2015 was obviously an important year in the world of rugby, with England playing host as New Zealand retained the Rugby World Cup.
There were highs and a couple of very dramatic lows, so let’s take a look back at six times rugby players were absolute heroes in the past 12 months.
Fijian Sevens Team Serve In-Flight Refreshments
When a passenger took ill on a flight from Fiji to Brisbane, Australia, flight crew became stressed and clearly needed some help.
Cue the Fijian Sevens rugby team, en route to Dubai for the HSBC Sevens on December 4.
The team was reported by passengers to have taken over the in-fight service so that flight attendants could treat the woman in need. They delivered meals and drinks before later taking the bins round to tidy up.
Maybe I’m doing footballers a disservice but I can’t imagine any international footy stars doing the same.
Jerry Collins Dies Saving His Baby
Tragic news emerged from France in June as New Zealand international Jerry Collins and his wife died in a car crash.
The 34-year-old’s car was smashed into by a bus during the early hours of the morning.
His baby girl, Ayla, was also on board and was described on the day of Collins funeral as being in a ‘serious but stable condition’.
The news then emerged that Collins had been found at the scene with his arms around Ayla, shielding her as best he could from the crash.
The definition of a hero.
Child Invades Legends Game, Players Get Him Involved
In a Legends State of Origin rugby league tie between New South Wales and Queensland, a little boy grows weary of just standing on the sideline. He spots his chance and enters the field.
Starting out on their own line the Blues side work the ball to the plucky kid who then goes the length of the field as a barrage of Queenslanders dive at his feet.
No Prima Donnas at that charity game, just a bunch of legends living up to that name and making a child fan’s year.
Amateur Rugby Player Stops Woman Jumping Off A Bridge.
Twenty-two-year-old amateur rugby player, Michael Owen, and his girlfriend saw a suicidal woman standing on the edge of a motorway bridge.
The pair then rushed to the woman and Michael began speaking to her, his Welsh accent allegedly helped calm her, so he let loose and chatted about the rugby.
Not only that, but despite already having a broken finger, he reached through the railings and held tightly to the woman so she could not fall.
Emergency services then took the woman to a Wiltshire hospital without injury. Hats off to you Michael, that is one heck of a thing to do for another human.
David Pocock Proves He Is More Than A Meathead
David Pocock proved at the Rugby World Cup that he is one of the best back-rowers in the game, but off the field he also demonstrated he is just an all-round great guy.
Pocock publicly stated that there is more to life than rugby, and he echoed his point with numerous actions in his personal life.
Pocock is an environmentalist who uses his status to raise awareness of green issues, and his vow not to wed his long term girlfriend until gay marriage was legal in Australia resurfaced once more.
So it may not have been one singular moment, but Pocock deserves his place in the list for simply embodying a great human being. Aware of his own privilege, and wanting to give back. Top man.
Jonah Lomu Is Honoured At His Funeral With Moving Mass Haka
All of New Zealand, already stunned at the loss of Jerry Collins, was left devastated as Jonah Lomu died aged just 40.
Lomu set the world of rugby alight when he burst onto the scene during the 1995 World Cup, earning himself a reputation as a wrecking ball on the wing.
He died after suffering with a rare kidney disease for years. But the All Black superstar was paid a fitting tribute by friends, teammates, family and fans who performed a final spine chilling Haka in his honour.
The perfect send off for an absolute hero.
An NCTJ Journalist with an MA in Sports Journalism, Kieron is an experienced social media journalist who has worked in the industry since 2015. His experience includes work with ITN, the MEN, WISH/WIRE/TOWER FM, and 8:50 Sports Digest… not forgetting his time at ASDA.