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Rugby World Cup 2023: Rank high 10 icons in event’s historical past

Jonah Lomu, Jonny Wilkinson and Siya Kolisi
Is Jonah Lomu, Jonny Wilkinson or Siya Kolisi your final Rugby World Cup icon – or is it one other on our record of 10?

Who’re the best Rugby World Cup icons?

In a podcast sequence on BBC Sounds, two World Cup winners – Matt Dawson of England and Bryan Habana of South Africa – be a part of the BBC’s rugby union correspondent Chris Jones to debate their rankings.

The sequence additionally covers themes together with one of the best captains, tries, upsets and groups.

Beneath are their picks for the best icons. See what you suppose, then rank them your self.

Jonah Lomu (New Zealand)

Lomu is thought to be the primary true world famous person of rugby union, thanks primarily to his performances on the 1995 and 1999 World Cups. Regardless of not successful a World Cup, the highly effective winger transcended the game. He’s the joint-leading try-scorer within the competitors’s historical past with 15 tries, stage with Habana.

Jonah Lomu

Habana: “Rugby’s first world famous person. South Africa tackling him in 1995 was a second in itself. He blew mindsets internationally about rugby.”

Dawson: “I’m not positive anybody has handed him as a worldwide famous person. At a time when the sport was going skilled, he was the most popular of properties the sport has ever seen.”

Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

McCaw performed at 4 World Cups from 2003-2015. He captained the All Blacks to back-to-back event wins in 2011 and 2015, changing into the primary and to this point solely captain to take action.

Richie McCaw

Habana: “To play the World Cup last in 2011 with a damaged foot and to carry that trophy in 2015… Richie was on the stage each aspiring rugby participant ought to need to get to: Desirous to be the best of all time. How do you change into the best of all time? Captain your nation to back-to-back World Cups.”

Jonny Wilkinson (England)

The fly-half kicked a drop-goal within the final minute of additional time, along with his weaker foot, to safe a dramatic 20-17 win for England over Australia within the 2003 last. 4 years later, after an injury-plagued spell, he was instrumental in serving to England to the ultimate in Paris, the place they misplaced to South Africa.

Jonny Wilkinson

Dawson: “When you go to Australia, Jonny Wilkinson could be an even bigger icon than Richie McCaw.”

Dan Carter (New Zealand)

Carter performed at 4 World Cups and was voted World Rugby participant of the yr after his performances helped New Zealand win the 2015 World Cup. That got here 4 years after the fly-half was famously injured for a house World Cup, lacking out on lifting the trophy on house soil.

Dan Carter

Dawson: “‘Icon’ for me means you do not must be into rugby or a fan – even whether it is only a identify, you will know of them, as they’ve that massive a standing. He provides the broader sporting and rugby public an iconic notion.”

Siya Kolisi (South Africa)

Kolisi turned the primary black South African captain to carry the Webb Ellis Trophy after they beat England 32-12 in Yokohama in 2019. He mentioned victory would “pull the nation collectively”. Kolisi now goals to copy McCaw’s achievement of back-to-back titles as captain in France.

Siya Kolisi

David Campese (Australia)

The Australia wing was a standout performer of their 1991 World Cup victory; his iconic second coming within the semi-final when he ignored the New Zealand haka and selected to heat up as an alternative. He later arrange a strive with a weaving run and no-look cross.

David Campese

Dawson: “The game will get widespread protection now and everyone seems to be seeing it on social media, but when we’re speaking about this record within the early or mid-2000s, Campo could be very excessive up on it.”

Francois Pienaar (South Africa)

Pienaar led South Africa to World Cup glory on house soil in 1995, receiving the trophy from Nelson Mandela. Pienaar mentioned the trophy was not only for these within the stadium however for “all 43 million South Africans” serving to to unite the nation.

Francois Pienaar

Bryan Habana (South Africa)

Habana performed in three World Cups, scoring eight tries in 2007 to share the report for probably the most tries in a single event. He equalled Lomu’s total strive report of 15 on the 2015 World Cup.

Bryan Habana

Dawson: “They should have that X-factor however have the ability to ship it on the most important stage, in the intervening time, for the trophy, for the win.

“Bryan must be on that record, not just for the 15 tries he scored within the World Cup, however loads of tries that he arrange and saved, and the longevity of his profession to have the ability to try this constantly over three World Cups.”

Habana: “I did not develop up in a scenario of fixed want, so I obtained given one of the best alternatives rising up. For that, I’m extremely grateful to my dad and mom.

“I perceive the unifying issue and I relate that to a Kolisi story. He has been inspirational and really completely different. I understood the duty of being a Springbok. I by no means noticed myself as a participant of color for the Springboks, I simply noticed myself as South African.”

Sonny Invoice Williams (New Zealand)

The rugby league convert received each the 2011 and 2015 World Cups for New Zealand. Williams famously gave his medal away after the 2015 last to a younger fan, after offering an help for Ma’a Nonu’s strive with a signature one-handed offload.

Sonny Bill Williams

Habana: “In 2011, crossing over from league, a giant deal was made about it. In 2015 he got here off the bench and that offload to Ma’a Nonu earlier than handing over the medal to that little child… Sonny Invoice was a star attraction in all places he went.

“He got here on and performed wing in 2011, and did phenomenally effectively. The best way he handed over that medal and embraced the celebrity and stardom however stayed humble about it… and did not divide opinion.”

Dawson: “There aren’t many who stand above the sport globally and he does. There are these kinds of conversations the place individuals may not know his identify – however they will know he was the man that gave a medal away.”

Brian Lima (Samoa)

Samoan Lima turned the primary man to play at 5 World Cups – from 1991-2007. His shuddering hit on Springbok fly-half Derick Hougaard in the course of the 2003 event was one in every of his many memorable World Cup moments.

Brian Lima

Habana: “The primary participant to play 5 World Cups. You begin at 17 and end at 33. It is some achievement to be talked about as an icon from a nation that has by no means ever obtained previous the quarter-final.”



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