Last week we took a look at one of the most exciting features of rugby in our feature 5 of the best tries of all time. This week we will be taking a look at the other end of the rugby scale (although no less entertaining) and pointing the spotlight on 10 of the biggest hitters in the game;
1. Courtney Lawes
Over the last year or so Lawes has become one of the most important figures in Stuart Lancaster’s England side off the back of developing a number of sides to his game. It was his huge hits and enormous tackles however that initially brought him into the public eye with team-mates often commenting how little they like training with him due to his 100% commitment in every tackle he makes (even in training).
2. Sébastien Chabal
Sea bass may have become famous more for his caveman looks than playing ability, but that never stopped him claiming 62 caps for France. The one aspect of his game you could never criticise however was his commitment in the tackle as he tackled as ferociously as his appearance would suggest.
3. Manu Tuilagi
Let’s face it, the Tuilagi family are no strangers to huge hits and displays of physicality. Despite being the youngest member of the family currently playing professionally he is perhaps the biggest hitter in the family. He may not be as big as some of his older brothers (Henry was 128kg) but he generates incredible power that sees him continue to pummel opponents in both attack and defence.
4. Bismarck du Plessis
Looking more like a back rower than a hooker, Bismarck du Plessis is an absolute beast who loves putting in a big hit. Just see his tackle on Dan Carter below were he was wrongly yellow carded for what was a truly awesome tackle.
5. Motu Matu’u
Matu’u may not be as big as some of the players on this list but that hasn’t stopped him being a regular contributor to big hits compilations on YouTube. The Hurricanes hooker is no stranger to flattening players in the tackle and often injuring himself in the process, such is the ferocity of his tackles.
6. Sam Tuitupou
Former All Black Sam Tuitupou earned the nickname Hacksaw Sam during his time at Munster for his powerful tackling that continues to fell opponents. He may only be 5’9″ but his total commitment in the tackle ensures that very few centres fancy coming up against him.
7. Jerome Kaino
The return of Jerome Kaino to Super Rugby this year will have left the likes of Tyler Blevendaal quite literally shaking in his boots after being on the receiving end of the tackle below. With the World Cup just around the corner expect Kaino to be putting in plenty more huge hits in a big to make it back into the All Blacks side.
8. Johnny Wilkinson
Fly-half may not be the first position many would associate with big hits but Wilkinson managed to make it one of his areas of expertise. During his time with England he became almost as famous for his tackling as he did for ability from the boot.
9. Thierry Dusautoir
French captain Thierry Dusautoir may not always put in the biggest of tackles (he’s often more interested in the turnover) but when he does he makes sure his opponent knows about it. Just see his perfect low tackle below that ensured All Black Jerry Collins had to leave the field shortly after.
10. Schalk Burger
Burger may have a reputation for playing at the very edge of the laws but when he makes a tackle like the one below you can really begin to appreciate his physicality. 68 caps for South Africa show just how highly regarded he is.
Who else would you add to our list of hard hitters?