Sport Rugby

Tuesday 16 September 2014

BOD ‘still one of the most influential names in world rugby’

Former Ireland skipper still one of the biggest names in the sport

Duncan Bech

Published 05/08/2014 | 11:28

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Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll

He might have quit playing at the end of last season but Brian O’Driscoll is still one of the most influential figures in world rugby. The former Ireland and Leinster centre has come fifth in a list of the most influential people involved in world rugby, according to Rugby World magazine.

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Over the course of a stellar career, O’Driscoll played a record 141 test matches – 133 times for Ireland and 8 times for the Lions over four tours. He also scored 46 tries for Ireland is the eighth highest try scorer in international rugby history.

Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty has been voted the sport's most influential figure after leading a successful campaign to overhaul European club competition.

McCafferty tops a list of 50 power brokers in the latest issue of Rugby World magazine as reward for being the driving force behind establishing the Champions Cup, successor to the Heineken Cup.

The club game now has far greater autonomy, secured at the expense of the unions after a fierce two-year dispute that saw McCafferty hold his nerve despite coming under heavy criticism.

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 the former Ireland captain 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.

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