REVEALED | Rugby's strongest men - how much do you bench, bro?

'How much do you bench bro?' is a sporting cliché, but the bench press continues to occupy a macho seat in the pantheon of weightlifting disciplines - and professional rugby players are by no means exempt.

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There's no doubting, much like golfers when quizzed as to 'what they shot', numbers are often to be taken with a pinch of salt.

According to the Rugby Pass website, despite upper body strength remaining a valuable asset in rugby, many of the world's best players boast relatively modest personal bests as it's simply not worth the risk of incurring a season - or career - ending injury.

The figures below come from comments made by team-mates, coaches or the player themselves in the media or on social media platforms.

Inevitably, some question marks remain over one or two of the figures, especially in a discipline so given to hyperbole.

One is particularly bemused by the fact that relatively "lightweight" former All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter (145kg) boasts a higher PB than his former centre partner Sonny Bill Williams (140kg).

And wouldn't we love to know what Os du Randt, Bismarck du Plessis and Bakkies Botha in the prime of their careers could've lifted?

The current record belongs to little-known 27-year-old Moldavian prop Gheorghe Gajion - affectionately known as the 'Beast from the East' - who's reported to have lifted 230kg.

 Beast Mtawarira (Gallo Images)

Bench press records:

Gheorghe Gajion (Ospreys) - 230kg

Aled de Malmanche (Stade Francis, retired) - 220kg

Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks, retired) - 215kg

Alfie To'oala Vaeluaga (Samoa) - 210kg

WillGriff John (Sale Sharks) - 210kg

Max Lahiff (Bristol Bears) - 210kg

Nicky Smith (Ospreys) - 200kg

Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) - 200kg

Jon Welsh (Newcastle Falcons) - 200kg

Tom Court (Ulster, retired) - 200kg

Ben Tameifuna (Racing 92) - 190kg

Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) - 190kg

Siate Tokolahi (Highlanders) - 190kg

Cian Healy (Leinster) - 190kg

Maro Itoje (Saracens) - 187.5kg

David Pocock (Panasonic Wild Knights) - 185kg

Ugo Monye (Harlequins, retired) - 185kg

Joe Moody (Crusaders) - 180kg

Will Genia (Rebels) - 180kg

Digby Ioane (Glendale Raptors) - 180kg

Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira (Old Glory) - 180kg

Paul O'Connell (Munster, retired) - 179kg

Nemani Nadolo (Montpellier) - 175kg

Eben Etzebeth (Toulon) - 175kg

Pierre Spies (Montpellier, retired) - 165kg

Pete Samu (Brumbies) - 160kg

Sam Whitelock (Panasonic Wildknights) - 160kg

Matt Todd (Crusaders) - 150kg

Andy Goode (Newcastle Falcons) - 150kg

Dan Carter (free agent) - 145kg

Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) - 140kg

Sonny Bill Williams (ex-Blues) - 140kg

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
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