AJ MacGinty headlined a bumper weekend of European club rugby, scoring 32 points in Sale’s 57-14 Champions Cup victory over the Scarlets in Llanelli.

It was a stunning performance that consisted of two tries, six conversions and five penalties. 

MacGinty’s Sunday showing eclipsed his test best, which came against Chile in February, 2019, when he scored a hat-trick of tries and added five conversions in a 71-8 win for the USA. But who holds the test record for the most points scored in one match?

In light of the American’s heroics, we countdown the top five individual points hauls in test match history.

Simon Culhane (45 points) New Zealand v Japan, 4 June, 1995

Simon Culhane sat on the bench for New Zealand’s opening two matches of Rugby World Cup 1995 as Andrew Mehrtens orchestrated wins over Ireland and Wales.

But, with qualification for the quarter-finals assured, All Blacks coach Laurie Mains decided to shuffle his pack and handed Culhane his test debut.

The Southland playmaker was called on within three minutes to convert Eric Rush’s opening try, and it would be a busy afternoon.

In all, Culhane converted 20 of the All Blacks’ 21 tries, the eighth of which he had scored himself, as New Zealand rounded off their Pool C campaign with a 145-17 victory.

It was the biggest Rugby World Cup winning margin ever recorded — until Australia beat Namibia 142-0 at RWC 2003 — and remains the most points a team has scored in a tournament match.

Culhane’s 45-point haul is still the most scored by a single player at Rugby World Cup.

José María Núñez Piossek (45 points) Argentina v Paraguay, 27 April, 2003

José María Núñez Piossek had been one of three Argentine players who scored four tries during a 152-0 win against Paraguay in May, 2002. But even he couldn’t have expected to run in three hat-tricks alone 12 months on.

Three decades after Eduardo Morgan racked up a record 50 points against Paraguay, Piossek donned the same blue-and-white number 14 jersey to write another chapter of history in the fixture.

The Argentina side that lined up for the South American Championship 2003 match in Montevideo was a fairly inexperienced one, and included a 20-year-old Juan Martín Hernández at full-back.

However, Los Pumas proved too good for Paraguay and ran in 24 tries during a 144-0 victory at the Luis Franzini Stadium.

Nine of those tries were scored by Piossek, who became only the fifth player to score at least 45 points in test history.

Piossek maintained his form throughout 2003, scoring tries against France and South Africa in June and earning his place in Argentina’s RWC 2003 squad. He played three matches in Australia, including against the hosts, without scoring.

Eduardo Morgan (50 points) Argentina v Paraguay, 14 October, 1973

A winger who backed himself from the kicking tee, Eduardo Morgan enjoyed his finest moments in an Argentina jersey during the South American Championship 1973.

Los Pumas had warmed up for the tournament with back-to-back victories over Romania in Buenos Aires.

Morgan played in both of those tests without scoring, something he put right in Argentina’s opening South American Championship match against Paraguay in Sao Paulo.

The winger scored six tries and added 13 conversions from the kicking tee as Los Pumas won the match 98-3.

With four points awarded for a try at the time, it gave Morgan a 50-point haul, a world-record tally that would stand for almost three decades.

Ashley Billington (50 points) Hong Kong v Singapore, 27 October, 1994

Ashley Billington played six tests for Hong Kong between 1994 and 1996, and his most memorable day in the blue jersey came during his sole appearance in the Asian Championship 1994.

Billington lined up at full-back at the KL Football Stadium in Kuala Lumpur in a match that doubled as a qualifier for Rugby World Cup 1995 and had a field day.

The then 25-year-old ran in 10 of Hong Kong’s 26 tries on the day, to help his side to a 164-13 victory and draw level with Morgan’s world record points haul.

It proved to be the highlight of Billington’s test career. He had scored two tries in his first two matches for Hong Kong, both coming in a 22-12 defeat to Namibia, but failed to cross the whitewash in any of his subsequent three appearances.

Billington won his final test cap for Hong Kong as a replacement during a 47-7 defeat to Japan in October, 1998.

Toru Kurihara (60 points) Japan v Chinese Taipei, 21 July, 2002

Japan faced Chinese Taipei and Korea in qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2003, and it’s fair to say that the team had fun.

The Brave Blossoms won each of their four matches by an aggregate score of 420-47, including a 155-3 win against Chinese Taipei in Tokyo.

Toru Kurihara scored 21 points in that match, but saved his best performance for the return match two weeks later.

In Tainan, the winger scored six tries and added 15 conversions to finish the match with a world record points tally of 60 points, which still stands 19 years later.

Another kicking winger, who also featured at full-back, Kurihara made four appearances at Rugby World Cup 2003, scoring 40 points — 19 against France and 21 against the USA.

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