X-Factor/Box Office Players



  • The Walrus and the Fat C**t have done a list of their top ten Box Office players for the Sunday Times. As ever, I suspect the Fern can do much, much better than those two bitter, old, gas bags.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/121537480/all-blacks-legend-jonah-lomu-rated-rugbys-greatest-entertainer-after-michael-jordan-moment

    Rugby's 10 greatest box office players (as selected by The Times)

    STEPHEN JONES: 1-Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Fiji), 2-Jonah Lomu (NZ), 3-Shane Williams (Wales), 4-David Campese (Australia), 5-Christian Wade (England), 6-Jeremy Guscott (England), 7-Mark Ring (Wales), 8-Timothy Lafaele (Japan), 9-Waisale Serevi (Fiji), 10-Quade Cooper (Australia).

    STUART BARNES: 1-Lomu, 2-Jonny Wilkinson (England), 3-Carlos Spencer (NZ), 4-Micky Skinner (England), 5-Finn Russell (Scotland), 6-Cooper, 7-Leone Nakarawa (Fiji), 8-Eric Champ (France), 9-Ring, 10-Simon Zebo (Ireland)


    Sparky's Top Ten NZ Rugby Entertainers

    1-Christian Cullen 2-Carlos Spencer 3- Beauden Barrett 4-Jonah Lomu 5-Jeff Wilson 6-Zinzan Brooke 7-Sonny Bill Williams 8-Israel Dagg 9- Ma'a Nonu 10- Damian McKenzie

    Sparky's Top Ten Overseas X-Factor Players

    1 - Waisale Serevi (Fiji) 2- Serge Blanco (France) 3- David Campese (Australia) 4- Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Fiji) 5- Gareth Edwards (Wales) 6 -Shane Williams (Wales) 7- Nemani Nadolo (Fiji) 8- Patrice Lagisquet (France) 9- Bryan Habana (SA) 10-Stuart Hogg (Scotland)



  • Lomu was the ultimate box office rugby star. He opened wallets for the start of the professional game FFS!
    Cullen and Lomu together made a long waiting list for season tickets in Wellington and getting to a Canes game was like scoring AB tickets.



  • Jason Robinson (England)
    Phil Bennett (Wales)
    Olivier Magne (France)

    For starters



  • @MiketheSnow said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    Jason Robinson (England)
    Phil Bennett (Wales)
    Olivier Magne (France)

    For starters

    As entertainers or seat fillers? Would you buy a ticket mainly on the chance they were playing?



  • The problem with this article is that they don't actually define what they mean by "box-office". Presumably, they mean guys who drew crowds, but then they mention a guy like Quade Cooper, who people turned up to boo not watch.

    If they mean guys with sublime skills who could really entertain, then bloody say that. But then don't nominate Jonny Wilkinson (all due respect to the man, he was an all-time great, IMO).



  • For me 'Box-Office' is guys like JOnah, Rupeni, Cully, Campese, Tuilagi, Shane Williams, Jason Robinson, Lima, Blanco...

    Even though there are 2 from that list I have never really rated, I know they brought alot and people wanted to see the ball in thier hands for them to see what they would do.

    BUt for me, using the term 'Box-Office' and looking at my list, detracts from the great players that gave these guys the ball and space to run rampant...



    1. Lomu
    2. Cullen
    3. Caucau
    4. Carter
    5. Campese
    6. Kirwan
    7. Jason Robinson
    8. Blanco
    9. Habana

    I can’t respect a list with Guscott on it lol. Very good but he was average compared to the true highlight reel players.

    Wilkinson was an all time great but I would not say he was exciting to watch.



  • Yeah I struggle with Williams being that good. Excellent for a small fella but Robinson blows him out of the park and I'd probably even take DMac ahead of him.



  • @Crucial said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @MiketheSnow said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    Jason Robinson (England)
    Phil Bennett (Wales)
    Olivier Magne (France)

    For starters

    As entertainers or seat fillers? Would you buy a ticket mainly on the chance they were playing?

    All three as entertainers
    First two as seat fillers



  • @junior said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    The problem with this article is that they don't actually define what they mean by "box-office". Presumably, they mean guys who drew crowds, but then they mention a guy like Quade Cooper, who people turned up to boo not watch.

    If they mean guys with sublime skills who could really entertain, then bloody say that. But then don't nominate Jonny Wilkinson (all due respect to the man, he was an all-time great, IMO).

    Gavin Henson filled seats and had sublime skills.



  • This is an odd discussion for me. Sure I can see how these guys are exciting players to watch, but seat fillers? I cannot think of a time I would have gone to see a match or even made more of a effort to see a match because so and so was playing. Seeing someone like Jonah (THE man in this instance) would be a bonus but I would be going to watch England v NZ not Jonah.



