Matt Dawson selects his all-time England XV, he snubbed Lawrence Dallaglio - Ruck

Matt Dawson selects his all-time England XV, he snubbed Lawrence Dallaglio

England legend Matt Dawson has selected his all-time England XV for the RFU.

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A number of big names miss out, with Mike Tindall, Neil Back and Lawrence Dallaglio among the absentees.

Dawson, a titan of English rugby, boasts an illustrious career as one of the most capped scrum halves in history. Revered by Northampton and Wasps, he’s also left an indelible mark on the international stage, representing England and the British and Irish Lions. In 2021, he was rightfully enshrined in the RugbyPass Hall of Fame.

Born on October 31, 1972, Dawson’s journey began on school rugby fields before joining Northampton Saints in 1991. Over almost 250 games until 2004, he celebrated victories like the Heineken Champions Cup in 2000. Transitioning to London Wasps, he clinched the Premiership title in his debut season.

Internationally, Dawson’s impact was profound, earning 77 caps for England from 1995 to 2006, notably contributing to the 2003 Rugby World Cup triumph. His skillset was further showcased on three consecutive British and Irish Lions tours from 1997 to 2005.

Post-retirement in 2006, Dawson seamlessly transitioned to media, captivating audiences on television and radio while championing various charitable causes

Read on to see Matt Dawson’s all-time England XV.

Matt Dawson’s all-time England XV:


  • 15. Jason Robinson
  • 14. Rory Underwood
  • 11. Ben Cohen


  • 13. Jeremy Guscott
  • 12. Manu Tuilagi
Manu Tuilagi of England during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Tonga at Twickenham Stoop on 6 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK


  • 10. Jonny Wilkinson
  • 9. Dikie Jeeps


  • 1. Gary Pearce
  • 2. Steve Thompson
  • 3. Jason Leonard


  • 4. Maro Itoje
  • 5. Martin Johnson
Maro Itoje of the Saracens during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on 17 Oct. Photo: Steve Haag/PPAUK


  • 6. Tim Rodber
  • 7. Richard Hill
  • 8. Dean Richards

10 best rugby union players in the world right now [Ranked] presents a rundown of the most outstanding and electrifying rugby talents, spanning both hemispheres, accompanied by insights into their placements on the list.

  1. Handrè Pollard (South Africa)

Handrè Pollard embodies the essence of clutch performance, consistently delivering in crucial moments. His decisive kick during the 2023 Rugby World Cup semi-final against England propelled his team to the final, while his impeccable kicking prowess secured victory against New Zealand, securing back-to-back titles for the Springboks.

  1. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)

Duhan van der Merwe, Scotland’s dynamic wing, is a formidable force with the ball in hand and space to exploit. His standout moment came in the 2023 Six Nations against England, where he evaded five defenders on a 55-meter run for a sensational try. In the 2024 Six Nations, he further showcased his brilliance with a hat-trick against England, each try a testament to his individual skill.