Fresh-faced but a hard-bitten competitor. Kirk was nippy around the fringes and scored NZ’s second try as they overwhelmed France 29-9 in the inaugural World Cup final in Auckland.
Irrepressible character with the speed of an outside back. Skippered the Wallabies to victory over NZ in the semis, and kept Will Carling’s England at bay 12-6 in the Twickenham final.
The late great Joost made it his mission to man-mark Jonah Lomu in SA’s 15-12 triumph at Ellis Park. Brave, a superb athlete, and a ferocious combatant with the finishing skills of a wing.
Instant legend after miracle tackle on NZ’s Jeff Wilson. Unshakeable confidence, huge work rate, great tactical nous in 35-12 dusting of France in Cardiff – and “four more years” sledger in 2003.
Two competing world class 9s kept both pin-sharp – and England in pole. Dawson’s break before Wilkinson’s 20-17 drop-goal in Sydney was a product of Bracken pushing him all the way.
The strategic hub of the Springbok victory in 2007. Fast, elusive, and a lethal finisher who seized chances in the blink of an eye. Tactical kicking nailed England in SA’s 15-6 final win in Paris.
Not quite in the same class as those 9s who preceded them, but Weepu’s goal-kicking was crucial to NZ squeezing over the line 8-7 against France in Auckland, and Ellis could raise the tempo.
Practice makes perfect, and Smith’s pass is a beauty, combining great footwork, balance and dexterity. It buys NZ backs split seconds. High tempo dynamo in 34-17 final win over Australia.
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