O’Driscoll fifth most influential rugby figure

After retirement the former Irish captain is still seen as having an important place

Former Ireland and Leinster captain Brian O'Driscoll was named the fifth most influential person in world rugby. In a list compiled by Rugby World magazine, O'Driscoll, who also captained the Lions comes out ahead of his friend and English icon Jonny Wilkinson.

O’Driscoll is the most-capped player in rugby union history, having played 141 test matches – 133 for Ireland (83 as captain), and 8 for the British and Irish Lions.

He scored 46 tries for Ireland and one try for the Lions in 2001, making him the highest try scorer of all time in Irish Rugby. He is also the 8th-highest try scorer in international rugby union history, and the highest scoring centre of all time.

The 35-year-old also holds the Six Nations record for most tries scored with 26 and was chosen as Player of the Tournament in the 2006, 2007 and 2009 Six Nations Championships.


Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty was voted the sport's most influential figure after leading a bitter campaign to seize control of European club competition. He was the driving force behind establishing the Champions Cup, successor to the Heineken Cup.

The top three of the list is completed by International Rugby Board referees manager Joel Jutge in second place and Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie in third.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster features in 10th place with New Zealand's Steve Hansen the highest-placed manager, claiming fourth.

The best performing player is Brian O’Driscoll in fifth — although he retired at the end of last season — with Jonny Wilkinson in eighth. Of those still playing the game, All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw is ranked highest at 13th.

Top 10: 1 Mark McCafferty, 2 Joel Jutge, 3 Ian Ritchie, 4 Steve Hansen, 5 Brian O'Driscoll, 6 Agustin Pichot, 7 Eric Bale, 8 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Brett Gosper, 10 Stuart Lancaster.