Rugby World Top 50 List

August 02 2016

Rugby World Publishes Top 50 Most Influential People in Rugby List

posted Aug 2 2016
[ed. comments below]

Who doesn't love a Top 10 list, or in this case a Top 50 list. The folks at the magazine Rugby World put together their list of the world's most influential rugby people. According to their editor, "We canvassed the opinions of the game’s most informed journalists from all corners of the globe". I wonder who they consulted in Canada, likely no one as there isn't anyone associated with Canadian rugby on the list. That may be part of the problem but really is anyone in Canadian rugby doing anything earth shattering to grow rugby and catch the attention of the rugby world?

A hint may be looking at the people on the list who are or were associated with rugby in the USA. There are three people. First up at #10 is Nigel Melville, former CEO of USA Rugby, who set new records for attendance, brought in teams like the All Blacks, and facilitated a competitive market for private enterprise that allowed PRO Rugby and the High Performance 7s Academies to grow. Next is Doug Schoninger at #40, he almost single-handedly introduced professional rugby to USA through the PRO Rugby league. Finally at #46 is Mike Friday, he turned the men's USA 7s program from below average to Olympic contenders. Those three got the attention of what is likely a very UK biased list. Who would you nominate from Canada on that list?

Some names that came to mind are Phil Mack who was a record setter in Canada 7s and is instrumental in growing rugby in the Aboriginal community through the Thunder program. Francois Ratier and John Tait who have taken good programs and made them better, currently occupying #2 and #3 in world rankings respectively. Dr. Parfrey has been influential in Canadian rugby and sits on the World Rugby Council. Karl Fix started the Dog River Howlers a touring team that has international connections and is well known for its charitable works.

Who would you add from Canada if it were a Top 100 list?

Rugby World article

50. Louis Picamoles
49. Pat Lam
48. Duncan Sandlant
47. Nigel Owens
46. Mike Friday
45. Ali Donnelly
44. Brian O'Driscoll
43. Steve Lansdown
42. Jonny Wilkinson
41. Maro Itoje
40. Doug Schoninger
39. Nigel Wray
38. Jack Ma
37. Alun Wyn Jones
36. Ben Ryan
35. Maggie Alphonsi
34. David Nucifora
33. Andy Marinos
32. Derek Richardson
31. Sonny Bill Williams
30. Giles Morgan
29. Jonathan Kritzinger
28. Dylan Hartley
27. John Jeffrey
26. Allister Coetzee
25. John Feehan
24. Joe Schmidt
23. Koji Tokumasu
22. Conor O'Shea
21. Richie McCaw
20. Michael Cheika (Australia coach)
19. Ian Ritchie (RFU chief executive)
18. Alan Gilpin (Head of Rugby World Cup)
17. Ayumu Goromaru (Toulon & Japan full-back)
16. Brett Gosper (World Rugby chief executive)
15. Jacky Lorenzetti (Racing 92 owner)
14. Warren Gatland (Wales coach)
13. Steve Tew (NZ Rugby chief executive)
12. Mark Egan (World Rugby head of communications)
11. Octavian Morariu (Rugby Europe chairman)
10. Nigel Melville (RFU Director of pro rugby)
9. David Pocock (Australia back row)
8. Mark McCafferty (Premiership Rugby chief executive)
7. Fikile Mbalula (South Africa sports minister)
6. Dan Carter (Racing 92 fly-half)
5. Paul Goze (LNR president)
4. Bill Beaumont (World Rugby chairman)
3. Steve Hansen (New Zealand coach)
2. Eddie Jones (England coach)
1. Agustin Pichot (World Rugby vice-chairman)

Pemberton Holmes
Real Estate Sales

Tom Woods' Listings
Heritage House Trophies
Lionheart Sports