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The Top 10 Player Apperances in Gallagher Premiership History!

As we gear up for the thrilling Gallagher Premiership final and eagerly anticipate who will seize the coveted Premiership Rugby trophy, let’s take a moment to celebrate the legends of the game.

We’ve scoured the archives to honor the Premiership’s most prolific players, spotlighting their remarkable number of appearances, invaluable contributions to their teams, and lasting impact on the sport.

So without further ado, let’s dive into our countdown of the Top 10 Player Appearances in Gallagher Premiership History!

Tom May – (247)

Kickstarting our list at number 10, we have former rugby union star Tom May, whose impressive nineteen-year career saw him shine as a utility back for teams like Newcastle Falcons, Toulon Rugby, Northampton Saints, and London Welsh.

Racking up an extraordinary 247 Premiership appearances, May delivered some unforgettable moments on the field. Notably, he scored two tries for Newcastle in their thrilling victory over Harlequins in the 2001 Tetley’s Bitter Cup final. He also played a crucial role in the 2004 Premiership final, leading Newcastle to triumph over Sale Sharks.

In the later stages of his career, May captained London Welsh during the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons.

His leadership in the 2013/14 season was particularly remarkable, as he steered the team to promotion via the Championship play-offs, marking a significant highlight in his storied career.

Charlie Hodgson – (254)

Starting his senior career with the Sale Sharks in 2000 and later moving to Saracens in 2011, Charlie Hodgson quickly became a formidable presence in the Gallagher Premiership.

Hodgson secured his first Premiership title with Sale Sharks in 2006 and further bolstered his impressive resume with titles at Saracens in 2015 and 2016. Over his stellar career, he amassed 254 Premiership appearances, proudly wearing the coveted number ten shirt for both Sale Sharks and Saracens.

Hodgson’s legacy is cemented by his record as the all-time leading points scorer in the Premiership, with an astonishing 2,625 points—a remarkable feat that remains unbeaten to this day.

Phil Dowson – (262)

Amassing a staggering 262 Gallagher Premiership appearances, Phil Dowson’s journey towards becoming the Director of Rugby for the Northampton Saints is nothing short of remarkable.

Making his debut in 2001 for the Newcastle Falcons, Dowson was predominantly situated as a number 8, but his versatility allowed him to play on the flanks when required.

He later added to his roster of teams by playing for Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors before retiring from professional rugby in 2017.

Throughout his career, he was known for his exceptional playmaking and leadership on the field, helping the Saints win the Premiership title in 2014.

George Chuter – (262)

Ranking 7th on the list is George Chuter, who initiated his esteemed career back in 1996 with Saracens. Following a four-year stint with the team, he embarked on a globe-trotting journey before settling at Leicester, where he remained until his retirement.

During his tenure at Leicester, Chuter etched a significant legacy by featuring in seven Premiership finals. His remarkable consistency and enduring presence culminated in a historic milestone of 250 appearances, a feat unparalleled in Premiership history.

Chuter’s impressive tally of 262 Premiership appearances remained unmatched until it was later eclipsed by Steve Borthwick.

Over a span of fifteen years, his journey in the top tier spanned across both Saracens and Leicester.

In 2014, as he bid adieu to the playing field, Chuter’s illustrious career was honored with an induction into the Rugby Premiership Hall of Fame.

As George Chuter’s playing days drew to a close, his legacy persists as a source of inspiration for budding rugby players of the next generation.

Steve Borthwick -(265)

Coming in at number 6 is Steve Borthwick.

With an impressive total of 265 Premiership appearances—a record at the time—Borthwick was a dominant force in the league from 1998 to 2014.

Borthwick’s career began at Bath, where he made a remarkable 246 appearances from 1998 to 2008. He then moved to Saracens, adding another 144 appearances to his name from 2008 to 2014.

Playing in the second row as a lock, Borthwick was renowned for his dedication and instrumental role in his teams’ success. His outstanding playmaking earned him a call-up to the England squad, where he made his debut against France in the Six Nations.

Borthwick’s impact was immediate at Saracens. Just one season after joining, his leadership and experience helped Saracens secure their first Premiership title during the 2010-2011 season.

Alex Goode – (265)

Debuting for Saracens in 2008, Alex Goode has made 265 Gallagher Premiership appearances, contributing to six Premiership titles in 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2023.

