at the ruck.

If McCaw cheated half as much as his critics claimed, he'd have a rain forest's worth of splinters in his backside from time in the sin bin. Any summary of the Crusader's talents is, really, as facile as it is futile - he's just effin' good. So good that he rode the wave of All Black heartache and came back just as good if not better. The world's best?

2. Juan Martin Hernandez-   

Age: 26 Position: Fly-half Club: Stade Francais Country: Argentina
Word has it Tigers fans can still be found sobbing into their pint-pots about the one that got away. Juan Martin Hernandez was a work permit away from signing on the dotted line at Welford Road in 2003, but Leicester thought it better to bring him over for a trial on a tourist visa. The authorities smelled a rat and 19-year-old Hernandez got the order of the boot. 


 His cannon-like left foot - and, for that matter, his right when the situation demands it - have been doing much the same to opposition ever since. But his length-of-the-field kicking ability is but a fraction of his vast reserves of outrageous talent. He can sling field-wide passes to within centimetres of their target, break the line like a raging bull and he defends his channel monstrously. 

Hernandez dazzled at last year's World Cup and his talents seem so suited to the garish environs of Stade Francais, the club whose overwhelming gain is the Tigers' cavernous loss. Yet they persist in playing the wondrously talented Puma at fly-half when virtually everyone else believes he should be at full-back. Imagine what he might achieve if he wasn't played out of position!

 3. Dan Carter-   

Age: 26 Position: Fly-half Club: Perpignan Country: New Zealand So Perpignan offered him a king's ransom for six months' work. Evidently, the All Black fly-half's business life isn't just about modelling pants any more, and the fact that the NZRU are prepared to lease out, as it were, their prize asset for a jaunt in the Heineken Cup and Top 14 in order to have him back in the fold for 2011 says all you need to know about his value to the Crusaders, New Zealand and to the world.


 A talent so precocious is precious, if not priceless. Let's keep him happy because as he proved in the autumn, the All Black fly-half has everything - precision, panache, pace and power. Is Carter happy with his current lot? The World Cup was a bit of a letdown, one senses, not just because of what happened - or what, for him, didn't quite happen - against France but for what didn't quite happen before.

In a dead pool made deader by Scotland and Italy rolling over without a fight, Carter wasn't even given a bushel behind which to hide his light. It was all just far too easy just as, one senses, the southern hemisphere circuit has become too familiar, too samey, too flat. Law changes haven't changed that, so he has come north. We should, throwing aside partisan pain, remember what he did to the Lions in 2005, and welcome him

4. Victor Matfield-
Age: 31 Position: Second Row Franchise: Bulls Country: South Africa

There is a theme developing on this page. Matfield and the chap above him are the world's best players in their positions and they both have other halves that make red-blooded males go weak at the knees.


We hate them. Matfield steals lineout ball like his life depends on it and seems to cover more ground than a migrating wildebeest. He moves with such speed for a big man that former Australia coach Eddie Jones once suggested he try his hand at Olympic sprinting. 

His partnership with Bakkies Botha, with whom he has locked the Bok scrum 46 times was recently summed up thus by Botha . "Sometimes I feel we know each other better than we know our wives." Spend more time at home, lads

5. Sergio Parisse-   

Age: 25 Position: No.8 Club: Stade Français Country: Italy

How good could Parisse be if he played at the back of a better pack than Italy's? But there hardly are any better packs than Italy's, and Italy's pack is largely so good because it has Parisse at the back of it. So, what if he had sharper half-backs and three-quarters to work with?


A look at any Stade Français game provides an answer - living in Paris, dating a former Miss France and Miss Europe, he's in the pink. In more ways than the one involving the worst kit in rugby, obviously. 

Big and strong, he's also got hands to die for, a brain for the game and an absolute refusal to bend the knee. More and more, it is proving harder to make Italy do so, and Parisse's power and panache is at the heart of it all. The best No.8 in the world by a distance  

 6. Matt Giteau-
Age: 25 Position: Fly-half Franchise: Western Force Country: Australia

Would it be churlish to say Matt Giteau is the player Danny Cipriani wishes he was? Well, we've said it. As the most expensive player in the world, this baby-faced, streaky-haired imp is under constant pressure to perform.


He rarely fails to live up to the task. Giteau has the happy knack of consistently delivering world class performances.


His low-slung centre of gravity allows him to dart through gaps in drift defences at will, even when the opposition know damn fine well what he's about to do and his kicking game has become accurate in front of the sticks and long from hand. Watch and learn, Danny Boy


7. Shane Williams-
Age: 31 Position: Wing Region: Ospreys Country: Wales

Officially, the best player on the planet according to the esteemed judging panel for the IRB, whose shortlist declined to recognise Richie McCaw at all - much to Graham Henry's chagrin (who, incidentally, was the man to give Williams his first cap). Not that Williams didn't deserve the acclaim. 