  • @Catogrande said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    This is an odd discussion for me. Sure I can see how these guys are exciting players to watch, but seat fillers? I cannot think of a time I would have gone to see a match or even made more of a effort to see a match because so and so was playing. Seeing someone like Jonah (THE man in this instance) would be a bonus but I would be going to watch England v NZ not Jonah.

    The HQ boxes on the other hand



  • @MiketheSnow said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @Catogrande said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    This is an odd discussion for me. Sure I can see how these guys are exciting players to watch, but seat fillers? I cannot think of a time I would have gone to see a match or even made more of a effort to see a match because so and so was playing. Seeing someone like Jonah (THE man in this instance) would be a bonus but I would be going to watch England v NZ not Jonah.

    The HQ boxes on the other hand

    Point.



  • @MiketheSnow said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @junior said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    The problem with this article is that they don't actually define what they mean by "box-office". Presumably, they mean guys who drew crowds, but then they mention a guy like Quade Cooper, who people turned up to boo not watch.

    If they mean guys with sublime skills who could really entertain, then bloody say that. But then don't nominate Jonny Wilkinson (all due respect to the man, he was an all-time great, IMO).

    Gavin Henson filled seats and had sublime skills.

    Yeah, and for a brief period of time, I agree he was "box-office" (if that's your definition of box-office).

    The issue with Barnes' and Jones' lists are that they tend to mix between the mercurial, sublimely skilled players and the guys who people paid to see because they put in the big performances in the biggest moments (hence the inclusion of JW and the MJ comparisons). To me, "box office" is one or the other (probably the latter, IMO), but not both.



  • It’s a rare occasion where I’ll agree with Stuart Barnes but Wilkinson is a good call. Maybe not #2 living in Australia for most of his career I’d say he had the biggest profile for an overseas player Between Lomu and McCaw.



  • Only 2 comments for me.

    1. We all know Lomu is the number 1, including Jones. He’s trying to get column inches, and has succeeded.

    2. No Larkham is a surprise. Expect at least one to remember his sublime skills.



  • @MajorRage said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    1. No Larkham is a surprise. Expect at least one to remember his sublime skills.

    Larkham had silky skills but he always looked like prey more than predator out there.



  • no one mentioning George Smith is a surprise to me.

    All the parts you want in a great openside (and he was a great openside) mixed in with sublime touches by hand and foot that would have made an inside back proud. A genius rugby player.



  • I'm deeply shocked and offended that neither of those twits mentioned Christian Cullen.

    Well I was until I remembered who said twits were.



  • You could arguably throw the 2015 version of Nehe Milner Skudder in there. Every time he touched the ball that season he had the majority of the Cake Tin on the edge of their seats and then did unbelievably well when he made the All Black's aswell.



  • @Canes4life said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    You could arguably throw the 2015 version of Nehe Milner Skudder in there. Every time he touched the ball that season he had the majority of the Cake Tin on the edge of their seats and then did unbelievably well when he made the All Black's aswell.

    I think Owen Franks would have more chance of a mention these days.



  • For someone of the Walrus' vintage and tribe, no mention of Barry John confirms that reverse Alzheimers has taken root



  • @MiketheSnow said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    For someone of the Walrus' vintage and tribe, no mention of Barry John confirms that reverse Alzheimers has taken root

    Could older Ferners scratch their collective heads and try to come up with some reason, however far fetched, that Micky Skinner and Eric Champ make the list? Is this considered ‘box office Rugby?’

    74569894-313F-4E81-8099-FBBD58E715E3.jpeg

    Fuck, I think he’s genuinely out walrused the walrus for Bullshit Rugby opinions.....



  • Bizarre selections by the Times. Cullen serevi and campese would be the best entertainers for me and Andy Irvine and Gareth edwards best of the brits.



  • The French teams of the 80s were star studded. I always thought Serge Blanco was a graceful player, never really saw all the fuss with Guscott TBH



  • Oh and forgot to mention Philipe Sela



  • @MiketheSnow said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @junior said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    The problem with this article is that they don't actually define what they mean by "box-office". Presumably, they mean guys who drew crowds, but then they mention a guy like Quade Cooper, who people turned up to boo not watch.

    If they mean guys with sublime skills who could really entertain, then bloody say that. But then don't nominate Jonny Wilkinson (all due respect to the man, he was an all-time great, IMO).

    Gavin Henson filled seats and had sublime skills.

