The 10 Hardest Men To Have Ever Played Rugby


We take a look at the 10 players we think have proven to be the hardest men to ever set foot on a rugby pitch…

10.Jerry Collins

Known as the Terminator, Collins was one of the toughest players to ever step onto the field, ensuring his opponents knew when they’d been hit by The Terminator.

9.Martin Johnson

The former England captain was as tough as they come, once having to leave the field to have a cut to his eye tended to before returning to the field moments later.

8.Brian Lima

Nicknamed ‘the chiropractor’ for his spine shuddering hits, Lima made his presence known at no less than five World Cups.

7.Bakkies Botha

The Springbok lock quite literally fears nobody on the pitch. He was a master of the dark arts and left many players quaking in his wake.

6.Wade Dooley

Known as the Blackpool Tower, the 6’8” former policeman infamously broke Phil Davies jaw and perforated Doddie Weir’s ear drum.

5.Jamie Cudmore

Clermont’s Canadian lock has proven to the ultimate enforcer, calling on his somewhat shady past as an enforcer for a local drug dealer.

4.Bobby Windsor

The former Welsh hooker was a key member of the legendary 1974 Lions pack, and was capable of putting opponents down with a grin on his face.

3.Colin Meads

A legendary enforcer who played on despite picking up a broken arm during a game. There was no doubting the aura that surrounded Meads on the pitch.

2.Gerard Cholley

The former French prop tipped the scales at more than 24 stone having previously been a former heavyweight boxer, and even laid out four Scotsmen in a single game.

1.Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford

The former All Black famously had four teeth knocked out and his scrotum torn during just his second test, only to return to the field to finish the game.



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  1. You’ve missed Ian ‘Mighty Mouse’ McLauchlan who once offered some advice to a South African forward after a wee bit of argy-bargy in the scrum “You do that again, son, and I’ll put your f***ing lights out”. Very uncompromising, my old PE teacher. You also forgot Jean-Pierre Rives.

  2. What about Paul Wood, the super league player who popped his testicle and carried on in the grand final.

  3. Tragelaphus Angasii

    Burger played a test match with a broken neck.
    He also came back from the dead to help the Springboks win their 3rd world cup.

  4. maybee you can add Olivier Merle not called the man and an half for no reason by all blacks 😉

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