Lock: Louis Deacon: Now Deacon was as tough as nails, but was about as mobile and athletic as the very comfy sofa that I’m currently sat on and offered next to no threat to opponents. Unfortunately, he falls into that category of England players whose best quality was ‘being brave’, which fills you with admiration…but not a whole lot of confidence.
Lock: Mouritz Botha: He packed a punch in the tackle but never really looked comfortable at Test level.
Flanker: Roy Winters By all accounts, Winters is a Bristol legend and an all-around good egg. He was usually a lock but made his international debut on the flank, so that’s where he fits in – and he’s selected for many of the same reasons as his old club-mate Darren Crompton. Solid bloke, yes, but international quality? Not by a long shot.
Flanker: Andy Hazell: The Gloucester stalwart had the unenviable task of filling the retired Neil Back’s shoes. We can assume that Robinson’s thought process was, “He’s small, he’s aggressive, he’s just like Neil Back”, but unfortunately it didn’t really work out like that. Making his international appearances exclusively through 2004-05, Hazell became known as a bit of a penalty machine.
Number 8: Ben Skirving: He travelled to South Africa to take the place of the injured Peter Buxton in the full England squad for their two-test series against the Springboks. The back-rower was not involved in the first test, but won his first England cap starting the second test on 2 June 2007, starting in a comprehensive 55-22 defeat.