Six legends to be inducted into World Rugby Hall of Fame
NEWS: World Rugby has announced that six legends of the game will be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2019.
They are Richie McCaw (New Zealand), Shiggy Konno (Japan), Os du Randt (South Africa), Peter Fatialofa (Samoa), Graham Henry (New Zealand) and Diego Ormaechea (Uruguay).
Congratulations to Os Du Randt who has been selected by the World Rugby Hall of Fame panel to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year – A true legend of Springbok Rugby 🇿🇦
What was your favourite moment of his illustrious career? pic.twitter.com/WMIZLZ3x7w
— Springboks (@Springboks) September 13, 2019
The World Rugby Hall of Fame recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to the game of rugby throughout their careers, while also demonstrating rugby’s character-building values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.
This year’s inductees will be honoured at the World Rugby Awards in Tokyo on November 3, the day following the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final. The ceremony will be held at The Prince Park Tower.
While Fatialofa and Konno will be inducted posthumously, McCaw, Henry and Ormaechea will attend the prestigious event, which will celebrate their careers and contributions to the game.
These six inductees bring the total in the Hall of Fame to 148 since it began in 2006.
World Rugby Chairman and Hall of Fame inductee Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Our beloved game of rugby would not be what it is today without the contributions of remarkable trailblazers, men and women, who form the World Rugby Hall of Fame. They are players and coaches, true legends of the game that have embodied our values and will continue to inspire generations to come.
“On behalf of the rugby family, I would like to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of this year’s six new inductees, Richie McCaw, Shiggy Konno, Os du Randt, Peter Fatialofa, Graham Henry and Diego Ormaechea for their outstanding career and thank them for their immense footprint on our game.
“We look forward to honouring them in November at what promises to be a very special night.”
Fellow World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee and Chairman of the Hall of Fame panel John Eales said: “It is an honour to recognise the contribution of our newest inductees who, over different eras and regions, have inspired millions of rugby players and supporters. Through their induction, they represent the many thousands of men and women who have made our game great.”
World Rugby Hall of Fame 2019 inductees
Richie McCaw (New Zealand) – Inductee No.143
Shiggy Konno (Japan) – Inductee No.144
Os du Randt (South Africa) – Inductee No.145
Peter Fatialofa (Samoa) – Inductee No.146
Graham Henry (New Zealand) – Inductee No.147
Diego Ormaechea (Uruguay) – Inductee No.148
2019 inductees’ biographies
Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
Born: 31 December, 1980 in Oamaru, New Zealand
World Rugby Hall of Fame – Inductee No.143
One of the greats of the modern game and the only person to have captained a side to two Rugby World Cup wins, in 2011 and 2015.
McCaw’s playing record speaks for itself. After making his debut as a 20-year-old against Ireland in 2001, the Crusaders star went on to become New Zealand’s most-capped player with 148 test appearances to his name, of which 110 were as captain – more than double that of the previous record holder Sean Fitzpatrick. Having captained his country for the first time against Wales in 2004, he was given the honour on a permanent basis in 2006.
Exceptional at the breakdown and a fine link player in attack, McCaw enjoyed a long-held reputation as the best openside in the world. His return of 27 test tries is the most by an All Blacks forward.
Despite being a three-time recipient of the World Rugby Player of the Year award (2006, 2009 and 2010) – a record he shares with long-time teammate Dan Carter – and the many other accolades that came his way during a stellar career, McCaw remained incredibly humble, a hallmark of the team he led to seven Tri-Nations/Rugby Championship titles in addition to the Rugby World Cup double.
For the Crusaders, he won four Super Rugby titles – three as captain.
Shigeru ‘Shiggy’ Konno (Japan)
Born: 7 July, 1922 | Died: 1 April, 2007
World Rugby Hall of Fame – Inductee No.144
Few individuals can have made as large a contribution to rugby in their own country than Shiggy Konno, who was awarded an honorary OBE by Her Majesty The Queen in 1985 for his services to the game and helping to improve Anglo-Japanese relations.
A lock, Konno played for Doshisha University from 1942-47 but was deprived of an international career because of World War Two, in which he served as a pilot.
Having learnt to speak perfect English during his early schooling in London, Konno was the ideal choice to be liaison officer when Oxford University visited Japan in 1952. So began an unrivalled career in rugby administration that saw him referred to affectionately as Japan’s Mr Rugby.
A wonderfully engaging man, Konno was Japan national team manager on nearly all their overseas tours from 1963-90, and at the first two Rugby World Cups in 1987 and 1991.
He was appointed honorary secretary of the Japan Rugby Football Union in 1962 and went on to serve as chairman, from 1972-94, and president as well as holding many prominent roles within the Asian Rugby Football Union.
For a decade, from 1991-2001, he was an executive member of the International Rugby Board’s Council, assisting the game in its transition from the amateur to professional era.
Konno died on 1 April, 2007 at the age of 84 with his funeral was held in Zojoji Temple in Tokyo, the head temple of the Jodo sect of Buddhism in the Kanto region.
