Greatest Ever: Rugby Union: Top Three Tight Head Props of All Time

Barney CorkhillSenior Writer IAugust 7, 2008

The ninth installment of my Greatest Ever series is here!

In this series I will look at the greatest talents to grace various sports. This time I continue to look at Rugby Union, and, following my "Top Three Hookers of All Time," I will look at the top three players ever to play at tight head prop.

Completing the front row is the tight head prop. Another specialised and dangerous position, it is very similar to the loose head prop. Despite this there are subtle differences, and few players can play on both sides of the scrum.


3. Syd Millar (IRE) - The former Ireland prop and former chairman of the International Rugby Board, Syd Millar is an inductee to the International Rugby Hall of Fame. He won 37 caps as prop, and was probably even more successful after he retired.

Millar has been both coach and manager of the British and Irish Lions, as well as coach of Ireland at the 1987 World Cup. He was also a player for the Lions on the 1968 tour of South Africa.


2. Wilson Whineray (NZ) - The longest serving captain in the history of the All Blacks (seven years), despite having only an eight-year international career, Whineray is also widely regarded to be amongst the best captains they have ever had.

Of his 32 Test matches he captained 30, scoring two tries in the process. In 2007 he was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame, while he was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame back in 1999.


1. Jason Leonard (ENG) - I just couldn't have a team without him. Jason Leonard is the greatest prop England have ever produced, and probably the greatest of all time. While a polite yet fun-loving gentleman off the field, on the field he got the job done better than anyone.

Until George Gregan passed his total in 2005, Jason Leonard was the most capped player in International rugby history with 114 caps. He remains the highest capped Englishman ever. Despite this he only ever scored one try in his England career.

Part of four World Cups and three Lions Tours while winning five caps, Leonard has seen it all and has won the biggest prizes international rugby has to offer: Grand Slams and, of course, the World Cup.

A true legend of the game, Leonard is the greatest tight head prop of all time.


Coming soon—Top Ten Second Rows of All Time!