Blindside Flanker: Richard Hill (ENG)
The ultimate players’ player. Did all the unseen, grafting work and just got on with his job in unassuming fashion, putting his body on the line. Able to excel right across the back row, he was a pivotal figure on two Lions trips and an England World Cup winner.
Openside Flanker: Richie McCaw (NZ)
He earned a world-record 148 caps for the All Blacks, winning 131 of those games and captaining his country 111 times, to two Rugby World Cup triumphs. Perhaps my favourite stat is he’d has played in 32 per cent of New Zealand’s Test match victories since 1903 at the time of retirement!
Number 8: Kieran Read (NZ)
A totem of the modern day All Blacks side. Leads from the front and his 115-cap haul in the Kiwis back-row has helped minimise the 2015 retirement of their captain colossus Richie McCaw.