The Glory of '95: The 21 men who have two Rugby World Cup winners' medals
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SINCE the inception of the Rugby World Cup in 1987, a total of 21 players have won the World Cup twice.
The two South Africans on the list are Os du Randt (1995 and 2007) and Frans Steyn (2007 and 2019). Here, rugby writer J acques van der Westhuyzen lists all the men who’ve tasted World Cup glory on more than one occasion.
THE TWO SOUTH AFRICANS
Os du Randt (prop, 1995 and 2007)
The burly loosehead prop was just 22 years old when he won the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time and 34 when he won in 2007. Inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame last year, Du Randt played most of his rugby for the Cheetahs and Bulls. He won 80 Bok caps over his illustrious career.
Frans Steyn (utility back, 2007 and 2019)
Comfortable at flyhalf, centre and fullback, Steyn also featured in the series win against the British and Irish Lions in 2009 and is well-known for his long-range kicking ability and hard tackling. Steyn has played most of his club rugby in France and represented the Boks on 67 occasions.
THE FIVE AUSTRALIANS
Dan Crowley (prop, 1991 and 1999):
He played 38 Tests and earned 124 caps for the Queensland Reds. He was named on the bench in the Wallaby “Team of the Decade” in a selection in 2005, and while actively playing rugby worked as an undercover police officer on the Gold Coast, focusing on busting drug dealers.
John Eales (lock, 1991 and 1999):
The lanky second-row forward played over 100 games for the Reds and led Australia in 55 Tests. He was the captain of the victorious ’99 team and he also stands among the top points-scorers in Australian rugby, thanks largely to his prowess as a goal-kicker.
Tim Horan (centre, 1991 and 1999):
The now 50-year-old is regarded as one of the best midfielders to have played the game. He featured 120 times for the Reds and ran out on 80 occasions for the Wallabies. He met his long-time centre partner, Jason Little, when they were both 13 years old and roomed together while playing for a rugby league representative team.
Phil Kearns (hooker, 1991 and 1999):
The former big rival of New Zealand captain Sean Fitzpatrick played for the Wallabies on 67 occasions, captaining them 10 times. An Australian rugby hall of famer, Kearns played for the famous Randwick club and the Waratahs and is now a well-known TV broadcaster in Australia.
Jason Little (centre, 1991 and 1999):
The former Reds and Waratahs centre was a mainstay in the Wallabies team in the 90s, earning a total of 75 caps. He formed a lethal combination with Tim Horan and after retiring from the Wallabies played in England, for Gloucester and then later for Bristol.
THE 14 NEW ZEALANDERS
Dan Carter (flyhalf, 2011 and 2015):
One of the most decorated players in the game won the World Player of the Year award in 2005, 2012 and 2015. He is the highest points scorer in Test history and is considered an all-time great. He played for the Crusaders 141 times and ran out for the All Blacks on 112 occasions.
Ben Franks (prop, 2011 and 2015):
The veteran tighthead prop played for the Crusaders and Hurricanes and ran out for the All Blacks 47 times. He regularly featured in the front row with his brother, Owen. He later played for Northampton in England and currently runs the “Franks Brothers Gym” in Christchurch.
Owen Franks (prop, 2011 and 2015):
The 108-Test veteran was a regular in the New Zealand team for 10 years, but holds the distinction of never scoring a point for the All Blacks. He played for the Crusaders on 150 occasions, and after failing to make the 2019 World Cup squad signed to play for Northampton, where his brother previously played.
Jerome Kaino (flank, 2011 and 2015):
In 2004 he was named World Rugby’s U-21 player of the year and in 2011 when the All Blacks won the World Cup, he was named his country’s Player of the Year, ahead of Richie McCaw and Ma’a Nonu. In all, Kaino played 83 Tests and ran out for the Blues in Super Rugby 137 times.
Richie McCaw (flank, 2011 and 2015):
The openside specialist led the Crusaders to multiple Super Rugby titles in a glittering career, while he captained the All Blacks in 110 of his 148 Tests. He was World Rugby Player of the Year three times and is regarded by former coach Steve Hansen as “the best All Black we have ever had and Dan (Carter) is a close second.”
Keven Mealamu (hooker, 2011 and 2015):
The now 41-year-old played a staggering 132 Tests for the All Blacks between 2002 and 2015. An important member of the team, he led the haka on 31 occasions. He is a skilled artist and has illustrated several books to raise money for a children’s hospital.
Ma’a Nonu (centre, 2011and 2015):
The hard-running midfielder, who recently turned out for the San Diego Legion in Major League Rugby in the USA, won 126 caps for the Hurricanes and also turned out for Toulon in France onm 77 occasions. He played for the All Blacks 103 times, mainly with Conrad Smith next to him in the No 12 jersey.
Kieran Read (No 8, 2011 and 2015):
The most recent All Blacks captain is widely regarded as one of the most dynamic No 8s to have played the game. He was World Rugby’s Player of the Year in 2013 and lea]d the national team on 52 occasions. He scored 26 tries and with 127 Tests in the bag is the third-most capped All Black.
Colin Slade (utility back, 2011 and 2015):
The regular flyhalf played just 21 times for the All Blacks, serving mainly as Dan Carter’s back-up, but he won two World Cups in his five years as part of the squad. The highly-skilled 32-year-old has played in France, for Pau, for the last five years.
Conrad Smith (centre, 2011 and 2015):
The Hurricanes legend who goes by the nickname “Snakey” won 126 caps for his Super Rugby outfit and also ran out for the All Blacks on 94 occasions in an 11-year-Test career, mostly played next to either Tana Umaga or Ma’a Nonu in the centres. He now works as an advocate of the High Court of New Zealand.
Victor Vito (loose-forward, 2011 and 2015):
The 33-year-old was a Sevens star before making it big in the 15-man game, where he stood out for the Hurricanes in 100 appearances between 2009 and 2016. He earned only 33 caps for the All Blacks but was a crucial squad member in the two cup-winning campaigns.
Sam Whitelock (lock, 2011 and 2015):
New Zealand’s Rugby Player of the Year in 2017 has won 117 caps for his country’s Test team and also featured for the Crusaders in Super Rugby on 143 occasions. His brothers, Adam, George and Luke also play, at the least, provincial rugby. Ben Funnell, also a rugby player, is his cousin.
Sonny Bill Williams (centre, 2011 and 2015):
The former rugby league star, who has played for a number of different teams, has become a fan-favourite across the world. A skilful and powerful midfielder, Williams has played for the All Blacks on 58 occasions. He is also a professional boxer and was at one stage his country’s heavyweight champion.
Tony Woodcock (prop, 2011 and 2015):
The 111-Test veteran enjoyed a star-studded 14 year career with the All Blacks. Regarded by many as being one of the best-ever loosehead props to play the game, the 137-times capped Blues man was a powerhouse for the All Blacks. He now farms deer about 50km north of Auckland.