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There's a new heaviest rugby player on the planet

By Ian Cameron
Pau's French prop Malik Hamadache reacts after scoring a try during the French Top 14 rugby union match between Section Paloise and Lyon at the Hameau stadium on February 12, 2017 in Pau, southwestern France. / AFP PHOTO / Gaizka IROZ (Photo credit should read GAIZKA IROZ/AFP via Getty Images)

It would appear the title of the heaviest rugby player – competing in the sport at a professional level – has once again changed hands.


In recent seasons – and depending on which website you trust – the title has generally been held by one of either Bordeaux’s Ben Tameifuna or La Rochelle Uni Atonio; the pair typically clocking in somewhere between 150kg and 153kg, with Tameifuna having once tipped 166kg when returning to Racing 92 from an extended off-season on the islands. The Parisian refused to play him and he was quickly put on a diet.

Both have slimmed down significantly though, with Atonio in particular needing to remain relatively svelt for his duties with the French national team. The pair are now in the mid to late 140kgs (Atonio 145kg, Tameifuna 148kg on their respective club websites).

There have been plenty of new giant entrants to the list of late. Tighthead Asenathi Ntlabakanye was listed at 153kg by the Lions last season, while fellow South African JJ van der Mescht, who plays in the second row for Stade Francais, was confirmed as weighing 154kg by coach Paul Gustard.

heaviest rugby player Malik Hamadache
Malik Hamadache of Pau looks on during the Pau v Worcester Warriors European Rugby Challenge Cup match at Stade du Hameau on December 12, 2020 in Pau, France. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images for EPCR)

However, a new name can now claim the title after years of being a few kilos shy of the top spot. Malik Hamadache is listed on Agen’s website as weighing 156kg, which translates to 24 stone 6 pounds, or 343 Ibs. We say a ‘new name’ but Hamadache is a 34-year-old veteran of the French leagues, having played for Albi, Montpellier, Pau and most recently Agen. Born in Avignon of Algerian parents, he won a solidarity cap for France back in 2018/19.

If the 156kg stat is accurate, it makes the weather-worn tighthead the heaviest rugby player currently listed by a professional club anywhere on the planet.


The only potential outside threat to the title is Walid Maamry, who currently plays for Bédarrides Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vaucluse Rugby in the fourth flight on French rugby, which we understand to be a semi-professional league. We also cannot locate a credible current weight for Maamry, who once tipped the scales at 170kg as a France U18s player. He lodged a complaint after he was badly bitten on the finger in a match against Macon in November of last year, after which his internet trail goes cold. He plays tighthead and second row.

For more heavyweight rugby players check out our ‘Heaviest XV’. 



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DR 305 days ago

I do enjoy that there is still a place for this kind of poundage in rugby. Someone of that bulk wouldn't survive 10 minutes in league these days with the pace of the game reducing almost everyone to equally trimmed specimens optimised for cardio output.

rod 305 days ago

The ABs prop TAMAITI WILLIAMS is only 140 kg but can play eighty minutes in super rugby which is a game played at serious pace and physically brutal. At 22 years old could be a future superstar! Robertson will base his team next year on these young guys in the front row that Foster has chosen for the WC (6) average age 26

Jmann 305 days ago

If the refs kept the game moving as they are supposed to - these lumps would have heart attacks.

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