What do All Black Kieran Read and IndyCar driver Scott Dixon have in common?

Both have recently been named in Sports Illustrated's list of the world's 50 fittest male athletes.

Read and Dixon were the only two Kiwis to earn a place on the list.

Read comes in at number 16, with SI describing him as "the world's finest number 8" and someone who "puts the 'rugged' into rugby". They said Read was "once a skinny kid" but "focused on fitness and nutrition in addition to his rugby training and has built himself into a dominant force in the game".


Dixon came in a few places lower at number 33. The magazine recognized how much strength is required to cope while driving a race car, stating that "success behind the wheel requires a tremendous amount of physical strength and endurance (handling loads of more than 3 gs and sustaining a heart rate of 160+ bpm for two to three hours) in addition to otherworldly focus and reaction time".

The list assessed the best of the best across all sport, ranking athletes based on six criteria including strength, speed, endurance and agility.

Both Kiwis beat out reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry, who came in at 42, and UFC star Conor McGregor who was ranked number 39.

Topping the list was American decathlete Ashton Eaton, who beat out LeBron James for the top spot. The reasoning for Eaton's selection was justified, with SI writing "with 10 very different events to prepare for, the current record holder-and 2012 Olympic champion-has to touch on every element of physical and mental conditioning every day".

No New Zealanders were named in the women's list, which was topped by British heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill.