Can You Identify These UK Rugby Players?

SPORTS

By: Zoe Samuel

7 Min Quiz

Image: Harlequins via YouTube

About This Quiz

The UK certainly cannot claim to produce all of the best players in the history of rugby, either rugby league or rugby union, but it has more than its share of them. British rugby players, born or naturalised, made their mark in statistics and team records. Both on the club level and in international play, rugby players from Wales, England and Scotland etched their names in legend, putting their bodies on the line in the sport called "a hooligan's sport played by gentlemen."

Wales certainly has a history of feverish love of rugby, and this is born out in its long roll of fabulous rugby stars. From hometown boys who played in their local clubs to international stars, the number of Welsh names in the rugby hall of fame is startling. That said, the rest of the UK certainly produced other stars known just as well for their aggression, discipline and teamwork. The year 2003 saw England triumphant and made many English rugby players famous stars of the game.

Names are often spoken, faces are often seen, but these two things do not always go together. The familiar name and the familiar face may not connect for everyone, and thus many stars of rugby still go through life in relative anonymity. Could you put the name to the face? Now is the time to find out.

This hooker is also a stand-off. What name is his?

Kevin Sinfield played for the Leeds Rhinos from 1997 to 2015, an incredible run by any measure. He captained Leeds to seven Super League Championships, and on the international stage, he played for England 26 times with five tries.

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Do you recognize this astonishing talent?

Tomos Williams is one of the young faces of Welsh rugby, destined for greatness. Gifted with tremendous speed, strength and aggression, Williams will likely feature prominently in any team for which he plays, provided he can remain healthy.

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Back-row or not, we demand you tell us this man's name! Can you remember who he is?

Cowan is versatile, capable of playing as a number eight, and as a flanker. An example of the peculiar rules around nationality in the rugby union game, Blair Cowan was born in New Zealand, but his Scottish mother means that, per the rules, he is considered Scottish.

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This flanker's smile can light up a stadium. But do you recognize him from his style of play?

A young player to keep an eye on, Dragon Aaron Wainwright displays versatility, physicality and aggression in his style of play, finding ways to contribute even when coming off the bench. Born only in 1997, Wainwright will remain in the game for a while, which will be a treat for everyone.

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Some players are born, and others are imported. Who is this one?

Australian import Sam Burgess played British rugby league in Great Britain before switching to rugby union, in which he also excelled. What he is perhaps best known for is his performance in the 2014 NRL Grand Final, when he broke his cheekbone at the beginning of the game but stayed in and led his team to victory.

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This is one of the top wings in the UK. What is his name?

Centre Chris Harris is an English player who plays for Scotland at the international level, thanks to having a grandmother from Edinburgh. A journeyman, he has played for several clubs since joining the amateur circuit in 2009, and any team is glad to have him.

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Fourteen years in Hull? Sign this man! What's his name?

Roger "The Dodger" Millward was only 11 stone, but in 14 years at Hull, he showed he was worth his weight in gold. 1967 saw Millward score his first Test try against Australia in Great Britain's 16-11 victory, and three years later, he helped Great Britain win the Ashes.

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This centre has only been playing for a few years. Do you know him?

Phil Burleigh is a Scottish player, according to the rules of international rugby union play, and has played for the Scottish national team. Though he has lived in Edinburgh, at the time this is written, he plays for the Sunwolves, in Japan.

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St. Helens R.F.C. hold this man in high esteem. Who is he?

Alex Murphy made his name as a scrum-half in 1958 as one of the Lions for their tour of Australia at the tender age of 19. This epic run was only one part of his 19-year run. St. Helens may have only laid claim to the first 10 years of his career, but being a local, he will always be their lad.

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How familiar is this hooker? Can you name him?

Scottish player Jake Kerr was always a great player, playing on championship teams even before graduating to the adult level of the game. Since that time, he has shown his value in the Six Nations games and for the Leicester Tigers.