He scored 14 tries in 12 Tests in the 2007-8 season, two of them vintage efforts against Bryan Habana, and claimed the Welsh try-scoring record in the process. 

His shimmies and swerves lit up the 2008 Six Nations as Wales marched to the Grand Slam and at 31 he still has plenty left to give. Lions supporters will be hoping he is in the mood next June and July

Top Ten International Rugby Team-


Fiji’s national rugby team is a part of the Pacific Islands rugby Alliance along with Samoa and Tonga. Fiji was one of the sixteen teams to participate in the 1987 rugby world cup and made it to the quarter finals only to be beaten by France. Between 1987 and 2007, Fiji has only made it to the quarter finals twice, losing to England in the quarter finals in 1999 and losing to South Africa in the semi-finals in 2007. Fiji has an outstanding Rugby Sevens team and they play their fifteens very similar, with lots of exiting running rugby.

The Scottish Rugby Union was founded in 1873 and is one of the oldest teams in the world. They were a founding member of the IRB and participated in the first international match against England where Scotland won 4-1. Scotland participates and is a contender in the Six Nations tournament held every year in Europe. 
Union Scottish Rugby Union
Emblem(s) the Thistle
Ground(s) Murrayfield Stadium
Coach(es) England Andy Robinson
Captain(s) Mike Blair and Chris Cusiter
Most caps Chris Paterson (101)
Top scorer Chris Paterson (750)
Most tries Ian Smith, Tony Stanger (24)

Scottish rugby players are also selected every four years to play for the Barbarians against other national teams. Scotland has taken part in all the Rugby World Cups which they have made the quarter or semi-finals every year except 2007.

The Irish Rugby Football Union was founded in 1874 and was another founding member or the IRB. Ireland competes annually in the Six Nations tournament which they have won eight times. They have participated in every world cup and have been eliminated in the quarter finals every year except 1999 and 2007. The Ireland national team forms a quarter of the British and Irish Lions along with England and Wales every four years. The Irish rugby team has been home to some of the world’s top class players including Brian O’Driscoll who is Irelands top try scorer and considered the best centre in world rugby.

Rugby was first introduced to France in 1872 by the British and since then has become a very competitive and popular sport. France is home to one of the top rugby leagues in the world and sees players coming from all over the world to play for one of their teams. France’s national team is considered the best on continental Europe and competes annually in the Six Nations tournament. The French have competed in every world cup and have made it to more finals than any other team without winning the William Webb Ellis Cup. One of France’s most famous games was against New Zealand in the 1999 world cup where they upset the favored All Blacks in the semi-final. France plays with a free flowing flair that is rivaled by only a few teams in the rugby world and one of the best things about them is that they are always able to produce an upset.

  Though facing a few difficulties in the last year, The England National rugby team has always been considered one of the best sides in the world. They have produced many legends of the game such as Martin Johnson and Jonny Wilkinson who is the top point scorer in rugby world cup history. They are the only team from Europe to win the Rugby World Cup when they defeated Australia in 2003 and also came as runners up in 1991 and 2007. 
Union Rugby Football Union
Emblem(s) Red Rose
Ground(s) Twickenham
Coach(es) Martin Johnson
Captain(s) Lewis Moody
Most caps Jason Leonard (114)
Top scorer Jonny Wilkinson (1172)
Most tries Rory Underwood (49)

They participate annually in the Six Nations tournament and have been crowned champions 25 times. Their style of play can often be characterized by using their strong forwards and running with backs utilizing kicks and open field play, if that doesn’t work, they will kick for points every chance they get.

The Wales National Rugby team was started in 1881 and that same year they had their first test match against England. Wales has had many different golden ages of rugby through the 19th and 20th centuries. During these times they have produced who some consider the best rugby players to ever play the game including J.P.R Williams, Gerald Davies, and of course Gareth Edwards.
Wru logo.png
Union Welsh Rugby Union
Emblem(s) The Prince of Wales's feathers
Ground(s) Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Coach(es) New Zealand Warren Gatland
Captain(s) Matthew Rees
Most caps Gareth Thomas (100)
Top scorer Neil Jenkins (1049)
Most tries Shane Williams (51)

First international
 England 30 – 0 Wales 
(19 February 1881)
Largest win
 Japan 0 – 98 Wales 
(26 November 2004)
Worst defeat
 South Africa 96 – 13 Wales 
(27 June 1998)
World Cup
Appearances 6/6 (First in 1987)
Best result Third 1987

Wales competes in the Six Nations tournament every year and has won it 24 times (only second to England) with the most recent in 2008. Wales has been active in all six rugby world cups but unfortunately their best result was in 1987 when they reached the semi-finals but lost to New Zealand. Wales currently is improving rapidly and their play has always been recognized with some of the best sidestepping in the game. Just watch the video and see.

