There are some players who transcend rivalries, and have seemingly become a fan favourite the world over. Here are fifteen such chaps;

15.Ayumu Goromaru

The Japanese fly half became the overnight star of the World Cup after his side’s victory over South Africa, and is now revered across the rugby playing world.

14.Carlin Isles

The American sevens speedster became an overnight sensation, and has been wowing crowds ever since with his amazing pace.

13.Conrad Smith

They don’t come much classier that Smith who appears to have remained completely level headed despite the incredible success he has enjoyed.

12.Jean de Villiers

Talking of true gents of the game, it’s hard not to mention de Villiers who has remained a true pro despite suffering some horrific injuries in his twilight years.

11.Nick Cummins

This one we don’t even have to explain. If there’s any bloke to want to concede a meat pie to, it’s definitely the Honey Badger.


10.Andy Goode

The former England fly half continues to astound critics by continuing to play in the 10 shirt despite looking more out of shape than most props.

9.Fumiaki Tanaka

The constantly beaming Japanese and Highlanders scrum half, Tanaka has become an icon in New Zealand despite playing second fiddle to Aaron Smith.

8.Sergio Parisse

Parisse has remained the face of Italian rugby since taking over as captain, and has single handedly been responsible for much of their success in recent years.

7.David Pocock

He might be the scourge of most teams, but off the pitch Pocock is a huge advocate of social change and has done an incredible amount for good causes.

6.Jacques Burger

You just have to admire a guy who would snap you in two at the first opportunity, but do so face first with a huge grin.


5.Samu Manoa

The American lock was only picked up professionally at 26 after a YouTube clip of him did the rounds, and he has remained humbler ever since.

4.Alun Wyn Jones

The Welsh lock has quietly gone about becoming one of the very best around, and has become a fan favourite the world round.

3.Adam Jones

He was the dominant tighthead in the world for many years, but is just as happy now sharing his sweets on the bench at Quins.

2.Rory Best

It’s hard to find a hooker that anyone likes, however Best seems to have reached a stage where he is widely respected across the rugby playing world.

1.Tendai Mtawarira

Just listen to the chants of ‘beast’ every time he gets his hands on the ball (and not just from Springbok fans).