    A player that could have been so much more



  • @sparky said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    The Walrus and the Fat C**t have done a list of their top ten Box Office players for the Sunday Times. As ever, I suspect the Fern can do much, much better than those two bitter, old, gas bags.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/121537480/all-blacks-legend-jonah-lomu-rated-rugbys-greatest-entertainer-after-michael-jordan-moment

    Rugby's 10 greatest box office players (as selected by The Times)

    STEPHEN JONES: 1-Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Fiji), 2-Jonah Lomu (NZ), 3-Shane Williams (Wales), 4-David Campese (Australia), 5-Christian Wade (England), 6-Jeremy Guscott (England), 7-Mark Ring (Wales), 8-Timothy Lafaele (Japan), 9-Waisale Serevi (Fiji), 10-Quade Cooper (Australia).

    STUART BARNES: 1-Lomu, 2-Jonny Wilkinson (England), 3-Carlos Spencer (NZ), 4-Micky Skinner (England), 5-Finn Russell (Scotland), 6-Cooper, 7-Leone Nakarawa (Fiji), 8-Eric Champ (France), 9-Ring, 10-Simon Zebo (Ireland)


    Sparky's Top Ten NZ Rugby Entertainers

    1-Christian Cullen 2-Carlos Spencer 3- Beauden Barrett 4-Jonah Lomu 5-Jeff Wilson 6-Zinzan Brooke 7-Sonny Bill Williams 8-Israel Dagg 9- Ma'a Nonu 10- Damian McKenzie

    Sparky's Top Ten Overseas X-Factor Players

    1 - Waisale Serevi (Fiji) 2- Serge Blanco (France) 3- David Campese (Australia) 4- Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Fiji) 5- Gareth Edwards (Wales) 6 -Shane Williams (Wales) 7- Nemani Nadolo (Fiji) 8- Patrice Lagisquet (France) 9- Bryan Habana (SA) 10-Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

    Click bait



  • @Catogrande said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    This is an odd discussion for me. Sure I can see how these guys are exciting players to watch, but seat fillers? I cannot think of a time I would have gone to see a match or even made more of a effort to see a match because so and so was playing. Seeing someone like Jonah (THE man in this instance) would be a bonus but I would be going to watch England v NZ not Jonah.

    I’m more in this boat. One of the great things about rugby is that it’s the ultimate team game.

    I’ve seen some brilliant rugby players live over my lifetime, but I can only think of one time that I was genuinely excited with anticipation to see one player live and that was 17 years ago. I was in Sydney for the week and a mate rang me on the Tuesday or Wednesday and said he had corporate seats at the SFS for the opening round of the Super 12 and it was the Blues and Waratahs game. Rupeni was playing.



  • @ACT-Crusader said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @Catogrande said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    This is an odd discussion for me. Sure I can see how these guys are exciting players to watch, but seat fillers? I cannot think of a time I would have gone to see a match or even made more of a effort to see a match because so and so was playing. Seeing someone like Jonah (THE man in this instance) would be a bonus but I would be going to watch England v NZ not Jonah.

    I’m more in this boat. One of the great things about rugby is that it’s the ultimate team game.

    I’ve seen some brilliant rugby players live over my lifetime, but I can only think of one time that I was genuinely excited with anticipation to see one player live and that was 17 years ago. I was in Sydney for the week and a mate rang me on the Tuesday or Wednesday and said he had corporate seats at the SFS for the opening round of the Super 12 and it was the Blues and Waratahs game. Rupeni was playing.

    I think most people are in this boat. I can only think of one match where people literally turned up only to see one guy (a Counties v Wellington NPC match in about 1995 at Athletic Park in terrible weather). And then, even at his peak, more people would turn up (at least in NZ) to see the great AB team of which he was a part.



  • @ACT-Crusader said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @Catogrande said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    This is an odd discussion for me. Sure I can see how these guys are exciting players to watch, but seat fillers? I cannot think of a time I would have gone to see a match or even made more of a effort to see a match because so and so was playing. Seeing someone like Jonah (THE man in this instance) would be a bonus but I would be going to watch England v NZ not Jonah.

    I’m more in this boat. One of the great things about rugby is that it’s the ultimate team game.

    I’ve seen some brilliant rugby players live over my lifetime, but I can only think of one time that I was genuinely excited with anticipation to see one player live and that was 17 years ago. I was in Sydney for the week and a mate rang me on the Tuesday or Wednesday and said he had corporate seats at the SFS for the opening round of the Super 12 and it was the Blues and Waratahs game. Rupeni was playing.

    i was at that game



  • @junior said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @ACT-Crusader said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @Catogrande said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    This is an odd discussion for me. Sure I can see how these guys are exciting players to watch, but seat fillers? I cannot think of a time I would have gone to see a match or even made more of a effort to see a match because so and so was playing. Seeing someone like Jonah (THE man in this instance) would be a bonus but I would be going to watch England v NZ not Jonah.

    I’m more in this boat. One of the great things about rugby is that it’s the ultimate team game.

