Unforgettable Moments: The Best Rugby Tackles of All Time

In the adrenaline-fueled sport of rugby, few moments capture the essence of the game like a bone-crunching tackle. The art of tackling requires precision, technique, and immense bravery. Throughout the history of rugby, there have been countless memorable tackles that have left fans in awe. In this article, we will delve into some of the best rugby tackles of all time, showcasing the skill, determination, and sheer physicality that define this incredible sport.

  1. Brian Lima’s Hit on Derick Hougaard: Nicknamed “The Chiropractor,” Samoan rugby legend Brian Lima delivered a thunderous tackle on South Africa’s Derick Hougaard during a Test match in 2003. Lima’s ferocious hit epitomized his hard-hitting style and left an indelible mark on rugby fans worldwide.
  2. Richie McCaw’s Tackle on Francois Louw: During a Rugby Championship match between New Zealand and South Africa in 2013, All Blacks captain Richie McCaw displayed his defensive prowess with a perfectly timed tackle on Springboks flanker Francois Louw. McCaw’s technique and speed demonstrated why he is regarded as one of the greatest players in rugby history.
  3. George Smith’s Cover Tackle on Bryan Habana: In a Super Rugby encounter in 2007, Australian flanker George Smith produced a remarkable cover tackle on Springboks winger Bryan Habana. Smith’s lightning-fast reaction and relentless pursuit of the ball showcased his exceptional defensive skills.
  4. Sam Warburton’s Tackle on Vincent Clerc: During a Rugby World Cup semifinal in 2011 between Wales and France, Welsh captain Sam Warburton executed a textbook tackle on French winger Vincent Clerc. Warburton’s technique and strength halted Clerc’s progress, highlighting his defensive prowess.
  5. Owen Farrell’s Hit on Israel Folau: In a British and Irish Lions Test match against Australia in 2013, English fly-half Owen Farrell delivered a bone-jarring tackle on Wallabies fullback Israel Folau. Farrell’s fearless and committed approach encapsulated the intensity and physicality of rugby.
  6. Alun Wyn Jones’ Tackle on George North: During a Six Nations clash in 2015, Welsh lock Alun Wyn Jones produced a powerful tackle on his teammate and fellow Lion George North. Jones’ commitment and strength were on full display as he halted North’s charging run.
  7. Jaque Fourie’s Tackle on Yannick Jauzion: In the 2007 Rugby World Cup semifinal between South Africa and France, Springboks center Jaque Fourie showcased his defensive prowess with a crunching tackle on French center Yannick Jauzion. Fourie’s perfectly timed hit exemplified the importance of a solid defensive game.
  8. Sean Fitzpatrick’s Tackle on Phil de Glanville: During a Test match between New Zealand and England in 1995, All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick demonstrated his defensive skills with a powerful tackle on English center Phil de Glanville. Fitzpatrick’s commitment and technique highlighted his status as one of the game’s greats.
  9. Sonny Bill Williams’ Tackle on Richard Kahui: In a Super Rugby clash between the Chiefs and Crusaders in 2012, All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams produced a stunning tackle on his former teammate Richard Kahui. Williams’ ability to combine his physicality with agility and timing made this tackle a standout moment.
  10. John Eales’ Tackle on Jonah Lomu: In a Bledisloe Cup match in 1996, Australian lock John Eales, known for his leadership and athleticism, executed a memorable tackle on New Zealand’s Jonah Lomu. Eales’ determination and courage were on full display as he brought down the rugby giant.


The best rugby tackles of all time are etched into the collective memory of rugby fans around the world. These moments showcase the skill, tenacity, and physicality that make rugby a captivating sport. From legendary players to iconic matches, these tackles embody the essence of rugby, demonstrating the power of human determination and resilience. As fans continue to celebrate the art of tackling, these unforgettable moments will forever be etched in the annals of rugby history.

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