Lock: Bakkies Botha (South Africa) – “Someone incredibly fierce but very very down to earth” and “at times he’s exactly what a team needs,” according to Wilkinson.
Lock: John Eales (Australia) – “Eales was described by Wilkinson as “intelligent, another massive leader, gets himself around the park and brings another angle of goal kicking.”
Flanker: Francois Pienaar (South Africa) – “Approaching a World Cup in our own country I think people can understand the pressure on the home team and to think about the pressure on the home captain – think about what this guy must have been going through in South Africa at that time. To see how he dealt with it I think is a lesson to all of us”.
Flanker: Richie McCaw (New Zealand) – “A guy that stood the test of time and has remained at the best, the highest level of the game for that time”
Number 8: Pat Lam (Samoa) -“Pat Lam was one of the most creative, instinctive players as well as bringing his own brand of leadership and the way he saw the game.”