As the most capped player in Saracens’ history, the adept fullback and fly-half has accrued over 339 appearances for the London club and is regarded as one of the most successful players in Premiership history.

Recent standout achievements include Goode’s 2023 Premiership performance, where his first kick of the season secured a match-winning score. His role as a fly-half was instrumental in organizing and leading the game.

Alex Waller – (267)

In at number 4 is Alex Waller, a Premiership legend known for holding the record for the most consecutive appearances in league history. His remarkable contributions to the Northampton Saints and the Gallagher Premiership will be remembered for years to come.

Since making his debut for the Saints in 2009, Waller has amassed an astonishing 267 Gallagher Premiership appearances.

He was a key player in the Saints’ 2014 Premiership title-winning team, scoring the unforgettable extra-time try that secured their only Premiership title. In 2019, he captained the Saints to victory in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Waller’s career spanned 15 incredible seasons in the Black, Green, and Gold. Having announced his retirement at the end of the 2023/24 season, his legacy as a stalwart of the Saints and a record-setting Premiership player is firmly cemented.

Mike Brown – (273)

Having devoted 16 remarkable years to the Harlequins senior squad since 2005, Mike Brown emerged as the club’s most capped player. But his journey didn’t end there…

He took on new challenges, first with the Newcastle Falcons for the 2021/22 season and then with the Leicester Tigers midway through the 2022/23 season, showcasing a wealth of experience and adaptability.

Brown’s impact on the Gallagher Premiership speaks volumes, with an impressive 273 appearances to his name, placing him among the league’s top ten players with the most caps. Additionally, his remarkable tally of 70 tries solidifies his position as one of the top 10 try scorers in Premiership Rugby history.

During his time with Harlequins, Brown played a pivotal role in securing a Premiership title and clinching victory in the European Challenge Cup, leaving an unforgettable mark as one of the club’s most distinguished players.

Danny Care – (276)

Claiming the second spot on the podium is none other than Danny Care.

Care has amassed an astonishing 276 Premiership appearance and 374 appearances for Harlequins since joining the club in 2006. Not only that, he’s the only player ever to score over 100 tries in Harlequins’ colours.

Among his many standout moments are his vital contributions to Harlequins’ Premiership title victories in 2012 and 2021.

In 2012, Care helped lead Harlequins to their best-ever season, capturing their first English championship. His unforgettable performance in the final against Leicester Tigers featured a bullet pass to Rob Shaw, who scored a decisive try, sealing a thrilling 30-23 victory.

Fast forward to 2021, and Care was instrumental once again, as Harlequins claimed the Premiership title in a heart-stopping 40-38 win, the highest-scoring Premiership final ever, on June 26.

To cap off his incredible season, Care was named “Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month” in March 2021, underscoring his exceptional impact on the game.

Richard Wigglesworth – (322)

The moment you’ve been waiting for! Sitting at number one for the most Gallagher Premiership appearances in history is the legendary Richard Wigglesworth.

As the reigning champion of Premiership appearances, Wigglesworth’s tenure in the Gallagher Premiership was adorned with countless honors, marking a remarkable journey that kicked off in 2002 with Sale Sharks.

In 2010, he made the pivotal transition to Saracens, where his influence on the field was undeniable, before making a notable move to Leicester Tigers for the 2020-21 Premiership Rugby season.

With a staggering 322 Premiership appearances under his belt, Wigglesworth clinched an impressive tally of seven Premiership titles—a single triumph with Sale Sharks, an impressive five with Saracens, and another with Leicester—solidifying his legacy as a true titan of the game.

Yet, his legacy extends far beyond the Premiership. Wigglesworth soared to greater heights with three European Rugby Champions Cups alongside Saracens, and his international career, spanning from 2008 to 2018, saw him earn 33 caps for England.

It’s no wonder his mark left on the game has been difficult to match!

Like what you see?

Let us know in the comments your thoughts on who you feel will be next to make it into the coveted Top 10 Gallagher Premiership appearances of all time!

We’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, be sure to stay in the loop with the latest Rugby News, Boot Drops & Guides at The Full 80.

By Peter Wakeford

Just your everyday grassroots guru. I'm here to sprinkle some sportsy magic on your day with the latest boot drops, guides, news, and a dash of quirky humor. Let's lace up and have a laugh on this sporting adventure!

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