GEORGE Ford is England’s overall most impactful rugby player in the history of the game, new research has discovered.
The 27-year-old from Saddleworth has an individual win percentage 20.55 higher than that of his country.
Ford’s statistics also make him the world’s most impactful fly half of all time, finishing ahead of legends like Michael Lynagh, Jonny Sexton and Jonny Wilkinson.
And in a list of the 100 most impactful players of all time worldwide, Grasscroft-raised Ford finishes in 15th place.
The former Knowsley Primary pupil ranks two places ahead of England’s World Cup winning centre Will Greenwood who in 17th while World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson is 20th overall.
The research has been undertaken by Charles Tyrwhitt who said: “While we can look at individual player statistics in a bid to detail ‘the greatest of all time’, or analyse cumulative team honours, something which is yet to be done is depicting ‘the most impactful player of all time’.”
That is what Charles has done by cross-referencing international player win percentage with overall international team win percentage in a bid to discover which person has made the biggest contribution and could be considered the most impactful.
The players included in the list are the 50 most capped international players in each position. Here is what he found.
In the top 100 most impactful players, two-time world champions Australia have the most players, with 25 representatives. The Wallabies are closely followed by Ireland, who have 23 players in the top 100, and then England, who account for 18.
A number of international teams did not lay claim to any representatives on the list, including notable omissions such as three-time and current world champions South Africa, Fiji, and Tonga.
USA number eight Cam Dolan is ranked as the most impactful player of all time. His personal international win percentage is 28.2 per cent higher than that of his national side, suggesting that when he is playing, the Eagles play considerably better.
Dolan is one of very few American Rugby Union players to have played professionally outside of the States, having turned out for Northampton Saints, Cardiff Blues, and Nottingham.
The most represented position within the top 100 is flanker, with the boys in the back catering to 14 of the places.
Alternatively, the least represented position within the rugby field, quite surprisingly, is scrum half.
Considering the fact, the scrum-half is required to distribute the ball, this small difference between their success rate and that of the country suggests that without their positive input the team will fail to perform, more so than any other alternative position on the pitch.
Obviously, with the more games played, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep that all-important win percentage up. For this reason, we must draw attention to former Ireland centre and captain Brian O’Driscoll.
The most capped player in the top 100 most impactful of all time, O’Driscoll’s international career spanned 15 years, amassing 141 caps. Walking away with a win percentage of 58.86, the centre bettered his national sides overall win percentage by 11.34.
The 100 players to make up the list contributed an incredible 13,676 points over the course of their international careers, with a number still playing and capable of further adding to these impressive totals.
Former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson contributed the most points of any player on the list, notching up 1,180 over the course of his 13-year career.
• Further information about the survey, conducted by CT Shirts and Charles Tyrwhitt, can be found online www.ctshirts.com/uk/