Best Six Nations Rugby Players in History: List of Top 25 Players


The Six Nations rugby tournament has witnessed some of the greatest players in the sport showcasing their skills on the European stage. Since Italy joined the competition in 2000, the event has become a battleground for rugby supremacy, with numerous legends leaving an indelible mark. Selecting the Best Six Nations Rugby Players from this era is a daunting task, considering the abundance of talent. Here, we present a comprehensive list, recognizing their contributions and impact.

25. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

Stuart Hogg’s attacking prowess and exceptional footwork make him a standout player for Scotland. Winning the Six Nations player-of-the-tournament twice (2016 and 2017) highlights his impact.
He also comes under the elite list of the Best Six Nations Rugby Players in history.

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24. Olivier Magne (France)

A key figure in France’s Grand Slam victories in 2002 and 2004, Olivier Magne’s speed, flair, and footballing skills set him apart as one of the best opensides of his time.

23. Lawrence Dallaglio (England)

Lawrence Dallaglio’s self-belief and resilience defined his career. With a remarkable 79% win record in the Six Nations, he left an enduring legacy, epitomized by his legendary try against Wales in 2000.

22. Adam Jones (Wales)

The foundation of Wales’ success, Adam Jones, provided rock-solid stability in the front row. His contribution, often overshadowed, played a crucial role in securing four Six Nations titles.

21. Mike Phillips (Wales)

Known for his fierce will to win and unconventional style, scrum-half Mike Phillips changed perceptions of his position. A consistent performer, he delivered exceptional performances in crucial moments.

20. Tommy Bowe (Ireland)

Tommy Bowe’s ability to read opposition attacks and masterful interceptions established him among Europe’s best wings. His impact, especially in the Grand Slam game against Wales in 2009, is etched in Irish rugby history.

19. Sam Warburton (Wales)

Sam Warburton’s undemonstrative leadership and world-class tackling marked his career. Despite retiring at 29, he achieved greatness and left an indelible mark on Welsh rugby.
He also comes under the elite list of the Best Six Nations Rugby Players in history.

18. Justin Tipuric (Wales)

Justin Tipuric’s stellar performances, including setting up crucial tries and showcasing defensive prowess, solidified his place among the best opensides in the Six Nations.

17. Serge Betsen (France)

Nicknamed “The Grim Reaper,” Serge Betsen’s diamond-hard playing style contributed to France’s Six Nations clean sweeps in 2002 and 2004. His relentless aggression made him a formidable force.

16. Yannick Jauzion (France)

A complete No. 12, Yannick Jauzion’s offloading, pace, and strength made him one of the most versatile centers in Six Nations history.

Suggested Read: The Most Unforgettable Moments of Six Nations History

15. Jason Robinson (England)

Jason Robinson’s lightning-quick footwork and game-changing abilities defined his career. His toughness and strength, honed in over 300 games with Wigan, set him apart.

14. Gethin Jenkins (Wales)

Gethin Jenkins, though not the greatest scrummager, was a force of nature around the field. His ability to pilfer possession and contribute to Grand Slam victories solidified his place in Welsh rugby lore.

13. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

Tadhg Furlong’s scrummaging prowess, speed in the loose, and exceptional defense make him a dominant force. His contributions played a vital role in Ireland’s successful era.

12. Taulupe Faletau (Wales)

Taulupe Faletau’s consistency and all-around skills make him a rock star in Welsh rugby. His error-free performances and soft hands contributed to his legendary status.

Suggested Read: Sportsmanship in the Six Nations: The Spirit of Rugby

11. Jonny Wilkinson (England)

Jonny Wilkinson’s multifaceted contributions, from kicking goals to running games, make him one of the greatest No. 10s. Despite injuries, he led England to a Grand Slam in 2003.

10. Martin Johnson

A commanding and intimidating presence, Martin Johnson’s psychological advantage and outstanding record as a lock earn him a place among the greatest.

9. Thierry Dusautoir (France)

Thierry Dusautoir’s extraordinary performance in the 2007 World Cup and consistent excellence earned him the respect of opponents and a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2010.

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8. Paul O’Connell (Ireland)

Known for his on-pitch ferocity and off-pitch humility, Paul O’Connell’s leadership contributed to Ireland’s Grand Slam in 2009. A true team player, he left an enduring legacy.

7. Shane Williams

Wales’ prolific try-scorer, Shane Williams, combined skill and courage. His performances in 2008, crowned with player of the tournament and world player of the year, showcased his brilliance.

6. Jonathan Sexton (Ireland)

Jonathan Sexton’s leadership and rugby intelligence made him a class apart. Despite not winning the player-of-the-tournament prize, his impact on Ireland during their golden era is undeniable.
He also comes under the elite list of the Best Six Nations Rugby Players in history.

5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

Wales’ legendary lock, Alun Wyn Jones, demonstrated leadership and excellence in his epic 67 Six Nations appearances. His role in the 2019 Grand Slam showcased his ability to inspire.

4. Sergio Parisse (Italy)

Sergio Parisse’s skill set, on-field awareness, and leadership defined his career. Despite Italy’s challenges, Parisse consistently delivered exceptional performances as one of the greatest No. 8s.

3. Richard Hill (England)

Richard Hill’s versatility and impact in the famed England back row solidified his status as one of the greatest forwards. An 80% win rate in the Six Nations underscores his worth.

2. Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Brian O’Driscoll’s attacking potency, defensive prowess, and rugby intelligence make him one of the greatest centers in Six Nations history. His consistency and courage set him apart.

1. Antoine Dupont (France)

In the modern game, Antoine Dupont stands out as the closest thing to the legendary Gareth Edwards. His power, remarkable tries, defensive prowess, and playmaking abilities make him the top player in Six Nations history.
He also comes under the elite list of the Best Six Nations Rugby Players in history.


Who will be top try scorer in 6 nations 2024?

The top try scorers for the 2024 Six Nations were:
Dan Sheehan (Ireland)
Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)
Both players tied with 5 tries each.

Who is Favourite for 6 nations?

The 2024 Six Nations has already concluded, with Ireland taking home the trophy.
If you’re curious about future tournaments, to predict the favourite for the next Six Nations, we can look at factors like:
Previous performance: Recent form and past winners are strong indicators.
Team rankings: World Rugby rankings show a team’s overall strength.
Bookmaker odds: Betting odds can reflect expert opinions on favourites.

Who scored most tries in 6 Nations?

With 26 tries, Irish legend Brian O’Driscoll is the Six Nations top try scorer of all time. He made his Championship debut in 2000 and he excelled from his first appearance.

Suggested Read: Sportsmanship in the Six Nations: The Spirit of Rugby

Summing it Up

The Six Nations has witnessed an array of exceptional players, each leaving an indelible mark on the tournament’s history. From the attacking brilliance of Stuart Hogg to the leadership of Martin Johnson, these players have defined an era of European rugby. Heres a list of Best Six Nations Rugby Players filled with legends, showcasing the rich tapestry of talent that has graced the Six Nations stage.

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