The Top 10 International Rugby Teams Of All Time

lions 1974

We take a look at and rank the 10 greatest international rugby teams of all time…

10.1971 Lions

As the only Lions team to have returned from New Zealand victorious, the 1971 side are more than worthy of a mention. Containing legends such as JPR Williams, Gerald Davies, Gareth Edwards, Mervyn Davies, Barry John and Willie John McBride this is a side that will live long in the memory.

9.1991 Wallabies

Led by Nick Farr-Jones that 91 Wallabies showed a perfect blend of flair and steely grit to claim the World Cup as they beat Ireland, New Zealand and England on their road to World Cup glory. The 91 Wallabies particularly stand out as a result of the magnificent David Campese at the height of his game.

8.Springboks 1997-98

The Boks side of the late 90’s were the most dominant side of their generation by some margin after recording a winning streak of 17 consecutive test victories. Not only did they clinch the Tri Nations but also won a number of games by record margins including a particularly memorable 93-13 demolition of Wales.

7.1970’s Wales

Throughout the 70’s the Welsh national side was one to remember after they romped their way to three Grand Slams amongst their Six Five Nations titles during the period. Containing some of the greatest players of all time, including Gareth Edwards and Barry John this is one Welsh side that will not soon be forgotten.

6.All Blacks 1967

The All Blacks side of 1967 is one of the all time greatest offensive sides, and were truly something to behold. The likes of Brian Lochore, Colin Meads, Sid Going, Ian Kirkpatrick and Waka Nathan went on an undefeated 17 match tour of Great Britain where they left their mark on British fans.

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5.England 2003

Whilst Clive Woodward’s England side will be primarily remembered for their World Cup triumph, it was the build up that was potentially most impressive. A Grand Slam and victories over all three Southern Hemisphere powerhouses, including a 15-13 victory over the All Blacks in New Zealand were amongst the highlights.

4.1973 Barbarians

Despite only playing one game together (against the All Blacks), the 1973 Barbarians side was by far and away the best BaaBaas side of all time. John Dawes, JPR Williams, David Duckham, Mike Gibson, Gareth Edwards, Willie John McBride, Fergus Slattery, John Pullin and Derek Quinnell all helped the side to a famous victory in New Zealand.

3.All Blacks 1987-90

The All Blacks side of the late 80’s were well ahead of their time with the likes of Sean Fitzpatrick, John Kirwan, Mike Brewer and Michael Jones amongst others all starring. This is the side that won the inaugural World Cup scoring 298 points in six games and went on a 23 match unbeaten test run.

2.Current All Blacks

The current All Blacks side are the reigning World Cup holders and at present look well on their way to retaining their title later this year. Having been on a near record breaking streak of test victories, Steve Hansen’s side remain dominant at both home and away and could likely challenge for the greatest team of all time after this years World Cup.

1.1974 British & Irish Lions

The 1974 Lions side went undefeated during their entire tour of South Africa which lasted two months and included 22 games. Led by Willie John McBride the 1974 Lions became known for their 99 call and perfectly combined a tough as nails pack with breathtaking flair and skill throughout the backs.

What do you think is the greatest rugby team of all time?

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4 comments

  1. that 74 Bok team wasn’t the greatest so I would say 71 Lions were better. The South Africans always talk about the 1937 team captained by Flip Nel, the 1984 Wallabies were decent as were the 1996 All Blacks. Looking forward to adding England 2015 to the list. England 2007 were the greatest pub team of all time. What a World Cup that was

  2. Bok team from 2007-2009 were pretty good too, especially in 2009 where they won the Tri Nations and beat the Lions along with everybody else they played

    • yep – they held every trophy possible at one point

    • Indeed they held the World Cup, Tri-Nations, Mandela Shield (AUS v SA), the Freedom Cup (NZ v SA), Super Rugby trophy was held by an SA team in 2007,2009, 2010 then beating the British Lions and also beat the All Blacks 3 times in a row in 2009.. Can’t remember the last time anyone did that.. Yet they somehow lost to Saracens and an Irish midweek team in November 2009…

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