Rugby Union - Top 15 of all time?

#1
After a heated debate (booze fueled as well) at the club I play for the other night, the subject got around to the best 15 of all time.

Just as a thought it would be interesting to see other opinions and maybe throw in a few unlikely names that raise an eye-brow?

Here goes with mine anyway:

1. Oz Du Randt
2. Sean Fitzpatrick (Kieth Wood a very close second)
3. Phil Vickery
4. Martin Johnson
5. John Eales
6. Richard Hill
7. Richy McCaw
8. Zinzan Brooke
9. Gareth Edwards
10. Barry John
11. David Campese
12. Phillipe Selle
13. Brian O'Drisoll
14. Lomu
15. Serge Blanco

Any thoughts chaps.............................
 
#2
Really? I'd say that while he was a beast in his day, that was basically because he was a professional in a world of amateurs and basically the biggest and nastiest winger around who could still do the normal business; in other words his greatness was a product of his time rather than anything really special and I don't think that today he would be anything like as amazing: indeed when he played similar teams like the Saffers he wasn't anything spectacular, because they had big horrible quick people as well. What about Jason Robinson?
 
#3
also for consideration, the late great Richard Paparemborde (French prop) Stack Stevens, (English prop) and Willie John MacBride should be able to fit in anywhere, certainly in Campo's spot, just to get him on the pitch.

Campo was never good enough for this list of immortals, and Lomu was a bit of a one-trick pony as well.
 
#5
Gethin Jenkins may not be the greatest scrummaging prop to have graced the front-row but his speed and work-rate (for somebody who's 20 stone) in the loose are comparable to McCaw. And David Sole in his day had a similar impact.
Gavin Hastings was unfortunate not play with a more consistent team but he was world-class. Similarly Sergio Parisse would be right up there if he played for one of the top nations.
As an Englishman a few others I was in awe of growing up are below - but none are probably good enough to make arfuwing's XV (which by the way is a pretty good selection imo - interesting that you didn't pick any half-backs from the last 30 years does that tell a story of the way rugby has developed?):
Rory Underwood
Jeremy Guscott
Dean Richards
and Jason Leonard
 
#7
Here is the great Bill McLaren's best XV

BBC SPORT | RUGBY SPECIAL | Bill McLaren's World XV

I hate to disagree with a man who had more rugby knowledge in his little finger than me but....


...I wouldn't pick Campese to clean the boots!
Also think there have been better fly halves than Rob Andrew.(Barry John and Jonny Wilkinson for staters.)

Have to agree with Mike Gibson at centre,Mervyn Davies at no.8 and Graham Price at loose head.
 

Fang_Farrier

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#8
#15
RL players were certainly fitter 20+ years ago but not now and if RL trully was better why do so many more people play and watch RU and why do so many RL players attempt to cross-over to RU?
Because it's an easyer game, you get paid more and you don't have to be as fit. once you're passed your prime, RU is a good refuge. You also get to extend your career for a few years(see first point).

Ellery Hanley was awesome. But I'm a saints fan so I only like him grudgingly
I watched Wigan demolish Bath in the late 90's. Both were club league champions of that year. One half League and one half Union. Guess who won both halfs?
I predict union will swallow league in the next few decades though. Thats where the money has always been. Just get rid of flankers!
 
#16
Jonathan Davies and JPR Williams must be included IMHO
Got to agree with that, agree with "Micawber" here, Campese should not be in, he was just a big headed Aussie cheat, Gerald Davies & JJ Williams must be there, as must the "Viet Gwent", the immortal Pontypool Front row, Price, Windsor & Faulkner who in their day could hammer anyone, Mervyn Davies, Mike Gibson, Willie John McBride, Martin Johnson, and Dean Richards!
Its so difficult to choose as many were from different eras and its almost impossible to compare, just have to go with their performance at the time!
 
#17
Because it's an easyer game, you get paid more and you don't have to be as fit. once you're passed your prime, RU is a good refuge. You also get to extend your career for a few years(see first point).

Ellery Hanley was awesome. But I'm a saints fan so I only like him grudgingly
I watched Wigan demolish Bath in the late 90's. Both were club league champions of that year. One half League and one half Union. Guess who won both halfs?
I predict union will swallow league in the next few decades though. Thats where the money has always been. Just get rid of flankers!
RL is the easier (correct spelling) game to understand and play as it is so one dimensional, run, tackle, repeat 5 times and hand over the ball - its inception was after all for those who couldn't understand the complexity of RU.
I too recall the Union vs League game and the RL players were certainly fitter (see my first point of original response) then which was the difference although the scrums weren't allowed to be played out properly. RU players are amongst the fittest (CV, power, muscular endurance and recovery) sportspeople on the planet now.
I doubt RL will be subsumed in RU worldwide as for places such as Australia more play RL than RU but maybe that's because the Aussies like it simple. With the exception of Billy Whizz it's notable how so few RL converts really make it, even Tuquiri's gone back to RL and Edwards' influence has started to wane significantly at Wasps and Wales.
 
#18
Crazy Frenchman Jean-Pierre Rives warrants a mention, as does the kiwi loose forward Michael Jones.
When he wasn't broken Christian Cullen was awesome to watch, there's some cracking clips of him on youtube.
 
#19
Crazy Frenchman Jean-Pierre Rives warrants a mention, as does the kiwi loose forward Michael Jones.
When he wasn't broken Christian Cullen was awesome to watch, there's some cracking clips of him on youtube.
Now you mention Michael Jones - what an awesome player and he wouldn't play on Sundays I recall. There are so many exceptional flankers to chose from....Peter Winterbottom, Andy Robinson and Neil Back to name but 3.
 

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