The best rugby players in the world are Beauden Barrett, Pieter-Steph Du Toit, Maro Itoje, Cheslin Kolbe, Ardie Savea, Stuart Hogg and Owen Farrell.
Rugby is a sport that demands physicality, skill, and teamwork. As we move into 2023, there are several standout players who have shown exceptional performance on the field. From their impressive statistics to their leadership skills, these ten rugby players have proven themselves to be the best in the sport. Let’s take a closer look at the top 7 rugby players in 2023.
1. Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
One of Barrett’s top strengths is his versatility. He is equally comfortable playing at fly-half or fullback, and his ability to switch between the two positions makes him a valuable asset to any team. His flexibility in playing both positions allows him to contribute to both the attacking and defensive aspects of the game.
Barrett is an exceptional attacking player. He has excellent vision and an innate ability to create space and opportunities for his teammates. His pinpoint kicking accuracy and ability to read the game have made him one of the most dangerous players in the world. He has scored 40 tries in his international career, and his 30 assists are evidence of his ability to set up his teammates for success.
2. Pieter-Steph Du Toit (South Africa)
One of Du Toit’s top strengths is his work rate. He is a tireless player who is equally comfortable in both attack and defense, and his ability to make tackles and turnovers is exceptional. According to statistics from the 2021 Rugby Championship, Du Toit made the second-most tackles of any player in the competition, with 63 successful tackles in just four matches. He also made six turnovers, demonstrating his ability to disrupt the opposition’s attack and win possession for his team.
Du Toit is also an excellent lineout jumper, with a success rate of over 90%. In the 2021 Rugby Championship, he won 14 lineouts for the South African team, making him the second-highest lineout jumper in the competition. His lineout prowess gives his team a significant advantage in set-piece plays, allowing them to win possession and launch effective attacking plays.
In addition to his defensive and set-piece skills, Du Toit is also an accomplished attacking player. He has a high work rate and is always looking for opportunities to make breaks and set up his teammates. In the 2021 Rugby Championship, Du Toit made 39 carries, gaining a total of 139 meters for his team. He also scored a try and made two try assists, demonstrating his ability to contribute to his team’s attacking efforts.
3. Maro Itoje (England)
Maro Itoje is widely regarded as one of the best second-row forwards in the world, and his impressive statistics back up this claim. Here are some of the reasons why he is regarded as one of the best:
- Dominant Lineout Presence: Itoje is a dominant force in the lineout, both in attack and defense. In the 2021 Six Nations tournament, he won 16 lineouts and stole two opposition lineouts.
- Strong Tackling: Itoje is also a strong tackler, and he made 54 tackles in the same competition, with a success rate of 87%.
- High Work Rate: Itoje is known for his high work rate and his ability to cover a lot of ground. In the 2021 Six Nations tournament, he made 65 carries and covered a total of 211 meters with the ball.
- International Success: Itoje has been a key player for the England national team over the past few years, and he played a crucial role in their run to the Rugby World Cup final in 2019.
4. Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa)
Cheslin Kolbe is a dynamic and exciting player who has quickly established himself as one of the best rugby players in the world. Here are some of the reasons why he is regarded as one of the best:
- Exceptional Footwork: Kolbe’s footwork is among the best in the world, and he is able to create space for himself and his teammates with ease. In the 2020/21 Top 14 season, he made 71 carries for 655 meters, averaging 9.2 meters per carry.
- Clinical Finishing: Kolbe is also a clinical finisher, and he scored eight tries in the 2020/21 Top 14 season, with a scoring rate of one try every 83 minutes.
- Strong Defense: Despite his small stature, Kolbe is also a strong defender, and he made 61 tackles with a success rate of 90% in the same competition.
- International Success: Kolbe was a key player for the South African national team during their Rugby World Cup-winning campaign in 2019, and he was also named the World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year in the same year.
5. Ardie Savea (New Zealand)
Ardie Savea is widely considered as one of the best rugby players in the world due to his dynamic style of play and his impressive statistics. Here are some of the reasons why he is regarded as one of the best:
- Exceptional Tackling Ability: Savea is a ferocious tackler, and he led the tackle count in the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa competition with 125 tackles in just eight games.
- Powerful Ball Carrier: Savea is also a powerful ball carrier who can break through defensive lines with ease. In the same competition, he made 45 carries for 240 meters, averaging 5.3 meters per carry.
- Outstanding Work Rate: Savea is a tireless worker and is always involved in the action. In the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, he made 98 rucks and 30 turnovers, which is an exceptional work rate.