Os du Randt (South Africa)
Born: 8 September, 1972 in Elliot, Eastern Cape, South Africa
World Rugby Hall of Fame – Inductee No.145
Os du Randt fittingly retired from the game at the very top in 2007 having won a second Rugby World Cup, the only Springbok to do so, following South Africa’s 15-6 victory over England in the final at the Stade de France in Paris.
Regarded as one of the finest loosehead props of all time, Du Randt won the first of his 80 international caps in 1994, the year before South Africa’s historic triumph on home soil, and was the last active member of that iconic squad.
Du Randt, or ‘The Ox’ as he was nicknamed during his playing days, was sidelined through injury from 2000-03 but returned to the Springboks’ ranks against Ireland in Bloemfontein in June 2004, thus ending a five-year absence from the international arena.
The fact that he missed 46 matches during his time away makes Du Randt’s final tally of test caps all the more remarkable and until being overtaken by John Smit in late 2008, the revered prop held the record as South Africa’s most-capped forward.
Aside from his Rugby World Cup successes he was also able to get his hands on the Tri-Nations trophy in 2004, as well as enjoying a successful provincial and Super Rugby career in his native South Africa.
🏉 Our only dual RWC winner to be honoured by @WorldRugby
💥 One of six new inductees into the Hall of Fame
🗣 Os du Randt’s achievements “simply incredible”
— Springboks (@Springboks) September 13, 2019
Peter Fatialofa (Samoa)
Born: 26 April, 1959 in Auckland, New Zealand | Died: 6 November, 2013
World Rugby Hall of Fame – Inductee No.146
A prouder individual never wore the Samoan jersey than the man affectionately known in rugby circles as “Fats”.
The all-action prop captained the Islanders when they achieved a breakthrough win against Wales on their Rugby World Cup debut in 1991, shocking their hosts and the rest of the world with a 16-13 victory in which he gave the final pass for Sila Vaifale’s match-winning try.
Under his inspirational leadership Western Samoa, as they were then known, went on to reach the quarterfinals and they did so again in South Africa four years later when he shared the captaincy with Pat Lam.
Six legends to be inducted into World Rugby Hall of Fame #WorldRugbyHOF
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) September 13, 2019
A fun-loving character who lived life to the full, Fatialofa was a hugely influential role model for Polynesian players throughout the Islands and in his birthplace of Auckland, New Zealand. He was a cornerstone of the Auckland pack that held the Ranfurly Shield from 1985-93 and a stalwart of the Ponsonby club.
After retiring with 34 caps to his name, the gentle giant worked as a director of his family-owned piano and furniture moving business, and was coaching the Samoan women’s rugby team when he died of a heart attack, aged just 54, in November 2013.
Graham Henry (New Zealand)
Born: 8 August, 1946 in Christchurch, New Zealand
World Rugby Hall of Fame – Inductee No.147
Having won multiple provincial and Super Rugby titles with Auckland and the Blues, Graham Henry cut his teeth in international rugby by leading Wales from 1998-02. A run of 11 consecutive wins earned him the title of “The Great Redeemer” but it is his time with the All Blacks that made him an immortal of the coaching world.
Henry holds the rare distinction of coaching for and against the British and Irish Lions, losing one series while in charge of the tourists, against Australia in 2001, and winning the other as All Blacks head coach in 2005, the year after he succeeded John Mitchell in the role.
Named World Rugby Coach of the Year in 2005 after his 3-0 series win over the Lions in 2005, an accolade he would win a further four times in 2006, 2008, 2010-11, Henry set about bringing the Webb Ellis Cup back to New Zealand. A shock quarterfinal defeat to France ended that dream in 2007 but Henry stayed in position to deliver the prize four years later on home soil.
On 1 November, 2011, Henry announced he would step down as coach, finishing his All Blacks career as one of the most successful rugby coaches of all time with 88 wins from 103 tests. Following his knighthood for services to rugby in 2012, Henry remained involved in the sport through a variety of consultancy coaching roles, including a spell with Argentina.
Diego Ormaechea (Uruguay)
Born: 19 September, 1959 in Montevideo, Uruguay
World Rugby Hall of Fame – Inductee No.148
Considered the greatest Uruguayan player of all-time, the powerful No.8 enjoyed a wonderful international career spanning exactly two decades, from 1979-99.
The last of Ormaechea’s 54 caps came against South Africa at Rugby World Cup 1999 when he became the oldest player, aged 40 years and 26 days, to appear in the tournament, a record he still holds to this day.
Ormaechea captained Los Teros in 37 of his tests, scoring 30 tries from the back of the scrum, including Uruguay’s first in a Rugby World Cup match, against Spain at Netherdale in Galashiels in 1999.
On his retirement from playing, Ormaechea, a racehorse veterinarian surgeon by profession, took his will to win and unbridled passion for the game into coaching and under his command, Los Teros qualified for RWC 2003 in Australia, where they achieved their second tournament win, 24-12 against Georgia.
Not that Ormaechea’s exploits on and off the field would ever be forgotten in Uruguay but his legacy lives on in the modern era through his sons Iñaki, Agustín and Juan Diego Ormaechea, who have both followed their father’s footsteps in representing their country.