Best Female Rugby Players of All Time – Top 10 Legends Ever

Best Female Rugby Players of All Time

In the thrilling realm of rugby, where strength, skill, and determination collide, a distinct group of exceptional athletes have risen to redefine the sport’s landscape. The realm of female rugby players has witnessed a profound evolution over the years, as these remarkable individuals have shattered barriers and exemplified unparalleled prowess. 


Best Rugby Player



Natasha Hunt



Portia Woodman

New Zealand


Emily Scarratt



Rochelle Clark



Charlotte Caslick



Katherine Merchant



Magali Harvey



Cheryl Soon

New Zealand


Carol Isherwood



Anna Richards

New Zealand

This journey through the annals of rugby history unveils a tapestry woven with passion, dedication, and unyielding resilience. From the bone-crunching tackles to the awe-inspiring tries, the best female rugby players of all time have not only etched their names in the record books but have also left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans worldwide.

These players have demonstrated not only remarkable athletic prowess but also an unswerving commitment to pushing the boundaries of possibility. Their journey is a testament to the power of breaking stereotypes and overcoming adversity. 

Top 10 Best Female Rugby Players of All Time

From the early pioneers who paved the way for future generations to the modern icons who continue to elevate the sport, each player brings a unique story that contributes to the rich tapestry of rugby’s legacy. Join us as we delve into the profiles of these extraordinary women who have transformed the rugby field into a stage for inspiration, strength, and a celebration of the sheer love for the game.


1. Natasha Hunt (British)

Natasha Hunt, a prominent British rugby player, has left an indelible mark on the world of women’s rugby. Primarily known for her prowess as a scrum-half, Hunt’s career has been characterized by her exceptional speed, tactical acumen, and dynamic playing style. Born on April 2, 1989, she has been an essential component of the English national rugby team.

Hunt’s journey in rugby has been nothing short of remarkable. Her dedication and talent led her to represent England in numerous international tournaments, including the Rugby World Cup. Her ability to control the tempo of the game from the scrum-half position has earned her widespread recognition. Her sharp decision-making, coupled with her quick and accurate passes, has consistently set up her teammates for scoring opportunities.

Off the field, Hunt is also known for her advocacy of women’s rugby and her commitment to inspiring the next generation of players. Her achievements have undoubtedly contributed to the growth of the sport in the United Kingdom and beyond. With her captivating playing style and unwavering determination, Natasha Hunt continues to be a role model for aspiring rugby players around the world.

2. Portia Woodman (New Zealand)

Hailing from New Zealand, Portia Woodman has established herself as one of the most electrifying rugby players in the women’s game. Born on July 12, 1991, she has been a force to be reckoned with on the rugby field, particularly as a winger for the New Zealand national team, the Black Ferns.

Woodman’s remarkable speed and agility have set her apart from her peers. Her ability to slice through opposing defenses and score breathtaking tries has made her a fan favorite. Notably, she played an instrumental role in New Zealand’s gold medal victory at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where rugby sevens made its debut.

Beyond her speed, Woodman’s dedication to her craft and her team is evident in her performances. Her work ethic and commitment to improvement have made her an invaluable asset to the Black Ferns. She has inspired young rugby players globally, proving that with talent and determination, one can conquer the highest echelons of the sport.

3. Emily Scarratt (English)

Emily Scarratt, a prominent figure in English rugby, has left an indelible mark as a center for both club and country. Born on February 8, 1990, Scarratt’s contribution to the English national team, the Red Roses, has been exceptional, showcasing her skills and leadership on and off the field.

Renowned for her powerful runs, precise kicking, and solid defensive capabilities, Scarratt’s versatility has been a cornerstone of her success. Her ability to break through defensive lines and create scoring opportunities has consistently made her a vital asset in both attacking and defensive aspects of the game.

Scarratt’s leadership qualities are evident in her role as a vice-captain of the Red Roses. She has played a pivotal role in guiding the team during challenging moments, providing a steady presence and inspiring her teammates to strive for excellence.

