It doesn't matter who you are and what you look like, anyone can play rugby.

And a glance through playing squads of the 20 teams at year's Rugby World Cup reveals there's no shortage of players who come in all shapes and sizes: solid and strong, lean and lanky, small and speedy.

Before the start of the tournament, the Springboks shocked the rugby-world by posting a photo of the team at the gym ... and they're ridiculously ripped.

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But they also boast the tallest and shortest rugby players - the difference between them being half a metre (roughly 18 inches).

Second-rower Lodewyk De Jager stands at an impressive 210cm with teammate and halfback Herschel Jantjies at only 160cm, according to data experts Zegami.

Elsewhere, the All Blacks' shortest player Aaron Smith - at 171cm - towered above Jantjies and was the seventh shortest player overall.

Herschel Jantjies stands alongside Springbok big-man RG Snyman. Photo / Getty Images
Herschel Jantjies stands alongside Springbok big-man RG Snyman. Photo / Getty Images

Wallabies locking pair Rory Arnold and Adam Coleman, meanwhile, measured in at a jaw-dropping 208cm and 204cm respectively.

"The Rugby World Cup has presented us with some highly entertaining and, in some cases, eyebrow-raising data," Zegami chief executive Sam Conway said.

"The size difference in the modern professional era is remarkable, particularly in the backs where a 17 stone (108kg) centre is now far from unusual."

Former Crusaders winger Nemani Nadolo became the tournament's heaviest ever back when he took the field at roughly 130kg in the 2015 event.

This year, the heaviest back was being contended by English winger Joe Cokanasiga who weighs in at 122kg.


However, Tonga's barnstorming tighthead prop Ben Tameifuna held the mantle of the tournament's heaviest man at a whopping 153kg.

Tonga's barnstorming tighthead prop Ben Tameifuna. Photo / Getty Images
Tonga's barnstorming tighthead prop Ben Tameifuna. Photo / Getty Images

Some distance behind the former Chiefs prop, New Zealand's heaviest player Ofa Tuungafasi tipped the scales at 129kg.

Size isn't everything though, as shown by All Blacks legend Grant Fox who holds the record for most points scored at an individual World Cup.

The former first five scored 126 points during the inaugural 1987 World Cup - this year, Japan's Yu Tamura leads the way with 40 points.

The All Blacks' pocketrocket. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The All Blacks' pocketrocket. Photo / Mark Mitchell

However, when you're packing a few extra kilos and have the skills and speed to match it certainly helps to assert your dominance on the field.

Devastating Kiwi wingers Jonah Lomu and Julian Savea share the World Cup record of eight tries in one event with South African flyer Bryan Habana.

Throughout the pool stages of this World Cup, Welsh winger Josh Adams was leading the charge with four tries to his name to date.

The big and the small of the Rugby World Cup


Overall: Lodewyk De Jager (Springboks), 210cm

All Blacks: Brodie Retallick, 204cm

Overall: Herschel Jantjies (Springboks), 160cm
All Blacks: Aaron Smith, 171cm

Overall: Ben Tameifuna (Tonga), 153kg
All Blacks: Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 129kg

Overall: Unknown
All Blacks: Brad Webber, 75kg