Rugby is a sport where the glory belongs to those who score points. In the game of rugby union, scoring tries is no easy feat. Let’s take a look at some rugby legends whose records may take a long time to beat.
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Daisuke Ohata (Japan) – 69 tries
Daisuke Ohata, the flying winger from Japan, holds the record for the most tries in rugby union. With 69 tries in 58 caps, he has scored an impressive 345 points. On May 14, 2006, Ohata made history by surpassing David Campese’s record of 64 test tries in 101 appearances with a hat-trick against Georgia.
Bryan Habana (South Africa) – 67 tries
Bryan Habana, the South African winger, was a key player in the 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning team. His eight tries during the tournament equaled Jonah Lomu’s single-tournament record set in 1999. During the 2015 Rugby World Cup, he equaled Lomu’s career record of 15 tries in World Cups. Habana has scored a total of 67 tries over 124 caps, making him one of the most capped players of all time. Apart from his international career, Habana also played for French club Toulon.
David Campese (Australia) – 64 tries
David Campese, the former Australian rugby union player, is widely regarded as one of the greatest rugby players of all time. He not only achieved 101 caps in the Australian national rugby team, The Wallabies, but also scored 315 points. Campese is known for his iconic hitch-kick motion called the “goose-step,” which helped him avoid opponents’ tackles. His incredible performance in the 1991 Rugby World Cup, where he scored nine tries, earned him the title of the player of the tournament.
Shane Williams (Wales) – 60 tries
Shane Mark Williams, MBE, is a Welsh rugby union player who is considered one of the greatest wingers of all time. He gained fame for his successful tenure as a wing for the Ospreys and the Wales national team. Williams has scored an impressive 60 international tries in 91 caps.
Hirotoki Onozawa (Japan) – 55 tries
Hirotoki Onozawa, nicknamed “the eel” for his sharp sidestepping ability, is the second most capped Japanese rugby player of all time. He holds the fifth highest try-scoring record in international rugby with 55 tries in 81 matches. Onozawa mainly played as a wing or occasionally as a full-back. Despite being overshadowed by Daisuke Ohata, he is considered an all-time great of Japanese rugby in his own right.
Rory Underwood (England) – 50 tries
Rory Underwood, the winger from England, is the record international try scorer for his country with 49 tries in 85 internationals. He also played 236 games for Leicester Tigers. Including his Lions tours, Underwood has scored a total of 50 tries in 91 caps.
Doug Howlett (New Zealand) – 49 tries
Doug Howlett, a New Zealand legend, primarily played as a winger but also covered fullback at the national and international levels. Howlett finished his career with Munster Rugby in Ireland. With an outstanding 49 tries in 62 tests, he is the highest try scorer in the All Blacks.
Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – 47 tries
Brian O’Driscoll, widely regarded as the best outside centre in rugby history, captained Ireland’s national rugby team from 2003 to 2012. He also captained the British and Irish Lions during their New Zealand tour in 2005. O’Driscoll played 141 test matches for Ireland, making him the most-capped player in Irish rugby union history. He holds the record for the highest number of tries scored in Irish Rugby with 47 tries over 141 caps. O’Driscoll is also the highest try scorer in the Six Nations with 26 tries.
Christian Cullen / Julian Savea / Joe Rokocoko – 46 tries
Christian Cullen, Julian Savea, and Joe Rokocoko, all from New Zealand, share the ninth place with 46 international tries each. Julian Savea, known as “the bus,” was a key member of the 2015 Rugby World Cup-winning team and was the highest try scorer of the tournament with 8 tries. Savea was also nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015.
Jeff Wilson (New Zealand) – 44 tries
Jeff Wilson, another New Zealand rugby player, has the rare distinction of representing his country in both rugby union and cricket. Throughout his rugby career, Wilson scored 44 tries in 60 tests.
These remarkable players have left an indelible mark in the history of rugby union with their impressive try-scoring records. While the current players have a long way to go to break these records, the thrill of the game lies in watching them try. Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll see a new record-breaking try scorer emerge.
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