With the recent retirement of All Blacks out-half Dan Carter, the list of players who competed at the 2007 World Cup and are still playing today has grown even slimmer. The legendary half-back was actually part of an even smaller group who also played in RWC 2003.
That list is only made up of a handful of players, including Carter’s former All Blacks teammate and current Toulon centre Ma’a Nonu, who was actually overlooked by Graham Henry for the 2007 tournament.
With every season that now passes, the contingent that travelled to France in 2007 is declining and it has now reached a point where an XV of players who are still playing can just about be chosen:
1. GREG HOLMES (Australia)
The 37-year-old ex-Exeter Chiefs prop played two matches for Australia at the 2007 tournament. He is part of the Western Force squad in this year’s Super Rugby AU.
2. BISMARCK DU PLESSIS (South Africa)
The 36-year-old hooker came on from the bench in the 2007 final win for the Springboks. He is now playing for Montpellier in the Top 14.
The country-by-country breakdown in this Six Nations collection of oldies is revealing…
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 27, 2021
3. JANNIE DU PLESSIS (South Africa)
Bismarck’s 38-year-old brother was also on the bench in the 2007 final, although he didn’t come on. He also played for Montpellier but he returned to South Africa in 2020 to play for the Lions.
4. ALUN WYN JONES (Wales)
The 35-year-old is not just one of the few 2007 RWC players who are still playing, but he is also still playing Test rugby. Furthermore, he remains one of the first names on the Wales team sheet and this weekend he travels to Italy where his country will hope to take another step towards another Six Nations Grand Slam.
5. VALENTIN URSACHE (Romania)
The 35-year-old Romania lock is still plying his trade in France’s Pro D2 with Oyonnax.
6. KANE THOMPSON (Samoa)
Although primarily a lock, the 39-year-old played all four matches for Samoa in 2007. He is now part of the New Orleans Gold squad for the upcoming Major League Rugby season.
7. JOE TEKORI (Samoa)
The 37-year-old Toulouse lock made his Samoa debut only months before the 2007 tournament. He played occasionally at flanker and is part of a sizeable back row in this ‘Still Playing Today’ team.
8. SERGIO PARISSE (Italy)
Still hoping for a possible international send-off with Italy, the 37-year-old – who has 142 caps – was also part of a group who played in the 2003 tournament.
9. ANDY ELLIS (New Zealand)
The 37-year-old former All Blacks scrum-half is another MLR import having joined Rugby United New York after previously playing for the Kobelco Steelers in Japan.
10. LIONEL BEAUXIS (France)
The 35-year-old started for France in their legendary quarter-final win over the All Blacks in Cardiff. He is another member of the Oyonnax squad in Pro D2.
If you couldn't pick any of the current match-day team, who are the form picks?
Josh Raisey ??? has a go at choosing a XVhttps://t.co/lEqq1P7gO4
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 8, 2021
11. ISAIA TOEAVA (New Zealand)
Primarily now a centre with Toulon, the 35-year-old started on the wing for the All Blacks against Portugal at the finals in 2007.
12. TOBY FLOOD (England)
A replacement for Jamie Noon in 2007 who came off the bench for England in the final, the 35-year-old is still playing for Newcastle in the Premiership.
13. MATT GITEAU (Australia)
Another player who also played in 2003, the 103-cap 38-year-old recently signed for LA Giltinis in MLR.
14. ADAM ASHLEY-COOPER (Australia)
Another Australian centurion to sign for LA Giltinis in 2021, the 36 was at Austin Gilgronis last year.
15. FRANCOIS STEYN (South Africa)
He started at inside centre in the 2007 final as a 20-year-old and came off the bench in the final twelve years later. Now 33, he joined the Cheetahs in 2020 and still hasn’t made any announcement about his international future.
Finn Russell joins RugbyPass Offload EP 20 ?
We're joined by Scottish royalty this week!
Finn previews Scotland vs Ireland and gives us an insight into the Scotland camp ?
He also talks him & Gregor, the Lions Tour and his thoughts on England ?
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 10, 2021
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now