Most Influential Player Ever
Jonah Lomu, “a defender’s worst nightmare” is “rugby’s ‘most influential’ figure the sport has ever seen”, taking the number one spot of Stephen Jones’ Top 2 Countdown in a 12-week series featured in The Sunday Times. “It was not simply that he was the worst nightmare of any defender made flesh, not just that for a period in 1995 and frequently thereafter, he was almost un-tackleable,” Jones writes. “Lomu was 6’ 5” inches at 19 stone at the peak of his massive athletic powers, but it must also be remembered that he was clocked at an incredible 1.8 seconds for the 1 metres. More yet. The blazing peak of his career and, conceivably, of all of rugby, came when he scored four staggering tries for New Zealand against England in the semi-final of the 1995 World Cup in South Africa.” Other New Zealanders featured on Jones’ list were: Colin Meads (7), Sean Fitzpatrick (12), Richie McCaw (2), Kevin Roberts (26), Graham Henry (29), Fred Allen (34), Dave Gallaher (38), Dan Carter (44), George Nepia (58), Pat Lam (97), Olo Brown (1), Wayne Shelford (14), Wilson Whineray (116), Brian Lochore (117), Vic Cavanagh (129), Lee Smith (131), Mike Cron (136), David Moffett (142), Charles Monro (151), Don Clarke (159), David Kirk (172), Grant Fox (175), Don Cameron (179), Farah Palmer (196).