The Top 10 Packs In World Rugby Right Now

Mike Ross makes a break 16/11/2014

We take a look at the 10 best club and/or country packs in world rugby at the beginning of 2015…


Georgia may not quite be amongst the best international sides in the world, however their fearsome pack provide a great platform to build off, especially given their extensive Top 14 experience.

1.Mikheil Nariashvili 2. Shalva Mamukashvili 3. Davit Zirakashvili 4. Konstantin Mikautadze 5. Giorgi Nemsadze 6. Mamuka Gorgodze 7. Viktor Kolelishvili 8. Dimitri Basilaia


Clermont have long been known for their attacking flair, however it is thanks to their monstrous pack that they are given the platform to work off.

1. Thomas Domingo 2. Benjamin Kayser 3. Davit Zirakashvili, 4. Jamie Cudmore 5. Sebastien Vahaamahina 6. Damien Chouly 7. Julien Bardy 8. Fritz Lee


Things may not be quite clicking for Toulouse right now, however when their forwards are on form they have the kind of pack that could stand up to almost any side in the world.

1.Gurthro Steenkamp 2. Christopher Tolofua 3. Census Johnston 4. Joe Tekori 5. Yoann Maestri 6. Yannick Nyanga 7. Thierry Dusautoir 8. Louis Picamoles

7.Northampton Saints

Northampton have done an incredible job of pulling together one of the strongest packs in world rugby thanks in large part to Dorian West.

1.Alex Corbisiero 2. Dylan Hartley 3. Salesi Ma’afu 4. Samu Manoa 5. Courtney Lawes 6. Calum Clark 7. Tom Wood 8. Sam Dickinson



Given the money spent on their side its no wonder Toulon are right up there with the international sides and who could argue given the quality of player currently lining up in this monster pack.

1.Alexandre Menini 2. Guilhem Guirado 3. Carl Hayman 4. Ali Williams 5. Bakkies Botha 6. Juan Smith 7. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe 8. Steffon Armitage


Los Pumas recent ascension in world rugby has been built around a powerful pack that have made Argentina a force to be reckoned with.

1.Marcos Ayerza 2. Agustin Creevy 3. Ramiro Herrera 4. Mariano Galarza 5. Tomas Lavanini 6. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe 7. Juan Manuel Leguizamon 8. Leonardo Senatore


Not so long ago the Irish pack looked a little lightweight and at times struggled to hold its own. Fortunately for Ireland fans a number of key players have matured immeasurably and become real cornerstones of the current Ireland side.

1.Cian Healy 2. Rory Best 3. Mike Ross 4. Devin Toner 5. Paul O’Connell 6. Peter O’Mahony 7 Sean O’Brien. 8. Jamie Heaslip

3.All Blacks

Despite being the best side in the world, the All Blacks pack suffer slightly from a lack of depth in the front row. The second row and loose forwards are as good as they come but they can on occasion be outmuscled in the front row.

1.Wyatt Crockett 2. Dane Coles 3. Owen Franks 4. Sam Whitelock 5. Brodie Rettalick 6. Jerome Kaino 7. Richie McCaw 8. Kieran Reid



It seems since time began the Springboks have prided themselves on their dominant pack, and that still remains the case today. There aren’t many sides who can match their ferocity during a full international.

1.Tendai Mtawarira 2. Bismarck du Plessis 3. Jannie du Plessis 4. Victor Matfield 5. Eben Etzebeth 6. 7. Francois Louw 8. Duane Vermeulen


Individually many of England’s players wouldn’t be considered the best in the world, however as a unit they are about as dominant as a pack comes. Graham Rowntree has done a fabulous job turning them into such an impressive unit.

1.Alex Corbisiero 2. Dylan Hartley 3. Dan Cole 4. Joe Launchbury 5. Courtney Lawes 6. Tom Wood 7. Chris Robshaw 8. Ben Morgan

Which do you think is the best pack in world rugby right now?





  1. Missing number 6 in the Springbok pack.

  2. England rated #1… Hehehe… Thats quite humourous… Dear author, you should rate them according to ability and performances, not pay checques…

    • What a ludicrous statement? The author has a valid point…as individuals they are not really standout, but as a pack they completely manshame any other pack in the world right now

  3. SA 6 would be Willem Albert, bench Marcel Coetzee, Schalk Burger.
    Victor is 5 and Eden 4. Got that wrong too.

    Please don’t put me on the cross for this but the Problem with the English and media is they only compare themselves to northern hemisphere sides and put their rugby team in a glass tower. Then when the time comes southern sides beat them and The English supporters and media crucify them.

    1-8 currently SA can play 2 packs and still be highly competitive. Even the all blacks.
    For that I rate NZ and SA above England.

  4. This is a troll right? I’ve only ever seen the England pack on top when Clancy was reffing

  5. Nicholas McGregor

    But the English pack is dominated by South Africa on every occasion? How do you justify this?

  6. Haha!! The English over the Boks, let alone the kiwis, Ill have some of what youre having please mate!!

  7. lol…England came to NZ in the 2014 test series and were beaten 3-0. This headline from Rugby dated Nov 5,2014-‘ England have Enough Muscle for AB’s’. The one off test played at Twickenham Nov 8,2014 3 days later was won by NZ 24-21 (3 tries to1). The All Blacks too good home and away and the pack is just a different class to England’s led by 3 time World Rugby Player of the Year Richie McCaw. Given that England haven’t won the 6 nations since 2011 I say they are not as good as other Northern packs like Ireland and Wales.

  8. Ok so the criteria here seems to be scrums and lineouts. The AB’s ‘can be outmuscled in the front row’ according to the author of this article. But there’s so much more to the forward pack than that in the modern game of rugby. How are England at the breakdown?. ‘England were outplayed in all departments, starting slowly, consistently second-best at the breakdown and all too fallible under the high ball until a late rally. After all the optimism engendered from their unbeaten start to the Six Nations this will go down as one of the most chastening defeats of Stuart Lancaster’s regime.’ This is the report from Tom Fordyce for BBC Rugby reporting on the England loss to Ireland earlier this year March 2015. His conclusion? England are too slow around the park. The highest try scoring forwards currently playing the game are Richie McCaw NZ(27 tries from 142 tests) and Kieran Reid NZ (18 tries from 75 tests). As of July 21, 2015, the All Blacks have been the number 1 team in World Rugby for 10 consecutive years. If you want to measure the best packs in modern rugby you first need to understand what modern rugby actually is. You also need to understand the relationship between ‘mobility’, ‘support play’ and ‘effectiveness’ and the modern game. In the past 25 years (actually 24 years given test dates) playing 25 test matches against New Zealand, England have won 4 and drawn 1, and won once in the last 15 test matches covering a period of 11 years. One would think that if England did indeed have the world’s best forward pack they would , or could, be a force on the park yet given they haven’t held the 6 nations for 4 years, lost 6 of 12 tests in 2014 and are currently ranked #4 in the world I cannot fathom how you think they even rate?

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