    I’ve seen some brilliant rugby players live over my lifetime, but I can only think of one time that I was genuinely excited with anticipation to see one player live and that was 17 years ago. I was in Sydney for the week and a mate rang me on the Tuesday or Wednesday and said he had corporate seats at the SFS for the opening round of the Super 12 and it was the Blues and Waratahs game. Rupeni was playing.

    I think most people are in this boat. I can only think of one match where people literally turned up only to see one guy (a Counties v Wellington NPC match in about 1995 at Athletic Park in terrible weather). And then, even at his peak, more people would turn up (at least in NZ) to see the great AB team of which he was a part.

    He didn't disappoint. It's on youtube somewhere but pretty sure he handed off Tana, Ieremia and a number of lesser known players in one amazing try.....we then went off down the road to Georgie Pie for a feed before catching the bus home and making sure I caught the try on the Sports News that night.



  • I didn't specifically go to the match for this reason, but watching Cullen tear the Scots a new one in Dunedin in 1996 was a high point of X-Factor/Box Office from one player alone.

    But, during that era there were so many players to go see for those reasons in the ABs.



  • @mariner4life said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @ACT-Crusader said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @Catogrande said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    This is an odd discussion for me. Sure I can see how these guys are exciting players to watch, but seat fillers? I cannot think of a time I would have gone to see a match or even made more of a effort to see a match because so and so was playing. Seeing someone like Jonah (THE man in this instance) would be a bonus but I would be going to watch England v NZ not Jonah.

    I’m more in this boat. One of the great things about rugby is that it’s the ultimate team game.

    I’ve seen some brilliant rugby players live over my lifetime, but I can only think of one time that I was genuinely excited with anticipation to see one player live and that was 17 years ago. I was in Sydney for the week and a mate rang me on the Tuesday or Wednesday and said he had corporate seats at the SFS for the opening round of the Super 12 and it was the Blues and Waratahs game. Rupeni was playing.

    i was at that game

    As was I. Orene Ai'i started at 10 from memory. Rokocoko's Super Rugby debut but he was overshadowed by a certain other winger.



  • @KiwiMurph said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @mariner4life said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @ACT-Crusader said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @Catogrande said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    This is an odd discussion for me. Sure I can see how these guys are exciting players to watch, but seat fillers? I cannot think of a time I would have gone to see a match or even made more of a effort to see a match because so and so was playing. Seeing someone like Jonah (THE man in this instance) would be a bonus but I would be going to watch England v NZ not Jonah.

    I’m more in this boat. One of the great things about rugby is that it’s the ultimate team game.

    I’ve seen some brilliant rugby players live over my lifetime, but I can only think of one time that I was genuinely excited with anticipation to see one player live and that was 17 years ago. I was in Sydney for the week and a mate rang me on the Tuesday or Wednesday and said he had corporate seats at the SFS for the opening round of the Super 12 and it was the Blues and Waratahs game. Rupeni was playing.

    i was at that game

    As was I. Orene Ai'i started at 10 from memory. Rokocoko's Super Rugby debut but he was overshadowed by a certain other winger.

    Seeing Rupeni tear the Scots another new one live in Sydney was pretty fun in 2003. Luckily the other 14 weren’t quite as good and the Scots snuck into the quarters.



  • @KiwiMurph said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @mariner4life said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @ACT-Crusader said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    @Catogrande said in X-Factor/Box Office Players:

    This is an odd discussion for me. Sure I can see how these guys are exciting players to watch, but seat fillers? I cannot think of a time I would have gone to see a match or even made more of a effort to see a match because so and so was playing. Seeing someone like Jonah (THE man in this instance) would be a bonus but I would be going to watch England v NZ not Jonah.

    I’m more in this boat. One of the great things about rugby is that it’s the ultimate team game.

    I’ve seen some brilliant rugby players live over my lifetime, but I can only think of one time that I was genuinely excited with anticipation to see one player live and that was 17 years ago. I was in Sydney for the week and a mate rang me on the Tuesday or Wednesday and said he had corporate seats at the SFS for the opening round of the Super 12 and it was the Blues and Waratahs game. Rupeni was playing.

    i was at that game

    As was I. Orene Ai'i started at 10 from memory. Rokocoko's Super Rugby debut but he was overshadowed by a certain other winger.

    yeah i know Carlos was injured to start the year, which was a bit of a bummer. Weather was shit too wasn't it?

    Anyway, Blues won, i had a massive night out, then played subbies rugby the next day still a bit pissed.

    oh to be young again



  • The players that would make my list are the ones who when they got the ball you were off your seat in anticipation of what would happen next.

    Of the names not mentioned yet, I would add Sivivatu.



  • when Sione Lauaki was on, he was quite the sight.



  • @mariner4life quite the wasted talent regrettably



  • @mariner4life @nzzp

    For forwards running fast at backs, I still can't go past Richard Bands running over Los, that was some funny shit


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