Who are the greatest rugby players to have played the game? After much deliberation, World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson, declared his hand with only three England players being selected.
Martin Johnson’s all-time XV:
:1. Jason Leonard, England: “Solid as a rock, was regularly asked to play on both sides of the scrum and never moaned. His record of four World Cups and two finals says it all.”
2. Sean Fitzpatrick, New Zealand: “Played for the All Blacks for ten years, a fantastic competitor and a great captain.”
3. Jean-Pierre Garuet, France: “From the old school of scrummagers, played in the 1987 final, a nuggety, fierce-looking guy.”
4 and 5. Frik du Preez, South Africa and Colin Meads, New Zealand: “The 1990s was a great era for locks. There were Robin Brooke and Ian Jones for New Zealand; Australia had John Eales; South Africa had Mark Andrews. I could have picked any of them but I’ve gone for some older players. Both Du Preez and Meads played in the 1960s but were very modern players. Meads was the greatest ever All Black; Frik was very quick and athletic. I wasn’t in their league.”