The Argentina National rugby team, nicknamed Los Pumas, had its first international test against a touring British Isles team in 1910. Argentina is ranked as by far the best team in the Americas and although rugby isn’t close to as popular as soccer, it has grown a following due to Argentina’s success in the Rugby World Cups. 
Logo UAR.svg
Union Unión Argentina de Rugby
Emblem(s) Yaguareté (the South American jaguar)
Coach(es) Argentina Santiago Phelan
Captain(s) Felipe Contepomi
Most caps Lisandro Arbizu (87)
Top scorer Hugo Porta (593)
Most tries José María Núñez Piossek (30)

The only problem is that being on the other side of the world of the other major rugby teams; Argentina does not always get the highly publicized matches it deserves. Argentina has participated in all the Rugby World Cups but was left disappointed until a much more experienced side made it to the 1999 quarter finals. In 2007 a very strong and experienced Pumas side made it to semi finals after producing a handful of upsets. They went on to win 3rd place in the tournament which has let many of their players receive overseas contracts to play professional rugby in Europe. Argentina has generally used an outstanding forward pack mixed in with a barrage of backline passing.
The Australian Rugby Union team is nicknamed the Wallabies and is considered one of the best teams in the history of the game. They compete annually in the Tri-Nations Tournament against New Zealand and South Africa. Australia was one of the founders of the Rugby World Cup and shared the first tournament with New Zealand in 1987. 
Logo Wallabies.svg
Union Australian Rugby Union
Nickname(s) Wallabies
Emblem(s) the Wallaby
Coach(es) New Zealand Robbie Deans
Captain(s) Rocky Elsom
Most caps George Gregan (139)
Top scorer Michael Lynagh (911)
Most tries David Campese (64)

The New South Wales Rugby Union became the first team to tour overseas by playing New Zealand in 1883. Australia was later toured by a British Isles team for the first time in 1888. In the century that followed, rugby grew very fast in Australia with the national team touring across Europe on a yearly base. In 1984 the Wallabies became the first Australian team to achieve a grand slam by defeating all the large European teams in one tour. Australia has participated in all six world cups and has the best record of all the participating nations. The Wallabies are one of two teams to win the tournament twice by winning in 1991 and 1999, and they came in as runners up in 2003. In 1995 Australia along with New Zealand and South Africa formed the first professional rugby union known as the Super Ten Competition. The Wallabies have produced a large number of outstanding rugby players including Tim Horan, David Campese, John Eales, and the most capped player of all time, George Gregan. The Wallabies are always entertaining to watch because they take risks in games that other teams wouldn’t event attempt. They are usually acknowledged as having one of the best defenses in world rugby and have great ball retention which allows continuous phases.

2.South Africa-
The South Africa national team is nicknamed the Springboks and began playing international rugby when a British Isles team toured South Africa in 1891. In the early 20th century rugby grew so rapidly in South Africa that a cease fire was held in the Second Boer War so that the British and Boer forces could play each other. South Africa took their first tour of the British Isles and France in 1906. Although still being involved in international test matches, the Apartheid Laws saw the South Africa Rugby Union highly criticized by other teams which led to the Springboks being unable to participate in the first two Rugby World Cups although their vote won the debate on whether or not to have the tournament. This changed in 1995 when South Africa was included and hosted the third Rugby World cup and defeated the New Zealand All blacks 15 to 12 in the final. The Springboks would only go on to the semi-finals in 1999 and the quarter finals in 2003 until they defeated England in 2007 to become the second nation to win the world cup twice. The success of the 1995 tournament in South Africa influenced the rugby laws to be changed to allow professional rugby teams to emerge. South Africa plays annually in the Super Twelve tournament and the Tri-Nations against New Zealand and Australia. South Africa is one of many teams to utilize all aspects of the game to produce exiting matches incorporating running, kicking, passing, and forward drives.

1.New Zealand-
The New Zealand National Rugby Team, nicknamed the All Blacks is the most famous and respected team in the world with winning records against all national sides. The first team from New Zealand to compete in a match was against New South Wales in 1883 and their first international test was against Australia in 1903. Rugby has since then become New Zealand’s national sport with the All Blacks conquering just about every team in their way. 

