Rugby is one of the most popular sports in the English-speaking world. It has its origins in the 19th century, and it was a game played in the Rugby School, located in Warwickshire, England. The sport is often referred to as rugby football, and is the inspiration for American football, which is much more popular in North America. However, around the world, the massive popularity of rugby is incomparable to American football.
Aside from the United States and Canada, rugby is massively popular in most English-speaking countries, as well as many more non-English-speaking countries, such as Papua New Guinea, where rugby is an international sport. The International Rugby League is absolutely dominated by players from countries like England, Australia, and New Zealand, where rugby is most popular.
While not nearly as dominant as football or cricket, rugby is still a massive success in the betting scene. Countless sports betting sites cover all of the most popular rugby leagues, as well as, countless local tournaments played by local clubs and teams. Sports betting is becoming increasingly more popular in the world, in part due to the rise of sports betting sites, which not only offer a broader range of sports coverage, but also have countless bonuses, as well as a very convenient streaming service. For example, the bet365 live streaming service features a detailed schedule of all of the most popular matches that will be streamed in the coming future.
As we said, the International Rugby League is dominated by players from England, Australia, and New Zealand, and in this article, we are going to take a look at a few of the best of the best, and talk about what makes them great.
Jonny Wilkinson (England)
Jonny Wilkinson played a fly-half for 16 years, beginning his career in 1998 at Newcastle School of Rugby. While he started out as an inside-center, he is far more remembered as a fly-half, which is the position he held for a large majority of his career. Wilkinson truly made a name for himself 2 years after his debut, when he played all five of England’s Six Nations Championship matches.
Wilkinson would go on to play in the Six Nations Championship the following year, and secure his status as a legend by being one of the top performing players that year. However, the brightest moment in the Englishman’s career would come two years later, when he scored the winning drop goal during the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final, cementing himself as one of the greatest rugby players of all time, and going down in the annals of rugby history.
In 2014, after 16 years of superb playing, Jonny Wilkinson announced that he would be retiring from the sport of rugby. He retired with multiple honors and awards, and is today widely considered one of the best players of all time.
David Pocock was born in Zimbabwe, however, he spent most of his time in Australia, playing an openside flanker. During his 14-year-long tenure, Pocock served as vice captain of the Brumbies in Super Rugby, played in numerous winning games, and acquired some of the best statistics during his time as a player. He moved to Australia at a very young age, with a dream to play for the Australian national team. A dream that eventually came true.
Apart from a glowing rugby career, David Pocock is a renowned activist, spending a good chunk of his time and money raising awareness for multiple causes. Most prominently he campaigns against homophobia, and is a huge supporter of same-sex marriage.
He retired from the sport of rugby in 2020, and has been focusing on his career as an activist since.
Hailing from New Zealand, Dan Carter is considered by many to be the greatest rugby player in the southern hemisphere, and perhaps even the best of all time. Either way, his accomplishments can’t be denied, and he is certainly one of the greatest of all time when it comes to the sport.
Dan Carter played for the New Zealand national team (The All-Blacks), and in his long and eventful career he became the highest point scorer in test match rugby, a record which he still holds today. He has been named the Player of the Year by the International Rugby Board on three separate occasions, in 2005, 2012, and 2015. With the All-Blacks, he has won nine Tri-Nations and Rugby Championships, and three Super Rugby Championships with the Crusaders.
Despite sustaining a heavy injury in 2011, Carter kept playing, and in 2015 he was the star of the 2015 Rugby World Cup winning team. This success led him to be one of only twenty-one players to have won multiple Rugby World Cups.
That same year, Dan Carter released his autobiography, which four years later was adapted into a documentary film titled, “Dan Carter: A Perfect 10”.