Friday Apr 18, 2014

The Top 5 Rugby Magicians of All Time

The Top 5 Rugby Magicians of All Time
24
Comments

Rugby HQ in Australia have put together their Top 5 list of the best ever magicians on the rugby field. While it’s obviously subjective, it’s a solid list and it would be tough to disagree with their top three selections, and number one in particular.

Starting at number five, Joe Rokocoko was a lethal finisher for the Blues and All Blacks. His dazzling feet and ability to beat defenders when in space made him a top try scorer. He could create tries out of half chances, as can be seen here. Sorry, Brent Russell.

Welsh legend Gareth Edwards is probably best known these days for that try he scored for the Barbarians against the All Blacks in 1973, but for years he terrorised defences and to many up north in particular, is the best scrumhalf to ever play the game.

Having met the great David Campese recently, it’s great to see him at three on this list. Campo could pull off the impossible, and is of course the man that made the goose-step so famous. His jinking runs and ball skills were unmatched in his generation.

“I always wanted to do something different. I could have stood on the wing and did nothing, or go out there and try and express yourself, and that’s what I decided to do,” he once said.

The only guy on the list still playing Test rugby, Quade Cooper is a natural fit when it comes to thinking of players that can do the seemingly impossible on the rugby field. Some of his best bits aren’t shown in this clip, but you can see a few in the Related Posts below this article.

In the end, there can be only one and that man is without a doubt King Carlos Spencer. The only player who has come close since is Cooper, but for those of us who watched Spencer in his heyday, he will always be remembered as the most audacious, enthralling entertainer.

As with Cooper, have a browse of our Related Posts to see some of Spencer’s best moments, which obviously weren’t able to be featured in this compilation but are posted in our archive.

Other notable mentions, and players who could have squeezed into the top five somewhere, would be Brian O’Driscoll, Shane Williams, Christian Cullen and Waisale Serevi. O’Driscoll has already been featured in his own Top 5 video though, and Serevi was a Sevens star.

How different would your ‘Top 5 Magicians’ be, or are you happy with the choices? 

24 Comments

  •  larry
    larry

    Barry John, Phil Bennett, Mike Gibson and Cliff Morgan. I'd put Campese at number one.

    Reply
  •  s_conner
    s_conner

    No Victor Ubogu?

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    More a SH top, than a credible one ;) Robinson, BOD and few french and fidjian players are astonishingly absent

    Reply
  •  rememberthemer
    rememberthemer

    Pace, power AND dummies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cDMXSB1Mss

    Reply
  •  4lc4tr4z
    4lc4tr4z

    Waisale Serevi, Caucaunibuca, and Orene Ai'i. Have seen all of them on the pitch, I'd seen Ai'i often doing some magic stuff. Serevi comes from another world.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Well here's a topic that could be debated all year... But the main question for me is what Rugby HQ and Rugbydump have against the French? Castaignede was a 10 in the Spencer mould, and Serge Blanco, I heard he could play. From a SA perspective, Joost at his best - especially in the 90s - was a genius.

    Reply
  •  vladimir
    vladimir

    Heymans ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZScVM8Ta-0

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    No.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Lol, as CC said below, Lomu was no wizard, he was more like that giant stone in the Indiana Jones movie...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I wouldn't say Robinson was greater than Carlos. Robinson had insane pace in comparison and they played different really, but I think he was very similar to Rokocoko. I think in his later years Robinson was 'found out' and closed down and never really had the means to use his speed to outdo others.

    Reply

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  • I'd consider genia an honorable mention, does a lot of special things with the ball, so does Kahn.

    Reply

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  • Once again, there was no trickery with lomu, u knew what was coming. Whereas Nick Evans often plays the opposition like a fiddle.

    Reply

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  • Once again, billy whiz was genius with his feet but didn't really trick anyone like Carlos.

    Reply

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  • bOD yes, Cullen no, he was just pure speed power and pace not really dummies and what not, whereas cooper should be in there, along with serevi and Gibson.

    Reply
  •  hagar
    hagar

    No one seems to mention the big Johna Lomu, I still remember how he almost singlehandedly stem rolled the poms in the world cup, man was a machine.

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    You're right. Caucau and Shane Williams are DEFINITELY wizards that could create something from nothing.

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    Hey bro, you live by the insane pass, you die by it. The guys on this list are not the most steady, but they will freak you out! Remember Mehrtens was usually selected ahead of Spencer.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Lol, definitely McCaw, I think he can make the cards disappear from the referees pockets.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I'd agree, I think Robinson and Rokocoko had very similar attributes, fantastic feet and strong runners.

    Reply
  •  fatprop
    fatprop

    Juan Martin Hernandez 'El Mago' should be included. Roko was a fantastic winger but hardly a guy who would create plays from nothing, Cooper is on the list quite rightly as he can do things that other players can only dream of, often goes too far but he is such a talent. In a couple of years Barrett will be up there as the most creative fly half in the world- MARK MY WORDS

    Reply
  •  sharkboi
    sharkboi

    Yes cooper is very good when he is on form. What makes him look great are the rediculous passes he tries. More often than not the passes mess up and he gives away possession. A truely great player knows when to throw the insane pass and when to leave it. A player like O'Driscoll. Cooper doesn't know when to leave the stupid pass and hold onto possession

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    [sarcasm] Yeah, all they could do for O'Driscoll was a special Top 5 for him on retirement, calling him one of the best players ever. Fucking Aussies. [/sarcasm]

    Reply
  •  flyingpepper
    flyingpepper

    Jason Robinson, Cullen, Shane Williams?!?! And McCaw for never getting a card lol

    Reply

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  • O'Driscoll and Cullen should be in here instead of Rokocoko and Cooper, Roko was an outstanding winger but I wouldn't call him a magician on a level with Cullen and Cooper has had as many bloopers as he has had magic moments so BoD would be a shoe in for his spot (imho) Serge Blanco would be my honorable mention.

    Reply

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