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Fifteen incredible seasons of Rugby are credited to this legend. Can you recall his name?

Andy Gregory played from 1980 to 1995 for a total of six teams, any of whom should be chuffed to have had him. Despite being only 5 feet, 5 inches tall, Gregory signed for £130,000 with Wigan, his hometown club, and played his best years with them.

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The man you see here plays two positions. Who is he?

Josh Adams is a wing and fullback who is noted for, among other things, scoring a hat trick in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Currently a member of the Cardiff Blues, Adams began his career in 2013 and played for four other teams in his career.

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Wigan saw the best this player had to offer. Who is he?

Five hundred one career tries make Martin “Chariots” Offiah truly one of the greatest in the game. With the speed of a sprinter, he has a strike rate of more than one per game when he was with Wigan in the 1990s, a period in which he was in his prime.

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Do you recognize this enormous player?

Over two meters tall, it is no surprise that Adam Beard was an explosive force for the Ospreys from the time he was brought up from the under-20s. With four caps by the end of 2019, this young player is on his way up.

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The player you see here can play two positions! What's his name?

Harrison "Harri" Keddie is a proud product of the Dragon Academy. A highly touted prospect while he was in the under-20s, Keddie, a back row with great range, debuted for the Dragons in 2016 in their game with Zebre Rugby.

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There's something to be said for being born where you play. Who is this native son?

Shaun Edwards and Wigan are synonymous. He was born there, and he played the best years of his stellar career for Wigan. The most decorated player in the domestic rugby league, he is among the most capped players of all time.

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Pencoed Rugby Football Club was where this player's career began. Do you know his name?

It was Pencoed Rugby Football Club that first recruited Tommy Reffell in 2003, when he was only four years old, growing to be the captain of the under-18 Welsh national rugby team. Since then, the Welsh player has turned into a promising adult player.

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The player you see here went from rugby union to rugby league. Who is he?

Billy Boston may have started in rugby union, but he made his biggest impression in rugby league, joining Wigan in 1953 and playing there for 15 seasons. With 31 test matches for Wales, 478 tries from 488 appearances, and his name coming up in any conversation about the greatest players in rugby, his place in history is assured.

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Not all Welsh rugby players were born; some were made! Who is this one?

Born in 1998, Dan Davis is a promising young rugby player who grew up and was developed in Wales, having been born in England. With handling skills sharped with Llandeilo, he has shown flashes of talent with his play as one of the Scarlets.

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This journeyman shows flashes of greatness. Do you remember his name?

Sam Tomkins won three Super League Grand Finals and two Challenge Cup finals, having, by 2019, played for four clubs. Currently with the Catalan Dragons, Tomkins was a part of England's Four Nations team in 2009 as a replacement for an older team that had faltered earlier in the year but was replaced later in the games.

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Judo gave this player his instincts. Who is he?

Former Judo champion Will Jones has shown that his Bushi Damashi (warrior spirit) extends outside of the dojo. Injury hobbled his career for a stint, but his overall toughness, skill and aggressive instincts make him a prospect to reckon with.

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Once named the greatest rugby player in the world, who is this man?

When Garry Schofield retired in 1990, he was the most capped British player of all time, with 46 appearances, a tie with Mick Sullivan. He was given the 1990 Rugby League World Golden Boot Award as the best player in the world for, among other achievements, his part in the victory over Australia.

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At 15 stone, this player brings a presence to the pitch. What's his name?

Six foot Taine Basham exploded into the world of rugby with a performance against Australia in the under-20s that made everyone take notice: 17 ball carries and four turnovers. Today, everyone has their eyes on him.

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Stand-off and loose forward were both old hat to this player. Who is he?

Mr. Magic was a stalwart force in rugby for 19 years, showing a talent for nearly every position on the pitch. With 416 tries and three Man of Steel awards, it should come as no shock that Ellery Hanley was named the greatest rugby player of all time.

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This player is perhaps the most iconic English player of all time. Can you recall who he is?

