Piers Morgan picks his all-time greatest rugby XV - and fans hate it - Page 2 of 3 - Ruck

Piers Morgan picks his all-time greatest rugby XV – and fans hate it

Flanker: Francois Pienaar (South Africa)

Springbok Captain Pienaar is famous for leading South Africa to triumph in the World Cup in 1995.

Not only did Pienaar’s side topple a heavily fancied All Blacks team in front of an expectant South Africa population, but they also managed in their small way to bring together South Africa’s post-apartheid society

DID YOU KNOW? After being dropped from the Springbok team Pienaar went on to have a career with English club Saracens.

Flanker: Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

McCaw led the All Blacks to Rugby World Cup glory in 2011 and 2015 and claimed the International Rugby Board’s Player of the Year award on a record three occasions (2006, 2009. 2010). He became the first All Black to reach 100 Tests in 2011. Then by the time he hung up his boots; he had played 148 Tests (coming off the bench just six times) and was Captain in 111 Tests.

DID YOU KNOW? In April 2011, McCaw received an invitation to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. However, as McCaw had only recently returned from his injury, he decided to decline the offer, preferring to focus on Super Rugby and the Rugby World Cup.

Number 8: Zinzan Brooke (New Zealand)

He was an effective forward but also had top-class handling skills and a trustworthy boot making him quite the unique player.

During his international career that spanned a decade from 1987 to 1997, he played in two World Cups in 1991 and 1995 scoring an unforgettable drop goal from 47 metres out against England in the latter. Brooke in total played 58 tests for New Zealand, scoring 89 points.

DID YOU KNOW? As well as rugby union, Brooke played Gaelic football, both before and after his rugby career.

Scrum-half: Gareth Edwards (Wales)

The former Wales and British and Irish Lions scrum-half is simply the greatest player in his position in history. Edwards is also considered by many to be one of the greatest rugby players of all time.

He was notorious for his pace but also had an unexpected strength for a leaner player. He made 53 caps for Wales as well as making ten appearances for the British & Irish Lions, featuring on tours in 1968, 1971 and 1974.

The second tour, to New Zealand, is still the only victorious Lions tour to the Land of the Long White Cloud. During the third, to South Africa in 1974, was the greatest ever Lions jaunt, in which the tourists played 22 matches and remained unbeaten.

DID YOU KNOW? In 2004 a statue of Gareth Edwards was erected in the St David’s Shopping Centre in Cardiff, as a memorial to his magnificent play for the country.

Fly-half: Dan Carter (New Zealand)

A true rugby superstar – the All Black legend is arguably the world’s best fly-half and his reputation and subsequent fame transcends both hemispheres.

He possesses a complete package, including great speed, defensive strength and a dangerous side-step. A reliable goal-kicker and astute tactician, the accomplished Carter is the All Blacks’ leading all-time Test points-scorer having eclipsed the mark of Andrew Mehrtens.

Carter injured his groin while doing kicking practice during the 2011 Rugby World Cup but was a key member of the 2015 Rugby World Cup-winning teams, becoming one of 20 players to have won multiple Rugby World Cups.

DID YOU KNOW? In May 2018, Dan Carter revealed that he declined the offer to switch to National Football League (NFL) as a kicker for New England Patriots after The Rugby World Cup in 2015.

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