The Best And Worst Of Rugby Player Comebacks


Sports fans at this point should know not to be surprised to hear of the latest ill-advised comeback being made by one of their favourite stars, but despite the regularity with which it happens we still all get shocked on occasion.

Such was the case when hearing the news that Dan Carter would be returning to live-action for the Blues in New Zealand’s Super Rugby competition.

In this article, we chronicle the times that comebacks in the sport of rugby both went well and failed miserably.

At the ripe old age of 38, you would think Carter would have had enough but obviously not

Jonah Lomu

Perhaps it is the warrior spirit that burns inside them because Kiwi players seem to struggle more than most to hang up their boots for good once father time has come calling. Perhaps it is why they are always the wise pick to make with your free bet prior to the Rugby World Cup.

The legend that is Jonah Lomu was one such player, who suffered a crunching tackle from Martin Johnson in one his first games back and was never quite the same again, battling through injuries to make some uncharacteristically meek appearances in French and Welsh domestic leagues before finally admitting defeat.

Brian O’Driscoll

Brian O’Driscoll has been showing the world how it’s done for years now, and his multiple comebacks from injury were no exception, with the Ireland international returning from perhaps the worst shoulder dislocation ever seen (incidentally suffered at the hands of the All Blacks) to reign supreme once more over the sport.

There is no doubt that an innate ability to play through pain is a must for any player returning after a long time on the sidelines, something Carter will find out soon enough.

Sonny Bill Williams

Who knows how long Jonah Lomu would have been able to go on had it not been for the kidney disease that tragically took his life, but Sonny Bill Williams has shown what it might perhaps have looked like.

Much like other seemingly ageless peers like Tana Umaga and Brad Thorn, Williams dominated both codes of the game and has played long into the depths of middle-age, even turning his hand to boxing at a high level, his fighting spirit never diminishing.

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