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Top 10 players with the most men's international rugby caps

By Jack Tunney
Wales' Alun Wyn Jones getsures during an international rugby union match between South Africa and Wales at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on July 2, 2022. (Photo by Christiaan KOTZE / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTIAAN KOTZE/AFP via Getty Images)

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Making it as an international player generally means you need to have something just that little bit special about you. Something that sets you apart from all those other great club players.

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To become an international great with over 100 caps takes something else entirely.

To be a step above all these other incredible players you need a certain drive, a tenacity to achieve what is truly great.

The list we have below celebrates those who have put their bodies on the line for their country time, and time again:

1) Alun Wyn Jones – 162

Ospreys Alun Wyn Jones
Alun Wyn Jones of Ospreys applauds the fans during the United Rugby Championship match between Ospreys and Scarlets at the Swansea.com Stadium (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

First capped for the Welsh national team back in 2005, Alun Wyn Jones has become a true talisman for the men in red.

Standing at 198 cm (6 ft 6 in) the inspirational lock forward has been on 4 British & Irish Lions tours, and to this day remains as indestructible as ever.

2) Richie McCaw – 148

Richie McCaw is New Zealand’s most capped rugby players ever, and one of the greatest players to ever take the field. (Photo by Getty Images).

Often talked about as the greatest player of all time, Richie McCaw made his test debut for the All Blacks in 2001. His incredible career saw him win the Rugby World Cup twice, and the World Rugby player of the year title a record 3 times before retiring for club and country in 2015.

3) Sergio Parisse – 142

Parisse Italy
Sergio Parisse was a fearsome player in his prime and is a legend of Italian Rugby. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
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Italy’s greatest ever player was a stalwart for his national side, playing for 17 long years before hanging up his jersey in 2019.

Still playing for Toulon in the French league, it was rumoured that Sergio Parisse would return to play one final game for Italy in the six nations to officially retire in front of the Azzurri fans. This so far has never come to fruition, however.

4) Brian O’Driscoll – 141

Brian O’Driscoll is a hero of Ireland Rugby. (Photo by Getty Images).

Bit of a legend in the emerald parts, Brian O’Driscoll is very much thought of as the greatest Ireland player to have ever played the game.

For years he was known as the best centre in the world and proved this in a magnificent 15-year career for Ireland and Leinster, finally retiring in 2015.

5) George Gregan – 139

George Gregan is a Rugby World Cup winner and Wallabies great. (Photo by Pool MERILLON/RAT/STEVENS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
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The most capped ever Australian, George Gregan was an immensely talented scrum-half. He played a huge part in Australia winning the 1999 world cup, and is often thought of as one of the greatest scrum-halves the world has seen.

Alongside fly-half Stephen Larkham, he holds the world record for half back partnership appearances with 79. All this was achieved before retiring from international rugby in 2007 after 13 years at the very top.

6) Gethin Jenkins – 134

Gethin Jenkins is one of the greatest players to ever represent Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Mr Wales through and through, Gethin Jenkins put his sizeable frame through 14 years worth of international rugby.

Appearing at three British and Irish Lions tours, the versatile prop was well known as a ‘new breed of prop’ with an incredible turnover ability, fitness, and speed.

7/8) Kevin Mealamu and Sam Whitelock – 132

(L-R) All Blacks players Beauden Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Keven Mealamu and Waisake Naholo sit on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral during an open top bus tour with sponsor AIG on September 26, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images for AIG).

Both players in their careers can proudly show off not just one, but two Rugby World Cup winners medals each for the All Blacks.

Keven Mealamu retired in 2015 after 13 years, whilst Sam Whitelock continues to put on the black of New Zealand as he reaches his 12th year in international rugby.

9) Ronan O’Gara – 130

O Gara <a href=
England job” width=”1024″ height=”576″ /> Irish champions Brian O’Driscoll and Ronan O’Gara. (Photo by Peter Muhly/AFP via Getty Images)

Now the head coach of La Rochelle, Ronan O’Gara was one of the most intelligent rugby players on the planet.

Fly-half is probably the most complicated and intense position on the field, but O’Gara was able to read the game like so few others. It was this incredible game management that kept him without serious opposition for the shirt for so many years.

After 13 years and 2 British and Irish Lions tours, O’Gara finally retired from rugby in 2013.

10) Stephen Moore – 129

Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore. (Photo by Getty Images).

A slightly shorter international career than others on this list, Stephen Moore still wore the green and gold of Australia for 12 years.

A hooker by trade, he played for three domestic Australian sides before eventually retiring from club and country in 2017.

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