Ronan O’Gara, Pierre Verillepreux, Sir Bryan Williams and Liza Burgess received their honours at the state-of-the-art physical home of the Hall of Fame, which celebrates the inspirational journey of the game from its humble origins to its global present, played by millions of men, women and children.
Former Australia international Stephen Larkham, who was also named as part of the 2018 Hall of Fame honour roll, was inducted last month at a special ceremony held in Sydney on the eve of Australia’s Bledisloe Cup opener with New Zealand, due to his involvement in the Rugby Championship.
Between them the five Hall of Fame inductees have made an incredible 395 international appearances and appeared in 10 World Cups.
The Hall of Fame recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to the game of rugby throughout their careers, while also demonstrating rugby’s character-building values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.
“Being inducted to the World Rugby Hall of Fame is a very special moment in any players career and all of today’s inductees should be very proud of this achievement,” said World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot.
“Rugby is a sport with special values of which today’s inductees have embodied throughout their careers, both on and off the pitch. On behalf of World Rugby and the rugby family, thank you for your enormous contributions to the sport.”
Williams, who was knighted for his services to rugby earlier this year, added: “It is a great honour to be inducted to the World Rugby Hall of Fame. I remember my first game in 1961 was a curtain raiser before an All Blacks game, they were all my heroes and they inspired me. Nine years later I was playing my first test for them. I loved my time in rugby and I’m lucky to say that rugby has loved me back.”