Image copyright: Getty Images
A total of 64 players have won at least 100 test rugby caps with former French centre Philippe Sella the first player to do so. Australia are the country with the most test centurions with 11 players having brought up the landmark in the professional era and current Wallaby captain Michael Hooper is just one game away from joining the elite list.
With all that in mind, Betway
has compiled a XV of the most capped top tier players of all-time:
1. Gethin Jenkins
(Wales and British & Irish Lions, 134 caps)
The most-capped loosehead prop of all-time, Jenkins won five caps for the British & Irish Lions across three tours. Strong in the scrum, good at the breakdown and a mobile powerhouse the former Cardiff Blues star embodied all the attributes of a modern-day front-rower and was key to Wales' success over the last two decades.
2. Keven Mealamu
(New Zealand, 132 caps)
A key member of the All Blacks team that won back-to-back World Cup titles in 2011 and 2015, Mealamu was superb on both defence and attack. Blessed with great athleticism and extremely dynamic, the Auckland Blues great was more like an extra looseforward on the park. Add good scrummager and accurate line-out thrower to his CV and you have one of the best hookers of all-time.
3. Martin Castrogiovanni
(Italy, 119 caps)
The Italian powerhouse was key to keeping not only his national team's scrum, but Leicester Tigers' scrum steady for most of his professional career. Often the enforcer-in-chief, Castrogiovanni is the most-capped tighthead prop of all-time and one of the real characters of the game.
4. Alun Wyn Jones
(Wales and British & Irish Lions, 147 caps)
The second most-capped player of all-time and most-capped lock forward, Jones is already considered as one of the best to play the game. An inspirational leader who has played nine times for the British and Irish Lions, the Welsh captain is still going strong today and has been an integral member of a Wales side that has enjoyed considerable success over the last two decades.
5. Victor Matfield
(South Africa, 127 caps)
The most-capped Springbok of all-time, Matfield also captained South Africa on 23 occasions and was part of the 2007 Rugby World Cup winning team - winning the man-of-the-match award in the final. Arguably the best line-out jumper of all-time, Matfield was a superb reader of the game and also led the Blue Bulls to three Super Rugby titles.
6. Kieran Read
(New Zealand, 127 caps)
The All Blacks great played most of his career at eighth-man but started with the Crusaders as a blindside flanker. The two-time World Cup winner and four-time Super Rugby champion, was the world's best player in 2013. Read was a dominant player across the field, blessed with great hands and his 19 consecutive wins as All Blacks Captain from 2012 to 2016 is a world record.
7. Richie McCaw
(New Zealand, 148 caps)
Arguably the greatest rugby union player of all-time, McCaw is also the most-capped rugby player ever. He is also the only man to captain his country to two Rugby Wold Cup titles and won the World Rugby player of the year award a joint record three times, while he was nominated for the award an incredible eight times during the course of his career. A four-time Super Rugby champion with the Crusaders, McCaw is the best openside flanker in the history of the game and one of the best to ever to contest a breakdown.
You might enjoy: Top 10 rugby players of the professional era
8. Sergio Parisse
(Italy, 142 caps)
Parisse is Italy's best rugby player ever and one of the greatest eighthmen in the history of the game. With 142 caps, he is third on the all-time list behind only McCaw and Jones. A dominant ball carrier, he was the first Italian player to be nominated for the Player of the Year award. Parisse is known for having many qualities, an inspirational leader, he is notably famous for his incredible passing skills.
9. George Gregan
(Australia, 139 caps)
The most capped Australian rugby player of all-time, Gregan was part of the 1999 World Cup winning team. The Zambian-born scrum-half is one of the best No. 9's in the history of the game. A disruptive yet clinical player and superb passer of the ball, Gregan knew how to get the best out of his teammates and like all good players in his position - how to wind up the opposition.
10. Ronan O'Gara
(Ireland, 130 caps)
The fourth highest point scorer in rugby union history, O'Gara is the leading points scorer in Heineken Cup and Six Nations history. A superb goal-kicker, the San Diego-born No. 10 was part of three British and Irish Lions tours and enjoyed considerable success at Irish club Munster who he helped to three Pro 14 and two European titles during his 16 years at the club.
11. Bryan Habana
(South Africa, 124 caps)
The South African winger scored the joint-most Rugby World Cup tries and is in second place on the all-time top try scorers list. One of the fastest rugby players ever, Habana was named the 2007 Player of the Year after helping the Springboks to their second World Cup title. Widely regarded as one of the best players ever, Habana also played a crucial role in dominant and all conquering Blue Bulls and Toulon teams.
12. Dan Carter
(New Zealand, 112 caps)
Regarded by most as the best rugby player ever and the best fly-half, Carter is the all-time top point scorer in rugby union and Super Rugby history. The joint record three-time Player of the Year and two-time World Cup winner also won three Super Rugby and two Top 14 titles in a glittering career. Carter, who recently signed for the Blues, made his test debut at inside centre. A supremely gifted goal-kicker, Carter usually reserved his best games for the big occasions and scored 19 points in the 2015 World Cup final.
13. Brian O'Driscoll
(Ireland, 141 caps)
The most capped backline player and arguably the great Irish rugby player of all-time, 'BOD' sits atop the Six Nations try scoring list. O'Driscoll was part of four British and Irish Lions tours and wowed crowds across the world with his skill, pace and desire to cross the whitewash. The three-time Six Nations player of the Year won eight tiles in 15 years at Leinster.
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper
(Australia, 121 caps)
An incredibly versatile player who could play at centre, fullback and out on the wing, Ashley-Cooper has enjoyed a superb professional career. Blessed with pace, good hands and an eye for the try-line he has been a great asset to Australian rugby over the last 15 years. A team player, he has always been willing to fill a void that needs filling.
15. Chris Paterson
(Scotland, 109 caps)
A very reliable goal-kicker, Paterson is the most capped Scottish backline player and his country's top points scorer of all-time. Usually deployed at full-back, he was equally effective at fly-half and out on the wing. Paterson has been a true servant to rugby and still serves as an ambassador of the game. He spent most of his club career at Edinburgh where he amassed over 1000 points.
Place your rugby bets when you want & how you want
Whether you’re a Super Rugby fan keeping an eye on the top clubs in the world, a supporter of the Six Nations or perhaps prefer a southern hemisphere standoff in the The Rugby Championship, Betway South Africa is the perfect place for you to start betting on Rugby. So log in now or register a new account to start your online rugby betting adventure with Betway.
For all the latest sports news, betting tips and promotions follow Betway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Download the Betway App.