A Look At The Most Successful International Rugby Players And Their Key To Success


Rugby is one of the most celebrated sports around the world, and it is easy to see why.

With so many influential and successful players that have been noted from many different countries and teams around the world, it is easy to see why the sport is so popular. In light of the Autumn Internationals Rugby Tournament which kicks off November 5, and the excitement that is building up around it, with even an interactive rugby score generator to enjoy, we’ve put together a list of the most successful international rugby players, and the reasons why they have been so successful.


Jonah Lomu (NZ)

Jonah Lomu is, and always will be, one of the most recognisable names in the world of rugby. As a player, he did so much to popularise the sport, as soon as he burst on the scene during the 1995 World Cup. Lomu’s success and determination to excel was reported to have been driven by his childhood scars of a difficult upbringing. With a huge physical impact that is unforgettable, and the seven tries that he scored throughout the 1995 World Cup (and 8 during the 1999 World Cup), including the four that demolished England in his first international tournament, without a doubt Jonah Lomu is one of the most successful.


Jonny Wilkinson (ENG)

Wilkinson’s entire career revolved around being the epitome of professional rugby, as he set new standards in terms of dedication and perfection. His hours of diligent practice were one of the key factors to his success, and this was shown even more than ever when the slotted a drop goal in the 2003 World Cup, on his weaker foot.

Wales' winger Shane Williams celebrates

Shane Williams (WAL)

Shane Williams was honoured as World Player Of The Year in 2008, and it was his winger skill and magic feet that truly earnt him his name. However, while Shane Williams was born with an impressive rugby ability, he worked hard on his physique and skill, in order to become to exceptional player that he was. It was his chance at the 2003 World Cup that gave him that boost to work harder than ever, showing that motivation can be a key factor to success.


Brian O’Driscoll (IRE)

Brian O’Driscoll was one of the most feared players in any tournament throughout his career. O’Driscoll was one of the most consistent, as he became a record try scorer with 46 touchdowns. There are many magical memories that O’Driscoll moulded into his career, with one of them being his hat-trick against France in Paris in 2000, and the Solo try against Australia the following year. This led to the ‘Waltzing Driscoll’ song to be created in his honour which epitomised his entire 2001 tournament. O’Driscoll was easily one of Europe’s finest rugby stars, with incredible attack and defensives skills. However, struggles with his weight throughout his career and the death of his best friend Barry Twomey could have seriously affected his career. Nevertheless, O’Driscoll came out fighting, and his resurgence found him playing a different game that helped him to master the breakdown. With this, O’Driscoll became one of the most successful international rugby stars to have played.


Tim Horan (AUS)

Horan emerged as one of the young stars in the 1991 World Cup but suffered with an awful knee injury. However after lengthy rehabilitation process, he returned with incredible pace, balance, courage, and became a strengthened all-rounded with formidable attack, defence and playmaking ability. While he was a talent before this, his knee injury definitely awakened a new, more determined player which led him to become the star that he was.


Richie McCaw (NZ)

This Kiwi is one of the most recognisable names throughout the entire sport. With incredible stats of 148 caps for New Zealand All Blacks, winning 131 of those games and captaining 111 times there’s a huge number of successes that we can look back on over a 15 year period. However, when he first emerged as a youngster, he really wasn’t an all-rounder, and according to the Kiwi Coach Steve Hansen he couldn’t catch, pass or run. However, McCaw worked and worked at his game and added plenty of skill to his talent, and improved his handling, and running skills to become the perfect package for the All Blacks. He lifted the 2011 World Cup trophy and went on to break record after record.

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