With the Rugby World Cup Sevens kicking off in San Francisco this week, what better time to look back through the annals of the shorter form of rugby union to pick out some of the most exciting and dominant players to ever cross the whitewash? From flying Fijians to teak tough Kiwis and an unbelievably explosive American, here are the seven greatest rugby sevens players of all time:Ben Gollings (England)
Perry Baker (USA)
DJ Forbes (New Zealand)
Marika Vunibaka (Fiji)
Portia Woodman (New Zealand)
Eric Rush (New Zealand)
For a man named Rush, the former All Black certainly didn’t hurry his extraordinary rugby sevens career, first representing his country in 1988, and not retiring until 2005 at the age of 39. A pacey wideman with an eye for the tryline, as Rush got older, he compensated for his fading speed with a truly unmatched tactical brain and heroic leadership. Appearing in over 60 tournaments for his country, Rush led New Zealand to Commonwealth Games gold medals in 1998 and 2002, plus the Rugby World Cup Sevens title in 2001.
When we’re talking about the greatest rugby sevens player of all time, there can only be one name in the top spot – Waisale Serevi. The Fiji icon was nicknamed ‘The Wizard’ for the magical way that he played the game, Serevi captivated the imagination of fans around the world with his mesmerising attacking style, which he used to lead Fiji to World Cup glory in both 1997 and 2005. The 1997 tournament was perhaps his finest hour. After crashing out in the semi-finals of the 1993 tournament, Serevi promised to bring the Melrose Cup back to FIji, and set about stamping his authority all over the competition. He scored 59 points in the first three games of the World Cup, then finished up with 117 in total as they defeated South Africa to win Fiji’s first ever World Cup title. Simply put, there’s been none like Serevi before or since, and he remains the greatest ever.