- International Success: Savea’s performances for the New Zealand national team have also been impressive. He was named the New Zealand Rugby Player of the Year in 2020, and he has been a consistent performer for the All Blacks over the past few years.
6. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
Stuart Hogg is widely regarded as one of the best rugby players in the world, and there are several key factors that contribute to this reputation. Here are some detailed arguments backed by statistics to support his status as one of the best rugby players:
Exceptional Attacking Prowess
Hogg is a dynamic and versatile attacking player who is equally effective as a fullback or on the wing. He is known for his speed, agility, and ability to break through defenses. In the 2020/21 season, he scored six tries and made 37 clean breaks in just 20 appearances for Exeter Chiefs and Scotland.
Reliable Goal Kicker
Hogg is also an exceptional goal kicker, with an 82% success rate from the tee in the 2020/21 season. He scored a total of 125 points for Exeter Chiefs and 31 points for Scotland, making him one of the most reliable goal-kickers in the game.
Strong Defensive Capabilities
Hogg is a reliable and strong defender, who is not afraid to put his body on the line for his team. In the 2020/21 season, he made 95 tackles with a success rate of 85%. He is also known for his ability to intercept passes, making two interceptions in the 2020/21 season for Scotland.
Hogg is a natural leader both on and off the field, and his leadership qualities have been recognized by his teammates and coaches. He was named the captain of the Scottish national team in 2018, and has since led his team to several impressive performances, including a victory over England in the 2021 Six Nations tournament.
Perhaps one of Hogg’s greatest strengths is his consistency. He is a player who performs at a high level week in and week out, and his performances rarely dip below a certain standard. In the 2020/21 season, he was named the Exeter Chiefs’ Player of the Season, and was also named as the Scottish Rugby Union Player of the Year for the second time in his career.
Overall, Hogg’s exceptional attacking abilities, reliable goal-kicking, strong defensive capabilities, leadership qualities, and consistency make him one of the best rugby players in the world. He is a player who consistently performs at the highest level, and his contributions to both Exeter Chiefs and the Scottish national team have been crucial to their success in recent years.
7. Owen Farrell (England)
Owen Farrell is considered one of the best rugby players in the world due to his exceptional performance on the field, his leadership skills, and his versatility. Here are some detailed arguments backed by statistics to support his status as one of the best rugby players:
Exceptional Kicking Ability
Farrell is known for his exceptional kicking ability, both from the tee and out of hand. In the 2020/21 season, he had an 87% success rate from the tee, making 68 of his 78 attempts. He also made 668 kicks out of hand, gaining 21,643 meters for his team.
Strong Tackling Ability
Farrell is a reliable defender, known for his strong tackling ability. In the 2020/21 season, he made 74 tackles with a success rate of 92%. He is not afraid to put his body on the line and is often seen leading by example with his defensive efforts.
Farrell’s versatility is one of his key strengths. He is equally adept at playing fly-half, center, or fullback, which makes him a valuable asset to any team. In the 2020/21 season, he played fly-half for Saracens and center for England, showcasing his ability to adapt to different positions.
Farrell is known for his leadership skills both on and off the field. He is the captain of Saracens and has led England on numerous occasions. In the 2020/21 season, he led Saracens to the Championship title, scoring 117 points along the way. He also captained England in their Six Nations campaign, leading them to a second-place finish.
Farrell is also known for his accurate passing, which helps to create scoring opportunities for his team. In the 2020/21 season, he made 499 passes with an accuracy rate of 93%, demonstrating his ability to distribute the ball effectively.
Overall, Farrell’s impressive kicking ability, strong tackling, versatility, leadership skills, and accurate passing make him one of the best rugby players in the world. His consistent performance on the field and ability to adapt to different positions have made him a valuable asset to his team and a player to watch in the upcoming seasons.
In conclusion, the rugby world is full of incredibly talented players, but these seven individuals stand out as some of the very best. Beauden Barrett is a masterful playmaker with the speed, agility, and creativity to outsmart even the toughest defenses. Pieter-Steph Du Toit is a tireless player with exceptional defensive skills and an impressive set-piece ability. Maro Itoje is a dominant force in the lineout and a fierce defender who can turn the tide of any game. Cheslin Kolbe is a dazzling attacking player with incredible speed and footwork. Ardie Savea is a versatile player with excellent skills both on attack and defense. Stuart Hogg is a talented fullback with a great attacking mindset and an impressive kicking ability. Owen Farrell is a world-class fly-half who leads his team with his exceptional playmaking skills and kicking accuracy.