Two former All Blacks have singled out Crusaders flyhalf Richie Mo’unga as the greatest Super Rugby player of all time.
Speaking on rugby talkshow ‘The Breakdown’, All Blacks greats Jeff Wilson and Mils Muliaina made a case for the 27-year-old to be viewed as the best player to ever compete in the Super Rugby history.
Mo’unga made his Crusaders debut in 2016 and has since become one of the most influential players in the southern hemisphere. He led the Crusaders’ charge to three consecutive Super Rugby titles in 2017, 2018 and 2019, as well as their back-to-back Super Rugby Aotearoa championship runs in 2020 and 2021.
‘It is Richie Mo’unga,’ Wilson said when asked who the greatest Super Rugby player was. ‘You think about the three Super Rugby titles, plus Super Rugby Aotearoa and another Super Rugby Aotearoa.’
‘I’m looking at his performance, the impact that he has on the game … Yes, he’s playing for a Crusaders team which is outstanding and they are giving him a platform to play off, but under pressure in big moments when the game is on the line, he’s found ways to win.
‘From the very moment he stepped on that field for them, he has been outstanding.’
Muliaina said it was ‘hard to disagree’ with Wilson’s reasoning, adding that he was impressed by the feats Mo’unga had achieved at this stage of his career.
‘For me, it’s the big moments that he wins. It’s not big moments when you win it to get a lineout and try and score. He wins big moments. You look at the Chiefs game, they were under the pump,’ Muliaina explained. ‘When you kick a ball, you decide in your mind whether you’re good enough to kick that ball 10 metres, not only win it back, but score a try. Big moments like against a Reds team.
‘Yeah, he’s had a couple of dips, but I think his dips are still world class, so when you look at someone like that and how significant some of the stuff he does and the titles that he’s won – and I know we haven’t played South Africa – but I think his influence on the Crusaders is huge.’
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