Jonny Wilkinson is, without a doubt, the most iconic English rugby star of all time, having played an integral role in conquering France in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, even winning over the French fans in Toulon. With 91 caps for England, his accomplishments are legendary.

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Those old enough to remember this player remember it all. What's his name?

For rugby fans in the 1970s, the initials JPR mean only one thing: one of the greatest full backs of all time. JPR Williams was not only a remarkable defender, but he was also an intimidating attacker. JPR Williams is one of the very few players to have won three grand slams.

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World Cup viewers may remember this player from 2003. Do you?

Martin Johnson was instrumental in England's 2003 Rugby World Cup victory. His coaching career hasn't gone as well as he might have hoped, but as a player, his powers as a leader and a player willing to put it all on the line are legendary.

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This back row forward is Wales's most capped! Who is he?

Certain proofs show one's rugby talent without any doubt. For Martyn Williams, it is his three tours with the British and Irish Lions in 2001, 2005 and 2009. Given the years, it shows not just his raw talent, but also his longevity.

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This player is the most capped Welsh player of all time. Who is he?

The world's most capped lock forward, Alun Wyn Jones is also Wales's most capped player of all time, as of 2019. The 2019 Six Nations Championship named him the best player, and with three grand slams under his belt, who is to argue?

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Some players made their mark in both union and league play. Do you know who this example is?

Scott Quinnell was a star in both rugby union and rugby league play, noted for being one of the great ball-carrying number eights in the world. Going between the rugby league and union throughout his career, which lasted from 1990 to 2005, his name is won't be forgotten by the fans.

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In or out of uniform, this man made an impact on the game. Who is he?

Rob Howley was a legendary player until injuries saw to his retirement far too early. This did not stop him from contributing to the sport, however. Howley went on to coach the Wales National Team in 2008 and for several clubs, including Cardiff RFC and the British and Irish Lions.

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Fans may know this player, especially from 2003. Can you remember him?

Will Greenwood was a potent force for English rugby, particularly in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, which he won with England. A rugby union player, Greenwood played for four clubs throughout his career, usually as an inside centre.

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Sometimes looks are more than looks. Who is this beast of a player?

Adam Jones made his first big impression on the world of rugby at the 2003 Six Nations game versus England, but his long career showed he was no flash in the pan. The ultimate proof is that three of the teams on which he played were grand slam winners.

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This former star now coaches a team in Oman. Who is he?

Scott "Car Crash" Gibbs is a Welsh player famous for putting his body on the line in the final moments of international play in 1997 and 1999. Now retired from playing the game, Gibbs coaches for The Pirates of Muscat, Oman, and resides in South Africa.

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The man you see here was once the most capped Welsh player. Can you recall his name?

No one had more of an impact on how the position of loose-head prop quite like the incredibly successful Gethin Jenkins. Holding 129 international caps for Wales, he was, until recently, the most capped player of all time.

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You might not know this player by his real name. Care to take a guess?

Jason Robinson, or "Billy Whizz" to those who adore him, was a huge star in rugby league play before making the switch to the rugby union. Robinson was as unpredictable as he was effective, able to score when it mattered through his combination of speed and evasiveness.

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Some rugby players just get on with it, like this player! Do you remember his name?

A world cup winner for England, Richard Hill is the definition of a professional rugby player: fearlessly throwing his body into the fray, and playing without grandstanding or complaints. A gift to The Lions when he was with them.

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The player you see here went from singing to tackling. What's his name?

Lawrence Dallaglio was a chorister in his youth but developed into one of the most physically intimidating, impressive presences on the pitch. Dallaglio saw more than his share of victories, including in the World Cup.

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Some call him The Great Entertainer. What do you call him?

Shane Williams is a wonderful example of how talent isn't enough to succeed, but hard work makes all the difference. Despite being a once-in-a-generation talent, Shane was shunned because of his size until he built his physique to the point he could not be ignored. Now he is among the greatest players of all time.

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