Off the field, Scarratt’s dedication to growing women’s rugby is noteworthy. She has been an advocate for the sport’s development, working to ensure its continued growth and accessibility. Her impressive skills, combined with her leadership and commitment, make Emily Scarratt a true icon of English rugby.

4. Rochelle Clark (English)

Rochelle Clark is a former English rugby player renowned for her exceptional skills in the sport. Born on May 24, 1981, she made a significant impact as a prop in the women’s rugby scene. Clark’s illustrious career spanned over a decade, during which she earned numerous accolades and established herself as one of the most accomplished players in the world.

Clark’s physical prowess and technical expertise made her a key asset to the English national team. She played a pivotal role in England’s Women’s Rugby World Cup triumphs in 2006 and 2014. Her ability to dominate scrums and contribute to the team’s forward momentum was widely acknowledged. Clark’s dedication and leadership qualities were evident both on and off the field, making her a respected figure among her peers.

Beyond her international achievements, Rochelle Clark also excelled at the club level, representing Worcester Warriors in the Premier 15s league. Her retirement in 2019 marked the end of an era in English women’s rugby. Clark’s legacy continues to inspire aspiring rugby players, particularly those in the front-row position, to strive for excellence and contribute to the growth of the sport.

5. Charlotte Caslick (Australian)

Hailing from Australia, Charlotte Caslick is a prominent name in international women’s rugby, known for her incredible skills as a playmaker. Born on August 5, 1995, Caslick quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the most dynamic and influential players in the game.

Caslick’s expertise lies in her sevens prowess, a shorter format of rugby that demands speed, agility, and strategic thinking. She played an instrumental role in leading the Australian women’s rugby sevens team to victory at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where rugby sevens made its debut. Her ability to read the game, create opportunities, and execute precise passes set her apart as a game-changer.

Her remarkable journey continued with successes in the World Rugby Sevens Series and other prestigious tournaments. Renowned for her versatility, Caslick’s transition from sevens to the 15-a-side format demonstrated her adaptability and determination to excel in different aspects of the sport.

Caslick’s impact extends beyond her on-field achievements. She became an inspiration to young athletes, particularly women, encouraging them to pursue their dreams in rugby. Her commitment to raising the profile of women’s rugby and her dedication to the sport’s growth solidify her legacy as a true icon in Australian rugby.

6. Katherine Merchant (English)

Katherine Merchant, born on November 5, 1986, in England, made her mark as a highly skilled rugby player known for her speed and try-scoring ability. Primarily a winger, Merchant’s contribution to the English women’s rugby team and the sport, in general, remains noteworthy.

Merchant’s career was punctuated by consistent performances and a natural flair for finding the try line. Her exploits in the Women’s Rugby World Cup were particularly remarkable, helping England secure victory in the 2014 edition. Her combination of speed, agility, and tactical awareness made her a lethal attacking threat on the wing.

Aside from her international achievements, Merchant also left an indelible impact at the club level. She played for the renowned club Saracens, earning accolades and contributing to the growth of women’s rugby within England’s domestic leagues.

Retiring from international rugby in 2017, Katherine Merchant’s legacy endures as a testament to the heights that can be reached through dedication and skill. Her journey inspires aspiring rugby players, especially those who aspire to excel in the fast-paced, electrifying world of wing play.

7. Magali Harvey (Canadian)

Magali Harvey is a prominent Canadian rugby player celebrated for her exceptional skills and contributions to the sport. Born on February 14, 1990, Harvey rose to fame as a versatile back who could seamlessly transition between fullback and wing positions. Her agility, speed, and precise kicking abilities set her apart on the field.

Harvey gained international recognition during the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup. Her unforgettable moment came in the quarterfinals against France, where she executed a stunning, long-range, 90-meter solo try. This remarkable feat showcased not only her speed but also her strategic thinking and determination. The try earned her the prestigious IRB Women’s Rugby Player of the Year award that same year.