New Zealand
All Blacks logo.svg
Union New Zealand Rugby Union
Emblem(s) Silver fern
Coach(es) New Zealand Graham Henry
Captain(s) Richie McCaw
Most caps Richie McCaw (94), Mils Muliaina (94)
Top scorer Dan Carter (1188)
Most tries Doug Howlett (49)

They have a record of 330 wins out of 443 matches which makes them the most successful team in rugby history; the IRB has also named them team of the year in 2005, 2006 and 2008. Out of the Southern nations, the All Blacks retain the top Tri-Nations record with nine series wins while the Springboks and the Wallabies only have two. The All Blacks have also been able to retain the Bledisloe Cup from Australia for many years at a time. In addition, the All Blacks have only lost one test series to the British and Irish Lions and have won more Grand Slam tours of Europe than any other Southern Hemisphere team. The All Blacks hosted the first Rugby World Cup along with Australia and David Kirk would be the first to lift the William Webb Ellis trophy as the All Blacks easily defeated all the opposition including France in the final with the score of 29 to 9. The All Blacks have brought about many rugby legends to the field including Sean Fitzpatrick, John Kirwan, Grant Fox, Ian Kirkpatrick, Christian Cullen, Andrew Mehrtens, Tana Umaga, Carlos Spencer, Richie McCaw and of course Jonah Lomu. With the great players and talent that New Zealand has, the only question asked is why they have only won the Rugby World Cup once because they have gone into every tournament as the favorites to win. The New Zealand All Blacks have also gained fame from doing the Haka or the Kapo-o-Panga before every match.

Contributor: guy

World Cup venues-

During the 1991 World Cup, Pool D (which included France) matches were played throughout France including Béziers, Bayonne, Grenoble, Toulouse, Brive and Agen. Parc des Princes and Stadium Lille-Metropole also hosted a quarter-final each. Pool C fixtures at the 1999 World Cup were played throughout France in Béziers, Bordeaux and Toulouse. A second round match was held at Stade Félix Bollaert, and one quarter final was held at the Stade de France, both 2007 venues.

For the 2007 World Cup, France was the primary host, and there were ten venues used for matches throughout the country (Cardiff in Wales and Edinburgh in Scotland also hosted some games). The French cities that hosted matches were Bordeaux (Stade Chaban-Delmas), Lens (Stade Félix Bollaert), Lyon (Stade Gerland), Marseille (Stade Vélodrome), Montpellier (Stade de la Mosson), Nantes (Stade de la Beaujoire), Paris (Stade de France, Saint-Denis and Parc des Princes), Saint-Étienne (Stade Geoffroy-Guichard), and Toulouse (Stadium de Toulouse). The final was played at Stade de France.

Six Nations-

France competes annually in the Six Nations Championship, which is played against five other European nations: England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. France first contested the tournament in 1910 when the Home Nations became the Five Nations. France were expelled from the tournament due to rumours of professionalism in the then-amateur sport in 1932, but rejoined in 1947. They first won the competition in 1954, sharing the championship with both England and Wales. France shared with Wales again the following season, and won it outright for the first time in 1959. France's longest wait for a championship spanned 37 tournaments (1910–1954). The Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy is also contested between France and Italy during the Six Nations. Over the whole history of the Tournament, they are the third most-winning nation, eight wins behind England. However, it should be taken into account that France have been present in 30 fewer tournaments than the British Home Nations. France has won almost exactly the same proportion of Six Nations Tournaments in which it has competed as England, and is the most successful nation in the post-WWII (1945-present) era.






Tournaments 110 80 110 11 110 110
Outright Wins (Shared Wins)

Home Nations 5 (4) - 4 (3) - 9 (2) 7 (3)
Five Nations 17 (6) 12 (8) 6 (5) - 5 (6) 15 (8)
Six Nations 3 5 1 0 0 2
Overall 25 (10) 17 (8) 11 (8) 0 (0) 14 (8) 24 (11)
Grand Slams 12 9 2 0 3 10
Triple Crowns 23 N/A 10 N/A 10 19

 World Cup-

France have competed at every World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1987, though they have never won the competition. They have, however, played in the quarter-final stages of every tournament, and have twice reached the final. In 1987 they were defeated by the All Blacks 29–9 at Eden Park, Auckland in the final. They were knocked out by England in the quarter-finals of the 1991 competition — their worst ever finish. In 1995 France finished third overall, defeating England 19–9 in the third/fourth place play-off after their defeat to South Africa in the semi-finals. After coming from behind to defeat the All Blacks in their 1999 semi-final, France lost to Australia 35–12 in the final. In 2003 they finished fourth, losing the third/fourth place game to the All Blacks. At the World Cup 2007, after defeating New-Zealand 18-20 in the quarter-final, France lost out to England in the semi-finals losing 14–9 after finishing the break 5–6 ahead. France lost to Argentina in the bronze final to finish the tournament fourth.

France are the third-highest World Cup points scorers of all time, with 1195 points. They are also the third-highest try scorers, and the second-highest penalty scorers. France's Thierry Lacroix was the top points scorer at the 1995 tournament with 112 points, and Jean-Baptiste Lafond was the joint top try scorer in 1991 with six tries (equal with David Campese).

sourch-will carling


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