Rugby World Cup 2015: Top tournament try scorers

As the countdown to the 2015 Rugby World Cup begins, Steve Luckings looks back at the tournament’s all-time top try scorers.

New Zealand's Jonah Lomu has 15 tries in World Cup competition. Press Association
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As the countdown to the 2015 Rugby World Cup begins, Steve Luckings looks back at the tournament’s all-time top try scorers.

Jonah Lomu, New Zealand, 15

No one before or after has made the same devastating impact on rugby union as the giant New Zealand wing. Lomu’s performance at the 1995 Rugby World Cup was just what the game needed as rugby began its final push over the line into professionalism. His four tries against England in the semi-final, destroying what was a superb defensive line of Rob Andrew, Jeremy Guscott and Will Carling, will live long in the memory. Lomu’s eight tries in the 1999 tournament is a record held jointly with South Africa’s Bryan Habana.

Doug Howlett, New Zealand, 13

The New Zealand back certainly knew the way to the try line. Howlett scored seven tries at the 2003 World Cup in Australia as New Zealand finished third and, at the 2007 World Cup, Howlett’s try against Scotland saw him move ahead of Christian Cullen as the All Blacks’ record try scorer. He would eventually finish his career with 49 tries in 62 Tests, but despite his best efforts, he never helped the All Blacks win the World Cup.

Joe Rokocoko, New Zealand, 11

New Zealand wings have left an indelible mark on World Cup history, particularly on the try-scoring charts. Rokocoko formed part of a fearsome back three with Howlett on one wing and Mils Muliaina attacking from fullback. A hat-trick against Romania in an 85-8 rout at the 2007 World Cup was arguably the highlight of the paceman’s World Cup career.

Chris Latham, Australia, 11

The utility back represented Australia at three World Cups from 1999 to 2007, collecting a winner’s medal in 1999 and a loser’s one four years later on home soil. At the 2003 tournament, Latham racked up an Australian record five-try haul against a hapless Namibia in Adelaide.

Brian Lima, Samoa, 11

Lima was the youngest player at the 1991 World Cup for Manu Samoa, featuring in their famous World Cup win over Wales. He scored the first two of his 11 World Cup tries in the final group game of that tournament, a winning 35-12 effort against Argentina. Lima, who could operate at both wing and centre, is the only player to appear at five World Cups.

Vincent Clerc, France, 11

The French winger was the star of the 2011 tournament in New Zealand, playing every game including the final and scoring six tries in the tournament, three of them against Canada, to finish the tournament as joint top try-scorer with England’s Chris Ashton.

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