Her dedication to the sport and her team spirit were evident throughout her career. She consistently displayed a high level of commitment, pushing her teammates to excel. Harvey’s impact extended beyond her playing career, as she inspired countless young athletes in Canada to take up rugby and believe in their potential.

8. Cheryl Soon (New Zealand)

Cheryl Soon is a legendary figure in New Zealand rugby, renowned for her remarkable skills and long-standing contributions to the sport. Born on June 18, 1972, Soon’s influence on women’s rugby in New Zealand is immeasurable.

She was a dynamic and agile scrum-half who possessed exceptional vision and a deep understanding of the game. Her ability to control the pace and flow of matches made her an integral part of the New Zealand women’s rugby team. Soon’s leadership qualities were evident as she guided her teammates with precision and confidence on the field.

Her career is highlighted by her impressive achievements, including numerous World Cup victories with the Black Ferns. Her dedication and passion for rugby helped elevate the women’s game to new heights, inspiring future generations of players in New Zealand and beyond.

9. Carol Isherwood (English)

Carol Isherwood is a pioneer of women’s rugby in England, having significantly shaped and advanced the sport throughout her illustrious career. Born on September 15, 1961, Isherwood’s dedication and determination have left an indelible mark on the rugby landscape.

As a versatile player who could excel as a forward or a back, Isherwood showcased her adaptability and strategic acumen on the field. Her commitment to the sport was evident both in her playing style and her leadership capabilities. She captained the England women’s rugby team for a considerable period, guiding the team with a perfect blend of skill and sportsmanship.

Isherwood’s influence extended beyond her playing career as she transitioned into coaching and administration roles. Her efforts in developing women’s rugby structures have played a pivotal role in nurturing emerging talents and expanding the game’s reach.

10. Anna Richards (New Zealand)

Anna Richards is a name synonymous with excellence in women’s rugby, particularly in New Zealand. Born on September 27, 1965, Richards’ remarkable career has made her a true legend of the sport.

Primarily known for her role as a skillful and strategic fly-half, Richards’ ability to control the game’s tempo and create scoring opportunities set her apart. Her vision, tactical brilliance, and accurate kicking were instrumental in New Zealand’s numerous successes on the international stage.

Richards was an integral part of the dominant New Zealand women’s rugby team during the 1990s, contributing to multiple World Cup victories. Her achievements were further recognized with her induction into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

Beyond her playing career, Richards has continued to contribute to rugby as a coach and mentor, passing on her wealth of knowledge to future generations of players. Her impact on women’s rugby in New Zealand and her global legacy are a testament to her enduring influence on the sport.

Top Female Rugby Players

In the ever-evolving tapestry of rugby, the legacy of the best female players of all time stands as a testament to their unwavering dedication, unmatched skill, and relentless determination. These athletes have not only redefined the boundaries of the sport but have also broken barriers and paved the way for future generations of players. From the lightning-fast wingers to the strategic playmakers, each player on this esteemed list has left an indelible mark on the rugby world.

The journey through the profiles of these exceptional women reveals a rich diversity of talents and accomplishments. From Natasha Hunt’s dynamic scrum-half prowess to Portia Woodman’s electrifying speed on the wing, each player brings a unique flavor to the game. Emily Scarratt’s leadership, Rochelle Clark’s dominance in the scrums, and Charlotte Caslick’s sevens mastery further showcase the multifaceted nature of their contributions.

As we delve into the stories of Katherine Merchant’s try-scoring finesse, Magali Harvey’s unforgettable moments, and Cheryl Soon’s masterful control of the game’s flow, it becomes evident that these players have shaped the sport at its very core. Carol Isherwood’s pioneering spirit and Anna Richards’ tactical brilliance further amplify their profound impact on women’s rugby.

The annals of rugby history are forever enriched by the achievements of these extraordinary women. Their journey from local fields to international stadiums has not only inspired fans and players alike but has also ignited a movement that celebrates athleticism, sportsmanship, and the sheer love for the game. The legacy of the best female rugby players of all time is etched in the fabric of the sport, serving as a constant reminder that dedication and determination know no bounds

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